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What are certified translation services and how can they benefit your company? Let’s dig in!


Successfully communicating with international customers and business partners is at the very heart of global expansion for any business. Whether you’re a UK company expanding abroad or an international brand targeting the UK market – being able to accurately convey your brand and corporate messages are key in order to effectively acquire a slice of the target market.

Additionally, a rapidly growing number of individual clients also require certified translations of their documents as a part of their applications – whether it’s passports, certificates or diplomas.

The linguistic aspects of an international expansion of a business are still however a challenging task for many companies and business owners.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how your company can benefit from certified translation services, what the term ‘certified translation’ actually means and where to find the best providers for translating and certifying your documents in the United Kingdom.

What is a certified translation of documents?

In general, a certified translation is a service which refers to the translation of documents and papers into the country’s native language by an accredited agency or a registered freelance translator. For example, if you are completing an official application in the UK, your foreign documents will have to be translated into English.

There are several different types of document translation and certifications, and the particular certification that you will be required to present might depend on your specific circumstances.

For example, as a rule of thumb, the standard certification which is offered by majority of translation suppliers in the United Kingdom is sufficient for most application types. If you’re applying for a visa, a place in an education institution or need to translate your marriage certificate for a mortgage application – the standard certified translation will be adequate in most cases.

There are, however, other types of certifications that might be required from you to present during an official application.

One such certification type is called an ‘Apostilled Translation’.

An Apostille certified translation goes a step further than the standard certification. In this case, the translated documents are also signed and stamped by the accredited translator, however, this must be done in front of a solicitor or a legal professional, who also signs the documents. This is done to legally confirm the linguist’s details, such as name and accreditations.

How can your business benefit from certified translation services?

Certified translations are today an inseparable part of business in the United Kingdom across most corporate sectors. Business owners now understand that seamless communication with their international partners and consumers is absolutely essential in a competitive global market. As a result, official translators have become important assets within majority of professional companies.

In order to trade successfully on the international stage, business must translate a number of different materials, documents and papers.

One of the most important of such resources is the company’s website.

Being able to read information and find relevant content about your brand and products/services online is perhaps a key aspect for majority of your potential clients.

In fact, more than 80% of consumers claim to be more inclined to competing a purchase if they can read the relevant text directly in their native language. Additionally, 2 in 5 of those asked claim to never buy anything online if the content isn’t available in their language!

As you can see, translating your website can be an absolutely necessary step if you wish to approach your chosen market successfully.

Also, any additional marketing content – such as brochures or even price lists must also be carefully translated. This can be especially significant if you are planning on opening a physical location in the target market, for example, a high street shop.

Lastly, making sure that all of your legal paperwork and documents are reliably translated can be not only a legal requirement in the country you want to expand to, but can also save you a lot of time, hassle and money in the future. It’s best to do things right from the start and translate such important documents even before you start your business internationalisation process in the foreign country.

Can anyone who speaks the language translate my documents?

Unfortunately, even if one of your employees, friends or family members is able to speak the language, the documents won’t be officially certified if they are converted by someone who isn’t a listed translator.

Certified translations are a legal service, and so in order to provide it, the linguist must undergo several difficult exams, lengthy checks and officially prove that their understanding of the target language is excellent.

If the documents are simply translated by someone is can speak the language, they might be accurate, but won’t hold any legal value and will most likely be rejected by official institutions.

Where to find the best supplier for translating your documents?

Finding a professional supplier than will be able to reliably convert your documents can be somewhat tricky. Especially, if you have a limited budget and want to get things done as quickly as possible.

Generally, it is best to start looking for a certified supplier as soon as possible, so that you are not running out of time further down the line, as this can have a direct impact on the quality of the translations and price.

In the United Kingdom, the ATC (Association of Translation Companies) is the main body for registered translation agencies.

If you wish to work directly with a freelance translator, look into websites like CIOL (Chartered institute of Linguists), Proz.com or even ITI (Institute of Translators and Interpreters).

Let’s summarize…

The importance of professional certified translators is growing constantly. Today, business owners in practically all corporate industries, including legal, marketing, finance and many others, work with translation companies or freelance linguists in order to accurately convert their documentations into the market’s native language.

Understanding of the country’s culture and language can go a long way when expanding your business into a foreign market. Make sure that you approach your consumers in their native tongue – both online and in the physical location – and the chances for your international success will grow dramatically!

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