Getting a solid, reliable translation of important documents is essential when you’re dealing with matters such as legal language. So, what’s the difference between using Google to translate a foreign language versus a certified translator? The answer is everything, and then some. Here are three reasons why obtaining a certified translation is essential for important documents, and how to get it.

1. The Difference Between a Translation and Certified Translation

Anyone can be a translator who’s able to convert one language to another. However, certified translations are a different and more official matter altogether. A certified translation means that there is formal written documentation from the translator that confirms the translation is as accurate as possible. In other words, it’s a professional declaration that the work is accurate. The key thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter if the translator themselves is certified by ATA, but rather, that the final translation is formally certified.

2. Where to Find Translation Services

There are many translation services that can be found both online and in-person, but if you want to shop around, online options are best. Check out the staff page for more information about the expertise and background of the founders or translators you’ll be working with. This provides an effective snapshot of what you can expect to deal with before going forward with a translation company.

3. Choosing a Translator and Following Up

There are different types of translators for specific types of texts. For example, a translator who specializes in legal documents isn’t going to have the same level of expertise to translate an academic text. If you want credentials, check out previous clients. This is the best way to determine the best translation servicer for your project, especially if past clients of the company match up your type of business. When you’re dealing with a service that employs multiple staff, you may not be in direct contact with the translator assigned to your project. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t check up on their work or ask questions. Once a final certified translation is delivered, for peace of mind, there are a few things you can do. This includes have a fluent friend look over the document or asking your account representative questions.

Certified translations are extremely important when you’re dealing with serious matters. This counts for both your own personal ability to truly comprehend what’s been written as well as official documentation by a translator of the text. While there are many types of translators out there ranging from large enterprises to small, individual consultants, what truly matters is obtaining a final, certified translation.