When discussing certification of translation, it is important to mention that there is no global standard that defines what a certified translation is. There are many different types of certification. Additionally, the type of certification you will need depends on the country where the translation is being submitted, the body to whom it is being submitted and on other requirements. The following are some guidelines that will help you in getting the type of certification you need.
- One of the most widely used quality management systems is the ISO 9001:2008 standard. GTS is an ISO 2008:9001 certified translation company. Another quality certification, the EN 15038, is more specific to translation companies
- By default, translation certification is not required. Most translations require no type of certification. This includes technical manuals, data sheets, legal documents and patents which are used for reference, web site content, brochures, marketing material and software documentation.
- Certified translations are typically required when submitting official documents in foreign countries such as birth/death certificates, marriage licenses and college transcripts. Certified translations may also be required when submitting documents in a court of law; when submitting documents to Insurance companies; when submitting clinical trial documents to Institutional Review Boards (IRBs); when submitting bid documents in response to a foreign government-sponsored tender .
- When you are required to submit a translation, carefully check the requirements and the type of certification required before ordering the translation. After you have determined the translation requirements, select the translation company or translator who can meet those requirements.
- A certified translation is typically delivered with a translation certificate, which can be an affidavit signed by the translator; a notarized affidavit signed by the translator; a letter from the translation company with its seal/stamp; a letter from an attorney in the local country; an Apostille that authenticates the signatures and stamps on a document. Click here to see a sample translation certificate issued by Global Translations.
- Certified Translators. A good way to ensure that your translation is certified is to get a translator who is certified by an accredited translation organization such as the American Translation Association (ATA). The ATA offers certification in selected language pairs (e.g., Japanese to English). Other associations that offer translation certification are the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO) and the AITI (Associazione Italiana Traduttori e Interpreti).
It should be mentioned that merely being a member of such an association does not mean that the translator is accredited by that organization. For example, any translator can join the ATA without gaining accreditation. And also note that some organizations, such as the JAT (Japanese Association of Translation) and the ITA (Israel Translation Association) have no system of accreditation in place and can therefore not accredit translators.
- Diplomaed Translators. In many countries, there are institutions of higher education and universities that offer training in translation. For example, Universities in Germany offer a Diplom-Übersetzer degree (roughly translated as Diplomaed Translator). Having this type of degree usually means that the translator is highly competent, but it is unclear whether these types of diplomas have any official standing
- Sworn Translators. In certain countries, sworn translators are authorized by the government to translate documents. Documents translated by sworn translators are official documents which are recognized by courts of law and government offices.