Business Translation Center

What is certified translation and when do you need to use it?

by OFER TIROSH 25/01/2017

Certified translation has many uses in a business context. In essence, certified translation is a way to prove that the translation is a genuine, accurate copy of the original document. The translator who undertakes the translation will issue a certificate of translation stating this. The certificate of translation can then be used to demonstrate the fact that the translated document is a certified copy of the original. 

In a corporate environment, certified translation plays many roles. It is a way for a business to assure itself – and those it works with – that everyone can have the same understanding of a document, regardless of the language in which they read it. 

Legal agreements and contracts with overseas suppliers, investors and other interested parties is one area where certified translation is essential. Lasting cross-border and inter-language working relationships take time and skill to build properly. Certified translation ensures that the level of attention to detail that has gone into making those connections is also applied to the written documents used to cement the relationship. It can avoid misunderstandings and complications on all sides of a transaction. 

Human resources departments can also make use of certified translation in several ways. The contracts between a company and its employees are legally binding documents, as are items like redundancy agreements. It is therefore essential that when these are translated into other languages, they precisely reflect the original documents. 

It can also be good practice to obtain certificates of translation for company policies that are replicated into other languages. Policy documents create the legal framework by which the company and its employees must abide. Any errors in translation could therefore have large-scale ramifications. Businesses looking to avoid potential legal issues further down the line would do well to use certified translation when converting their policies into other languages. 

The manufacturing process can also benefit from certified translation. Instruction manuals and packaging produced in multiple languages need to directly reflect the contents of the original. This is particularly important where those documents contain safety information regarding the product. Companies seeking peace of mind as part of their manufacturing process are advised to use certified translation to assure themselves that their goods are being sent out with the correct information, regardless of the country they are being sent to. 

Business translation can take many forms and this list is far from exhaustive. As a rule of thumb, if a document is important or could have legal ramifications in its original language, it’s best to obtain a certificate of translation when producing it in other languages.