18 Jul Common Misconception of a Certified Translation in the US
A certified translation and a certified translator are two different things.
Let me tell you a common question I get from many potential customers. The trend lately, seems to ask if I am a “certified translator”. Well, I’ll say perhaps on any given day I’m certifiable (pun intended) but I quickly explain there is no reason for me or my team to be “certified” when our credentials surpass the current “certifications” you see in the industry. Let me take a few moments to explain and clear up some common misconceptions.
- There is no federal or state certification of translators in the US (except for federal and state court certification for interpreters). The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics states: “There is currently no universal form of certification required of interpreters and translators in the United States.” (Wikipedia)
- The US Citizenship and Immigration website states that:
“Any foreign language document offered by a party in a proceeding shall be accompanied by an English language translation and a certification signed by the translator that must be printed legibly or typed. Such certification must include a statement that the translator is competent to translate the document, and that the translation is true and accurate to the best of the translator’s abilities.” There is no mention of the words “certified translator” in the US Citizenship and Immigration information whatsoever. They require a “certification signed by the translator” as opposed to a translation rendered by a certified translator (aka accredited translator).
So what does the phrase “Certified Translation” mean then?
In the U.S., a certified translation consists of the translation itself accompanied by a signed statement by the translator or translation company affirming that the translated text is an accurate and complete rendering of the original document. This certification does not prove that the translation is accurate, nor does it mean that the translator who prepared it is “certified.”