If you’re looking to get your documents translated for official purposes in the UK, you’re going to need a UK certified translation. This special certification process vouches for the accuracy of the translation, permitting it to be accepted by professional bodies and governments, etc. Each country has its own rules as to how translations need to be certified, so let’s take a look at the requirements of the UK so you know exactly what to expect.

How certified translations work in the UK

Unlike many other countries, translators don’t actually have to be registered with a professional body in order to be able to certify your translation. Having said that, not just anyone can translate your documents for you and then certify them. If you take a look at the UK government website guidance on merely certifying that copies of documents match the originals, even this must be done by someone “of good standing” in the community, for example, teachers, doctors, solicitors, etc. This person can’t be related to you, living at the same address, or in a relationship with you. They have to indicate that the document is “certified to be a true copy of the original seen by me” and include their name, address, telephone number, and occupation.

As regards certifying translations, the process is very similar to that for certifying standard documents. Your translator or translation agency will need to confirm that it is a “true and accurate translation of the original document” and include their contact details. If you’re working with a freelancer, they can sign it for you, but checks may be carried out to ensure that they are a professional translator as guidelines often require them to be a member of a professional body such as the ITI.

Different types of certified translation in the UK

Just to make things a bit more complicated, there are a number of different types of certified translation available in the UK:

  • Notarised translation. This is where a representative of the translation company or the translator themselves goes to a notary in person and stamps and signs a document.
  • Apostille. If you plan to use your documents outside the UK, you’ll need to get an apostille on the original document to prove that it’s genuine. The EU has recently done away with the need to apostille documents, so as long as the UK remains in the EU and you’re using the documents in another member country, there is no need to worry. When Brexit takes place, however, it’s important to remember this will more than likely become a requirement again.
  • Sworn translation. This is where the translator swears before a solicitor that the translation is accurate.

Final tips

As you can see, certified translations in the UK are a lot simpler than in some neighbouring countries, but still need to be handled with caution. Be sure to use a professional translation agency and to check all the requirements with the body/office you need the translation for before ordering the translations.

As a UK-based translation agency, we’re here to help with all your certified translation needs. So please feel free to get in touch and we’ll be glad to help.