A guide to official document translation

Whether it’s a marriage certificate required for a visa application, patent applications or security clearance checks that are essential to business operations, precise official document translation is paramount.

Where these documents need to be submitted through official channels, translated versions will typically need to be certified to evidence their credibility.

It’s a topic NRL’s Languages team is only too familiar with, as they help clients every week to ensure a range of legal documents are expertly translated. They share their tips.

The accuracy of the translation is extremely important, says NRL’s Language Consultant Charlotte.

Let’s say you’re applying for a UK work visa but your marriage certificate is in Hungarian, or you want the UK authorities to understand your overseas assets, but the statements are from a Chinese bank. These documents typically won’t be accepted by officials until they are accompanied by English language version translations.

Avoid using online translation tools to do it yourself, as these come with a high risk of missing the intended purpose of the words being translated – which can create some awkward and unprofessional end results.

It’s also never a good idea to ask a friend who has some knowledge of the language you’re looking to translate. Translation of official documentation isn’t as straight forward as translating a few lines of text, so it’s important that the people transcribing the document knows what they’re doing – which is where a translation company comes in.

Our Translations Project Manager Veronica is keen to point out that whichever company you select to do the work must be credible.

That’s because official channels such as the Home Office will typically only except certified language replicas. Translated official documents often require a certificate of translation attesting to their authenticity. This certification demonstrates that a competent and professional translator or translation company has performed the work, confirming the document’s accuracy.

NRL are long-standing corporate members of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, so language projects delivered for clients are accompanied by a certification letter.

Never submit documents for official and legal applications without proofreading them first. It’s something our Languages team say provides an essential final check to make sure all sections of a document have been accuracy translated.

That’s why proofreading is included as standard with document translations provided by NRL, and our team of experienced linguists can work across more than 135 languages to provide expert translations of personal and legal documents.

It’s important to remember that any inaccuracies and mistakes made on official documents and applications can often incur lengthy delays and additional costs to resubmit, so we’d highly recommend ensuring you’re confident you have a certified version of any translated materials you need to submit alongside your applications.

Looking for support with official document translation?

Our team are always happy to chat through any requirements you may have, before assigning your language project to a qualified and experienced translator.

If you’re in a rush to get documents returned back to you, they’ll be able to turn these around within pre-agreed timescales.

You can start a conversation with them through the live chat on this website during office hours, or submitting your details to request a call back.