When it comes to international transactions with documents, whether for business or personal purposes, translation plays a major part of the process. Of course, there are instance where the translation is not required, but those are very few individual cases.
Basically there are three major categories of the translations:
1. Self-made translations, done by the owner of the documents. This method, although acceptable for a number of purposes is not the most common practice in a modern world.
2. Professionally made translations, performed by the professional translators and usually delivered electronically or by fax. Such translations do not require any special certification and are generally done for internal purposes or publication.
3. Professionally made Certified Translations. This is the most common form of translation when it comes to international use of documents. Such tasks are performed by qualified and certified translators and include a certification statement made by the translator that they are qualified to perform such translation and they attest to the accuracy of such translation in front of the notary public.
In the United States, most common body for the certification and qualification of the translators is the American Translators Association (ATA).
Will the Certified Translations made in the United States will be acceptable everywhere?
No they will not. Some, but not all, countries will require that the Certified Translation be presented in one of the following manners:
(a) Certified Translation done by the Consulate of the target country with jurisdiction over the original place of document issue.
(b) Certified Translation attested by the Consulate of the target country with jurisdiction over the original place of document issue. However, the actual translations may be performed by the certified translator in the said country or by a translator certified by the said country. Some consulates have their own list of Consulate accredited translators or translation agencies.
(c) Certified Translation performed by the Court Certified Translator in the target country. This means that the translator must be certified by a local court in the country where the documents will be used. You may also find such translators in your own country who maintain such certification, however, this type of service may cost a little more in comparison to other certified translations.
How do you know if the person or the agency that performed the translation is certified or accredited?
You may always contact the person or the agency directly and inquire about their credentials. Most accredited individual and agency translators will state their qualifications in the Affidavit of Accuracy.