Clients are often confused by the large number of ambiguous terms used in the world of official translations. And we can fully understand why. Translations can be notarized, certified, sworn or legalized. It is important to note that although these terms describe a similar translation process, they are not interchangeable: each category has a specific meaning and function.
Let’s take a look at legalized translation for example:
Legalized translations are very similar to authorized and certified translations. Legalized translations are generally required for documents being sent to another country. The term does not attest to the quality of the translation; only that the stamp on the document is genuine.
A legalized translation represents the translation of an original document that is authentic and bears the date and a personal signature. The translation must be accompanied by the corresponding legalization paperwork, onto which a notary has affixed a stamp and signature thereby confirming that an authorized translator has completed the work. Legalized translations are always issued in at least two copies, where one of the copies remains in the notary public archive, and the other is issued to the client.
Translations that need to be legalized have to follow a specific process determined by a set of legal guidelines.
- One copy of the document ‘before’ the translation must be attached to the finished translation.
- Pages of the translation must be numbered.
- The authorized translator is also required to affix his stamp and signature to every page of the copy, as well as between the sheets.
Please note that countries that have not signed up to the Hague Convention may not accept a legalized translation. We advise our clients to always inquire at the consulate of the relevant country in order to verify requirements.
If you need assistance ascertaining any of the legal requirements for your translations we are more than happy to help. Just send us a copy of the original document, include information regarding the target language, the purpose of the document, deadline specifications and any other information you think might be useful to help the translation process run as smoothly as possible.
Please note that because of the legal weight assigned to a legalized translation, plus the requirement for the specific qualifications of the authorized translator, the service can be more expensive than a ‘normal’ translation. If there is any doubt as to whether the translation needs to be legalized or not, we advise our clients to always check with the recipient of the translated document and to obtain written confirmation of the requirements.
Then, sit back and let us do the rest!