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  • Writer's pictureEvangelos Drakou

Certified Translation in the UK: Getting it right

Updated: May 20

A woman stamping a document

If you need a certified translation of a document that is not in English, it is important to choose a qualified, registered translator or translation company. This expectation is clearly set out in

1. What is a certified translation?

A certifified translation is one which fulfils the requirements in the country in question, enabling the certified translation to be used in formal procedures such as passport and visa applications as well as legal proceedings like marriages and divorces. These translations are typically required for legal documents such as passports, birth certificates, and marriage certificates, accepted by government agencies and courts in the UK. Certified translations

act as offificial documents which are deemed acceptable to authorities due to the presence of explicit signals that denote the professional competence of the translator. Therefore, when accompanied by the original document, a translated document acquires the same official and legal authority as the original. The translator or translation company accepts responsibility for its accuracy by adding a translation certificate or affidavit stating that the translation is “true to the original”, which is then signed and/or stamped by the translator or translation company.

This is the type of certification that is required by UK government bodies such as the Home Office, Passport Office, and the UK Border Agency, as well as by universities and most foreign embassies in the UK.

As no government-regulated certifification system exists in the UK, individual authorities may require certifified documents to be presented in a specifific format. It is always advisable to obtain clear instructions regarding certifification and the use of stamps or seals from the organisation requesting the translation.

2. Who can certify a translation?

1.Qualified professional translators who are members of recognised translation associations, such as the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) or the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI):

  • CIOL professional members: Members (MCIL Translator), Fellows (FCIL Translator), as well as Chartered Linguists (Translator)

  • Qualified ITI Members (MITI translator or FITI translator)

2.Translation companies that are Accredited Members of the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), or Corporate Members of the ITI

CIOL and ITI members, as well as ATC-accredited translation companies, are recognised as meeting certain standards for professionalism, quality, and expertise in translation services. They are preferred by clients who require certified translations for official or legal purposes, as their translations are more likely to be accepted by government agencies, courts, and other authorities.


Found in Translation Ltd logo black on transparent

At Found in Translation Ltd translation agency we provide certified translations (which are also known as official translations) of various documents from and into over 40 languages and counting!

Our certified (official) translations are accepted for official or legal purposes by government agencies, courts, and other authorities.

For further information and to receive a free quote, feel free to contact us.


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