The world of translation and interpretation is a multi-diverse one. This is the reason why the translation of documents is so much popular these days. Certified translation services translate documents along with other work. However, you may be needed to produce proof that you used the services of a professional translation agency if you want to translate your documents. notarized and certified translation are two forms in which this proof is present.


Most people find it hard to distinguish between a certified and notarized translation. However, there are certain differences between the two. While a certified translation aims to prove that a document is translated professionally, a notarized translation simply proves that the translation caters to law.


Here we take a look at the differences between certified and notarized translation and when to use them.

What is Notarized Translation?

Unlike certified translation, a notarized translation does not require high-quality translation. Rather, it aims to fulfill the formal requirements of a certain authority or institution. A professional translator submits the translated document to the notary public.


The notary public, in turn, asks the translator to swear an oath proving the correctness of the translation. Thereafter, the translator also has to sign an affidavit containing all the official details such as the signature of the notary. After all this procedure, the translated document becomes valid.


The identity of the translator is important in the case of notarized translation. This means it is a third-party check that ensures that the translator completed his work and gave accurate results. Notarized translation is an act of double security guaranteeing that the information is correct.


In case it’s not, the translator would be held liable for the wrong translation. Additionally, semi-legal and smaller documents require notarized translation.

What is a Certified Translation?

Certified translation is used to prove a document’s validity and correctness. This type of translation produces documents with their attested copy. Certified translation proves an accurate and complete translation. It also shows that the translator is fluent in the target and source languages.


A certified document, therefore, proves that the translation has been done by a professional Language Service Provider. This type of ‘proof’ shows that the document has a good chance of acceptance.


In the case of certification, the entire original document is translated. This is done along with dashes, marks, stamps, and signatures. The translator has to write “not legible” for those parts of the original which are not clear.


However, such a translation should visually match the original document. Only a skilled and certified specialist can do such a job. This is why it is important to hire a person who can handle this translation.


More importantly, since the translator is responsible for all the information of the document, a certified translation is legally binding. Moreover, the specialists can properly translate the documents and are accredited by the government.

The Difference between Certified and Notarized Translation

There are some differences between certified and notarized translation. Firstly, they differ according to requirements. For example, acceptance of a legal document requires a certified translation service. On the other hand, notarized translation is common for academic and similar documents.


When a certified translator works on your document, he carefully compares the final as well as the source document. This is to make sure everything is correct. On the other hand, the translator does not translate your documents when the translation is notarized.


He only examines it a little and puts a stamp on it. The point here is not to check the quality of the documents, but to show that the documents are usable in official agencies.

Certified Translation and Certified Translator—The Difference

A certified translator means that he has a professional degree from an educational institution with a major in translation. This person also passes the test, proving his ability to work with a certain language pair.


Although it is preferable to hire a certified translator for a certified document, it is not the only factor. If the translator has ample experience and is well-qualified, translation tasks can be assigned to him. Many businesses assign this task to the most qualified specialists. It goes to another specialist for proofreading after this.

Do Translated Documents Need to be Notarized?

In these present times, you do not need to go for both certification and notarization. This is because agencies usually need one of these documents and not both. Notarization is also less costly because the translator does not compare documents in the same way as a certification.


For daily business, such a translation is preferable. Besides, it provides a sense of comfort because the translator is under an oath and is aware of the results.


For educational and business purposes, use notarized documents. However, if the document is a government document, such as a driver’s license, a notarized document. Besides, it is vital to get your documents certified and bring in the hard copy.

When to Use Certified Translation?

A certified translation is used for submitting legal documents. For example, matters of immigration and academics in another country often require certified translation. Birth certificates, police verification background checks, patents, transcriptions, academic diplomas, and service agreements require certified translation services.


If you own a legal document in another language other than English, be sure to find a certified translation for it. Pharmaceutical and healthcare translation services also need certification as medical documents are of great importance to both the patient and the doctor.


Also, documents of high importance such as medical bills, business licenses, DNA exams, and legal deeds need certification from the best business translation agencies.

When to Use Notarized Translation?

A notary possesses authority from the government that oversees many legal formalities. Notarized translation is, therefore, needed. Schools that require foreign diplomas or transcripts are an example of notarized translation. This type of translation is also necessary for business sources.


It is better to use notarized translation when there are no strict quality requirements. Furthermore, notarized translation is an official requirement for those documents that do not require details. These documents are usually less sophisticated and have less important details.


The paperwork you have will determine whether you require notarization or not. This is because two words notarized and legalized are used. Some foreign organizations and bodies use some other terms also that are


  • · Endorsement
  • · Authentication
  • · Accreditation
  • · Affirmation
  • · Certification
  • · Verification
  • · Attestation

Educational and academic purposes highly need a notarized translation. For instance, you may need middle school documents and academic records notarized. Family papers for immigration often use notarization. Other than that, court orders, property papers, as well as judgments may also need notarized translation services.

The Requirement in the Present Time

At present, the requirement of legal and official documents is very specific. You can either use a certified translation or you can use a notarized translation. Both cannot be used in any situation.


A few years back there was a requirement by US citizenship and immigration service USCIS to submit both the certified and notarized translations. But at present, all the rules are changed.


Therefore, you just need to submit only a certified translation with all the supporting documents for the immigration application which is not in the English language. Sometimes a certified translation is notarized.


In this case, notarizing the certified translation means including another requirement. Therefore, you need to double-check which kind of translation, you need to submit. In many cases, a certified translation is only required.

Different Requirements in Different Countries

Notaries in each country perform differently. Foreign notaries perform some duties that are similar to attorneys. Moreover, they are authorized to advise and make the documents for the clients. However, in the case of the USA, Notaries have not much authority and they are not authorized to prepare the documents for the clients.


The main problem occurs when people from different countries ask U.S Notaries to perform official acts that are not allowed under state law. One main example is when a Notary is given a task to certify a foreign citizen who is still alive and wants their pension.


Many countries around the world do not allow Notaries to prove these certifications. This creates confusion among the signers who are authorized by foreign government agencies to take the assistance of a US Notary.


Therefore, if they are asked to notarize the foreign document then first, they need to check whether their state allows them or not. For this purpose, you can contact your state Notary regulation agency.


In the case of a certified translation in the USA, the language service provider or a professional translator provides certified translations. The translated document contains a certificate that shows the quality of the translation. Therefore, it is an accurate translation of the original document.


The certificate contains the name and signature of the translation company or a translator. Moreover, it contains the date of when the translation is done, contact information about the translator, and the official seal of the translation company. The translator also contains a certification that shows he is authorized to translate the documents.


The translated document contains the certification letter and the original and source document. It is not necessary for the original document to be a source document. It can be a legible photocopy or scanned copy of the original.


In other regions, like Quebec, Canada, the translator should be certified. If the translator is an individual and if he is not associated with any Translation company then he needs to sign the official translation declaration.


Moreover, he needs to stamp the Quebec professional order on each page of the translated document. On the contrary in Spain and Brazil, the institutions only accept certified translations that are done by sworn translators or by government-certified translators.

The Costs of Certified and Notarized Translation

Just like the differences between the two, the costs of certified and notarized translation differ as well. Usually, the cost of certified translation is per word, page number, or hours. Although the prices may differ, most translators and LSPs do not charge extra charges for certification.


An instance is at The Word Point, where the price of translation is 0.14 per word. In most companies, the cost per word translation is often high.


In the case of notarized translation services, a fee is usually paid to the notary public or translator. The notary public usually charges per page, while the translator usually charges per word.

The Last Word

A certified, as well as notarized translation, is not an easy task. Perhaps this is the reason why people turn to a certified translation agency for their translations. These agencies have trained specialists who have experience working with legal documents. However, before you submit the documents, create a list of the documents that you need to translate. This will help you to keep everything in check as well as provide all the necessary data. Remember, that educational purposes need notarization, while certified translation is required for legal documents and immigration papers.