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What is a "certified translation"?

What is a "notarized translation"?

What is an "official translation"?

What is a "technical document" in the context of translation?

Where is your office located?

What are your translation rates?

What is "authentication" (as in authentication of documents)?

What is an "Apostille"?

What is "Search Engine Optimization (SEO)"? – (Why does SEO matter?)

What is a "certified translation"?

A certified translation is typically required when a document is being submitted to government or educational officials and institutions to validate information in the context of some sort of application or official request process.

Documents typically requiring "certification" would include birth certificates, passports, diplomas, marriage certificates, drivers' licences, degrees, university transcripts, etc. (The list is extensive.)

The use and purposes of certified translations vary. Some typical instances would include: applying for a driver's licence with foreign language documentation as proof of driving experience; applying for admission to a university with transcripts and diplomas issued in a foreign language country; couples who have married in a foreign jurisdiction whose marriage certificate was issued in the issuing country's language; etc.

The manner in which a document is certified by a translator may vary. However, in all instances, the documentation being certified usually comes with an attestation or declaration and must bear the name of the translator in block letters along with her/his signature.

Depending on the circumstances, a sworn statement (affidavit or sworn declaration) from the translator and/or the notarization of the document(s) translated or source documents may be required. Whether or not a sworn statement or document notarization is necessary is determined by the institution or body that is demanding the certified translation.

In Canada:
In many provincial jurisdictions in Canada, a translator must be accredited (i.e. "certified") by an officially recognized translation body (such as the ATIO - Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario) to be able to officially render a "certified translation".

As part of the attestation or declaration, the translator is required to provide details of his/her affiliation to an accrediting body and his/her accredited translator registration number. Many certified translators have adopted the practice of applying an official seal (ink stamp or embossed seal of their affiliation) to the translation and/or accompanying declaration, though this is not a formal requirement.

In the United States:
Any translator or any translation company representative, regardless of credentials, may provide a certification that in the words of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service is constituted of a “certification [that] 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.”

In other words, insofar as US Citizenship and Immigration Services requirements are concerned, a translator need NOT be "certified" in order to provide a certification.

In the United States a so-called "certified translation" consists of the following
: 1. The original document(s), referred to as the source-language document(s)
2. The translated document(s), referred to as the target-language document(s)
3. A statement that is referred to as a “certification” that is signed by a translator or translation company official attesting that they are of the belief that the target-language document(s) is (are) an accurate and complete translation of the source-language document(s).

See also: Certified Translation GlossaryCertified Translation

What is a "notarized translation"?

A translation that is notarized is a translated document carrying the authenticated signature(s) of the translator(s) authorized or required to sign it, and the signature of a notary public witnessing the signature(s), accompanied by an impression of his or her official notary seal. A notarized translation is not necessarily a certified translation.

NOTE: A Notary Public makes no representation as to the accuracy of the content of the translated document. It is the translator's role to vouch for the accuracy of a translation, usually by way of certifying a target language translation as a true and correct translation of the source-text.

The expression "certified by an official Notary Public" or similar variant should not be confused with the definition of a certified translation. Notarized Translations and Certified Translations are two distinct and separate matters. See "What is a certified translation?" for the full definition of a certified translation.

Notaries Public — What They Do:

A notary is a lawyer or person with legal training who is licensed by the state to perform acts in legal affairs, in particular witnessing signatures on documents. The form that the notarial profession takes varies with local legal systems.

Most common law systems have what is called in the United States a notary public, a public official who notarizes legal documents and who can also administer and take oaths and affirmations, among other tasks. In the United States, a Signing agent, also known as a Loan Signing Agent, is a Notary Public who specializes in notarizing mortgage/real estate documents. Although notaries public are public officials, they are not paid by the government; they may obtain income by charging fees, provide free services in connection with other employment (for example, bank employees), or may provide free services for the public good.

See also: Certified Translation GlossaryNotarized Translation

What is an "official translation"?

The expression Official Translation is a catch-all label used by institutions and individuals to describe a translation that has some sort of formal or authoritative recognition.

It is usually intended as a descriptor that excludes documents that are translated by individuals for their own account or who are not professional translators or not affiliated to a recognized translation body.

Official translations may refer to certified and/or notarized translations, though this may oftentimes not be the case. As an example, one university application processing centre defines official translations as those done by one of the following: a consulate or embassy of the country that issued the document or translations verified by consulate or embassy of the country issuing the document; a translation service or agency; an immigrant/refugee association; or the issuing institution.

See also: Certified Translation GlossaryOfficial Translation

What is a "technical document" in the context of translation?

How do you determine whether or not a document submitted for translation qualifies as a technical document?

When we review a document to determine whether or not it qualifies as a technical document for translation purposes, we consider the subject matter, the terminology used, the purpose of the document and its intended audience.

TheFreeDictionary.com defines technical documentation as "… documentation [that typically] contributes to the study of human or mechanical factors, procedures, and processes in the fields of medicine, science, logistics, research, development, test and evaluation, intelligence, investigations, and armament delivery."

Technical documentation in industry jargon is often referred to as TECDOC.

Documents that typically qualify as technical would include: material used for instruction purposes (user instructions, operating instructions, servicing instructions); manuals (installation manuals, software manuals); scientific texts laden with subject-specific jargon (medicine, pharmacology, chemistry, statistics, the law, to name some).

However, not all scientific documents (be they medical, legal or otherwise) are technical. In medicine or pharmacology, instructions intended for a patient's use of medication would typically be drafted in layman terms. Similarly, a commercial contract would usually not be technical whereas legislation would most likely qualify.

There really is no single definition that clearly captures the nature of what would qualify as a technical document for translation purposes.

It reminds us of the observation once made by a judge in a case relating to obscenity, wherein he stated [paraphrasing] “I can’t actually define pornography with any precision, but I know what it is when I see it.”

So go ahead and submit your document to us and we’ll let you know whether or not it qualifies as technical. When we’re unsure, we can oftentimes arrive at a determination by the feedback from our freelance translation resources; if our more capable translators refuse to tackle the material because of its level of difficulty, then it clearly qualifies as technical.

See also: Technical Document Translation

What is an "Apostille"?

Apostille is a French word which means a certification. It is commonly used in English to refer to the legalization of a document for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. Documents which have been notarized by a notary public, and certain other documents, and then certified with a conformant apostille are accepted for legal use in all the nations that have signed the Hague Convention.

In states parties, apostilles are affixed by Competent Authorities designated by the government. A list of these authorities is maintained by the Hague Conference on Private International Law. Examples of designated authorities are embassies, ministries, courts or (local) governments. For example, in the United States, the Secretary of State of each state and his or her deputies are usually competent authorities. In the United Kingdom, all apostilles are issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

To be eligible for an apostille, a document must first be issued or certified by an officer recognised by the authority that will issue the apostille. For example, in the US state of Vermont, the Secretary of State maintains specimen signatures of all notaries public, so documents that have been notarised are eligible for apostilles. Likewise, courts in the Netherlands are eligible of placing an apostille on all municipal status documents directly. In some cases, intermediate certifications may be required in the country where the document originates before it will be eligible for an apostille. For example, in New York City, the Office of Vital Records (which issues, among other things, birth certificates) is not directly recognised by the New York Secretary of State. As a consequence, the signature of the City Clerk must be certified by the County Clerk of New York County to make the birth certificate eligible for an apostille.

The apostille does not give information regarding the quality of the document, but certifies the signature (and the capacity of who placed it) and correctness of the seal/stamp on the document which must be certified.

See also: Certified Translation GlossaryApostille

What is "authentication" (as in authentication of documents)?

Authentication of Documents: Authentication is the act of establishing or confirming something (or someone) as authentic, that is, that claims made by or about the subject are true ("authentification" is a French language variant of this word). This might involve confirming the identity of a person, tracing the origins of an artifact or ensuring that a document is what its holder claims it to be.

Foreign Governments and organizations sometimes require documents be authenticated before they will accept them. In Canada, all criminal record checks, fingerprint/clearance certificates, and any documents originating from the RCMP, provincial or local police stations must first be notarized prior to authentication by a Canadian official.

See also: Certified Translation GlossaryCertificate and Certificate of authentication

What is "Search Engine Optimization (SEO)"? – (Why does SEO matter?)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site or a web page (such as a blog) from search engines via "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results as opposed to other forms of search engine marketing ("SEM") which may deal with paid inclusion. The theory is that the earlier (or higher) a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a web site web presence.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines.

The acronym "SEO" can refer to "search engine optimizers," a term adopted by an industry of consultants who carry out optimization projects on behalf of clients, and by employees who perform SEO services in-house. Search engine optimizers may offer SEO as a stand-alone service or as a part of a broader marketing campaign. Because effective SEO may require changes to the HTML source code of a site, SEO tactics may be incorporated into web site development and design. The term "search engine friendly" may be used to describe web site designs, menus, content management systems, images, videos, shopping carts, and other elements that have been optimized for the purpose of search engine exposure.

Another class of techniques, known as black hat SEO or spamdexing, uses methods such as link farms, keyword stuffing and article spinning that degrade both the relevance of search results and the user-experience of search engines. Search engines look for sites that employ these techniques in order to remove them from their indices.

Source: Wikipedia – Content available under GNU Free Documentation License

  To secure a CERTIFIED TRANSLATION follow these steps:

Step 1: Send your documents and information
Go to our Request a Quote page and attach the document(s), OR e-mail us the file(s) of the document(s) to be translated:
Be sure to include your full contact information (name, phone number, mailing address with zip code or postal code, e-mail address). The ideal format for document submissions is in a format that we can edit: MSWord (.doc or docx); Adobe Acrobat (pdf); Power Point (.ppt); MSExcel (.xls). We will respond by e-mail to confirm that we have received your request and submit a written quote to you if we are prepared to accept the assignment.

Step 2: Payment
We send you a firm quote along with a payment request via e-mail before we begin the translation. You can pay with VISA or MasterCard or E-mail Bank Transfer. All first-time clients for certified translation assignments must be pre-pay in full before we begin the translation.

Step 3: Translation and Delivery
We will send you the certified translation by courier, usually within three to four business days after receiving your payment. Shipments are typically handled via Purolator courier Xpress Envelope service (delivery within 24 hours; next business day). Shipping & handling costs will vary depending upon delivery address and service time frame requested. (Other courier services also available.)
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proofreading service  Our proofreading service consists of reviewing any text for errors – hard copy (written documentation) or electronic (e.g. websites, MSWord files, PowerPoint files).The types of errors we look for include: missing words; typos; spelling mistakes; formatting errors; missing or bad punctuation; etc.

The proofreading service is combined with light copy-editing: checking for grammar; improper language usage; run-on sentences; consistency issues; etc. Our objective is to improve the formatting, style and accuracy of your written material without changing the content.

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