Standard Translation

When You Don’t Need A Certified Translation?

There are many instances in which certified translation is generally not needed. Personal documents that will not be submitted for any legal
proceedings, such as old family letters or documents would not require certified translation. Translation of website content is another prominent example of an item that rarely demands certified translation.

A certified translation creates a legal record. This is why legal and government bodies almost always require translations to be certified.

When in doubt about whether you do or don’t need a translation to be certified, it’s best to check with the person, institution or company you’re submitting it to. Requirements will vary based on the type and purpose of the document, so if a certified translation is necessary, a brief
consultation should get you the answers you need.

Certified or Notarized?

Besides a standard translation, there are also two official types of translations in the USA, such as certified and notarized.

Certified – This implies that a professional translator—meaning it is the person’s profession, not just a native speaker—does the translation. At the bottom the translator signs a short statement saying “I am competent to translate from “This Language” to “This Language” and the
foregoing is the complete and accurate translation of the original”. The translator is expected to provide name, date, signature, and contact

Notarized – This is essentially the same as a certified translation, with one additional step. The translator signs the certification statement in front of a notary. Note that the notary’s stamp and signature here are notarizing the certification, not the translation itself, because obviously the notary probably doesn’t speak those languages!


Certified translations are almost always necessary for legal paperwork, such as documentation used in trials or hearings. For example, a trial transcript, or any evidence in another language would need to be translated and certified. When it comes to any item that has to be submitted to a legal or government body, it’s likely that certified translations will be required.

Immigration is also a key area that nearly always requires certified translation. If you are applying for a residency (or even a temporary visitor’s permit) in a foreign country, it will likely require that all documents be submitted in the country’s official language — and that translations of these documents are certified.

Applications to universities and colleges also often require certified translations of documents like diplomas and transcripts. Depending on the school’s document policies, you may be required to submit the original grade report along with a certified translation. It is always a smart idea to confirm what documents are needed before submitting them