Translation Services for Families

February 28, 2024
Translation Services for Families

I feel there’s a certain satisfaction that comes from providing translation services for families. In many instances, family translation services can be life-changing. They can enable families to move overseas, access education and even gain citizenship of other countries.

As such, I felt it was well worth exploring what translation services for families who don't speak English involve. Below, I look at the kinds of translation services that families need and the benefits they can provide. Whether you’re a family in need of translation or a translator looking for tips on translating for families, there’s something for everyone below. Let’s dive in. 

What Is Unique About Providing Translation Services for Families? 

For me, the unique part of providing translation services for families is the personalised nature of the service. An agency that provides translation services for families can make a huge impact on their lives.

There are two elements to this. The first is the practical outcomes that providing high-quality translations can deliver. Completing an immigration process successfully, for example.

The other element relates to stress reduction. Providing translation services for non-English speaking families can bring order and organisation to processes that can be complex and demanding. So there’s a real sense of relieving a burden associate with providing family translation services. 

Common Translation Services Families Need

Translation services for families whose home language is other than English cover a range of areas. Let’s walk through some of the most commonly requested services. 

Immigration Translations

When you think about family translation services, immigration requirements are usually top of mind. Settling in another country can be an exciting adventure but from a paperwork perspective it can be stressful. Most countries have set procedures that immigrants have to comply with, including requirements around the translation of foreign-language documentation.

Depending on the country in question, immigrants may have to produce birth certificates, marriage certificates, contracts of employment, bank statements and a whole host of other documents – all in the language of the country they plan to move to.

I’ll dive into the detail of the various documents below, but it might help to look at a working example of the immigration process here.

Let’s consider the USA. Pew Research points to Mexico as the top country from which those immigrating to the US originate. Immigrants born in Mexico account for 25% of all those moving permanently to the US, with 11.2 million Mexicans now living north of the border. China follows, with 2.9 million citizens living in the US, while the country is also home to 2.6 million people born in India, 2.0 million born in the Philippines and 1.4 million from El Salvador.

Any agency that provides translation services for families immigrating to the US therefore needs to make a number of languages available, including Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, Urdu, Tagalog and more.

Immigration applications are processed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). You can find out more about meeting the translation requirements of the USCIS by clicking the link below. Those requirements are exacting, requiring families to produce sufficient documentation to apply to work, study or become citizens of the USA.

When those documents are in a foreign language, they must be translated in a way that complies with USCIS standards. This means using a suitably accredited translator who can certify the completeness and accuracy of the translation. Not providing the required documents or the properly certified translations can risk the application for citizenship, or to work or study in the US, being delayed or even declined.

Of course, language barriers work both ways, so it’s not necessarily just translation into English that is required for dealing with the USCIS. A family looking to settle in the US may also require translations of English language documents into their native tongue. Let me provide a few examples of these.

Read more: USCIS Translation Services


Each country takes its own approach to visas. The US, for example, has over 50 visa categories for those wishing to travel to or settle in it. For families who don’t speak English at home, understanding visa paperwork and requirements will be easier in their own language. As such, family translation services often work with visa documentation. 

Naturalization Documents

The same applies to families going through a country’s naturalization process, which can involve reading and acting upon numerous documents. Families who don’t speak the language of that country at home often call in translation services to help them understand the detail of the process. 

Green Cards

A Green Card (officially called a permanent resident card) shows that the bearer has been granted the right to live permanently in the US. As with the application processes for visas and naturalization, there are numerous hoops for families to jump through. Again, translation can help bring clarity and efficiency to the situation. 

Other Immigration Documents

This list is by no means exhaustive. Translation services for families provide support with a wide range of documents, including the application forms themselves. 

Legal Translations 

Family translation services don’t only deal with immigration applications. Another commonly requested service is the translation of legal papers. This can range from papers relating to custody arrangements to those pertaining to the legal process.

I’ve included a few examples of the translation of legal documents below. You can visit our legal translation service page via the following link in order to find out more about what legal translation involves.

Read more: Legal Translation Services 

Marriage Certificates

Translation services for non-English speaking families are often called upon to translate marriage certificates. These can be required as part of the immigration process, but may also be required by banks, housing agencies and other professional bodies. For further details on marriage translation, you can click the link below.

Read more: Marriage Certificate Translation

Annulment and Divorce Papers

Just as families often require marriage certificate translations, so to do they need translators to work on annulment and divorce papers. Again, such requests are usually prompted by the requirement of a professional organisation such as a bank or an insurance company. 

Other Legal Documents

Various other legal documents fall under the umbrella of translation services for families whose language is other than English.

The translation of driving licence and insurance documents, for example, may be required when a family moves overseas, either temporarily or permanently. Passports might need to be translated for immigration or employment purposes, as might birth certificates. You can explore birth certificate translation in greater depth by clicking the link below.

Read more: Birth Certificate Translation Services 

Academic Translations

When it comes to studying overseas, local translation services for families may work on academic records, essays and research papers as part of an individual’s application to go to university in another country.

Sometimes, family translation services are also asked to translate diploma certificates and similar. If an individual has graduated in their home country, for example, then seeks work overseas, they may need to show evidence of their qualifications in the language of the country in which they plan to work. You can read more about diploma translation via the link below.

Read more: Diploma Translation Services

Other Use Cases

There are many other documents that a translation service for families might be asked to work on. A few examples include: 

  • Police records

  • Health records

  • Car insurance paperwork – particularly if a driver is trying to protect their no claims bonus when moving from one country to another

  • Proof of eligibility to work

Some of these documents, and I’m particularly thinking of the health records here, may require the use of a specialist translator. Family members with complex health issues, for example, will need a skilled medical translator to work on their health records, rather than an all-purpose translation professional.

Families also require transcript translation for certain tasks. Schools and employers, for example, may need to see an official transcript of the academic record of a student or graduate. This is another specialist area of translation – one that you can find out more about by clicking on the link below.

Read more: Transcript Translation Services

Tips When Translating for Families

Because family translation is different from corporate translation, there are several factors that translators need to keep in mind. These include: 

Focus on Budget 

Families’ translation budgets are often limited and need to be stuck to rigidly. If a job looks likely to cost more than their budget allows, it’s essential to discuss this right from the outset of the work. It’s also important to be clear during the translation process that any documents that get added on will have a cost implication. 


Providing translation services for families whose home language is not English isn’t the same as translating for giant corporations. The work is far more personal and, as such, may require more empathy and understanding on the part of the translator.  

Seek Clarity on Goals

As with any translation job, it’s important to understand the client’s desired outcomes before you start translating. Are they applying to settle in a country or simply to work or study there? Being clear on what’s needed will make it easier for the translator to help meet that need. 

Discuss Timescales

Families many well be using translation services for the first time. As such, any translator or agency that provides translation services for families needs to set clear and realistic expectations regarding how long the work will take. This is particularly important where an external deadline, such as that imposed by an immigration service, applies to the job. 

Why Choose Our Services? 

Don’t just Google translation services for families whose home language is other than English near me and click a random link. If you’re searching for high quality, accurate translations, Tomedes is here to help.

Our family translation service is reliable, affordable and timely. We will work with you to understand what you need and why, to that we ensure that we deliver the perfect translation, each and every time. We’ll also ensure we meet your deadlines and stick to the agreed budget for the work, so that you know from the outset what to expect, when and what it’s going to cost.

For those looking for family translation services as part of the USCIS immigration process, we offer complete peace of mind. We guarantee with 100% certainty that our certified USCIS translations will be accepted. We’ve found that this can remove a great deal of the stress from the process for the families with whom we work. 


What makes translation services for families unique compared to other translation services?

Translation services for families are unique due to their personalized nature, focusing on the specific needs and circumstances of each family. These services can significantly impact families by facilitating major life events such as immigration, education, and legal processes, making them more than just a simple language conversion.

What are some common types of documents that require translation for families moving or immigrating to a new country?

Families moving or immigrating often need translations of various documents, including immigration papers, legal documents (like marriage and divorce certificates), academic records, and other personal documents such as birth certificates, medical records, and employment contracts to comply with the new country's regulations.

How do translation services help reduce the stress and complexity of immigration and other processes for non-English speaking families?

Translation services streamline complex and demanding processes like immigration by providing accurate and clear translations of necessary documents. This clarity brings order and organization, significantly reducing the stress and burden on families navigating these challenges.

What are some key considerations for translators when providing services to families?

Translators should focus on the family's budget, empathize with their personal circumstances, seek clarity on the family's goals, and discuss realistic timescales. Understanding the family's needs and maintaining clear communication are crucial for successful outcomes.


Are you a family in need of translation services? They can help you to deal with a range of situations:

  • Moving to another country, either temporarily or permanently

  • Studying overseas

  • Working abroad

Family translation services deal with a wide range of documents, including:

  • Visas

  • Naturalization documents

  • Green Cards

  • Marriage, annulment and divorce certificates

  • Birth certificates

  • Essays, academic records and diploma certificates

  • Passports

If you’re a translator who provides a translation service for families, then it’s important to bear in mind that the process will require:

  • Careful adherence to the family’s budget

  • Clarity around timescales

  • Empathy and understanding

  • Clarity over the goals that the family is seeking to achieve 

Above all else, it’s worth remembering that family translation services can have a significant impact on the lives of those who require the services. They can help families to make their dreams of moving overseas come true, lead to academic or financial success by opening up educational or employment opportunities and do much to relieve the stress involved in various processes where the language barrier is unhelpful.

This can be a rewarding and enjoyable translation service to provide – one that delivers outcomes that translators can be proud to be part of. 

By Ofer Tirosh

Ofer Tirosh is the founder and CEO of Tomedes, a language technology and translation company that supports business growth through a range of innovative localization strategies. He has been helping companies reach their global goals since 2007.



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