Certified Translation Services
Usually, for a document’s translation to be accepted by a government agency, the translation has to be certified. Certified translations services are professional human translations performed by a competent translator, and the translator certifies the translation’s accuracy, completeness, and veracity through a signed certification of accuracy statement. A clear distinction has to be made between certified translations and certified translations performed by certified translators.
With the exception stipulated in Government Code §27293, a certified translation can be performed by any competent translator regardless of the existence of the qualification “certified translator”. In other words, a translator typically does not need to be certified in order to be able to perform a certified translation. The translator’s level of competency can be established through other means such as level of education, the extent of experience and internal examinations. As you understood already, the USA is more liberal in regards to by whom the documents are translated. Regardless of the existence of translator’s certification, as long as the translation is accompanied by a signed “certification of accuracy statement” the translator is liable for any inaccuracies in the translation. In a certified translation, the translator must translate accurately and completely the document without paraphrasing or altering the content. Even though the translation may sound odd when the text is transferred from a foreign language, no major editing is allowed either.
Now let’s discuss the exception to the general rule which affects the certified translations. Government Code §27293 permits California county clerks to certify documents translated into English only if the document has been translated by American Translators Association certified translators, California Certified Court Interpreters, or California Registered Interpreters. California Certified Court or Registered Interpreters are authorized in a judicial proceeding to interpret orally the verbal content of documents, but the Judicial Council does not otherwise test or certify an interpreter’s written translation skills. AB 349, the 2007 legislation responsible for this provision under Government Code §27293, can be found at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_0301-0350/ab_349_bill_20070926_chaptered.pdf . As a result, the legislation imposes some restrictions in certain cases when the certified translation of document can be performed only by certified or registered translators. However, in this type of cases an important issue arises: “What if no certification or registration is offered for a rare language pair in the USA?”. For example ATA offers certifications only for the following language pairs:
* into English from Arabic, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish;
* from English into Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian.
Let’s examine the list of language pairs which are California court certified. The Judicial Council’s Master List of Certified Court Interpreters states that currently the certification is offered for the following languages: American Sign Language, Arabic, Armenian, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. And also a limited list of registered languages is available. However, please note that you won’t be able to find certified or registered translators in the USA for all languages.
Be very careful when you request a certified or registered translator for your project because these translators charge very high fees. We advise everyone to consult with the agency where they plan to submit the translation in order to verify if a certified or registered translator is required.
Our professional translation and management teams are always dedicated to providing language translation solutions that meet the highest standards. The doors to our translation agency are open to everyone regardless of the project’s size and level of difficulty. Please contact us today for a free quote. We appreciate your business.