What is a Certified Translation?

Often, we are asked if we can provide a certified translation for use with USCIS or some other agency.  The answer is YES, we can provide a translation GUARANTEED for acceptance by any government agency in the United States as well as provide translations for use outside of the United States.  To be technical, it is not truly a CERTIFIED in the sense that the person who produced it was licensed by any central government authority.  To work as a translator in the United States, you do not need to be licensed as you would for another profession such as doctor, nurse, lawyer, etc.  Anyone who claims to produce a certified translation may do so, but what it truly means is that the translation was completed on company letterhead along with having a notarized sworn statement attesting to the document’s accurate, complete, truthful and competent translation

If someone claims to be a certified translator in the U.S., it is probably meant that they are accredited.  Accreditation means that a private association has required an individual to take some proficiency test and upon payment of membership fee or dues, an accreditation from that organization was issued.

These organizations have no government oversight.  Controversies may surround some.  The large number alone can lead one to the conclusion that they may be more interested in charging fees and dues to properly qualifying translation abilities.

In the United States, many translation associations exist on a national and local level. To be a member of each one would be very cost prohibitive.  The lack over central oversight along with numerous private associations claiming to accredit translators can frustrate any potential client for translation services as well any person new to the profession.  How is the best translation agency or individual for the job to be chosen?

It is suggested that any client who needs translation services not to be concerned with  agency or individual accreditation, but rather their experience, specialty and reputation.  All clients must do due diligence and research on their potential translation services provider.  Do they belong to any reputable business associations like the Better Business Bureau?  Do they have any negative reviews and if so, is there a pattern?

When working with translation providers, it is obvious that there is a very large difference in fees charged from one agency to the other.  This is only equaled to the large difference in quality of services provided.  If proper research is done before ever working with any translation services provider, the best results will be obtained.