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How to get a certified translation in the UK

July 30th, 2020

The UK system for obtaining a certified translation differs to many other countries. It does not have a system of sworn translators but instead you can obtain a ‘self-certification’ from a UK translator. 

According to the UK government, a certified translation should include:

  • a statement from the translator declaring that it’s a ‘true and accurate translation of the original document’
  • the date of the translation
  • the full name and contact details of the translator or a representative of the translation company

Technically any translator based in the UK can carry out this self-certification, however, the UK Home Office and most official bodies require the translations to be carried out by a member of a professional body of translators, such as the ITI (Institute of Translation & Interpreting) or the CIOL (Chartered Institute of Linguists). These institutions provide their members with either a seal/sticker or a member’s logo to prove professional qualification. If a translation agency is a member of the relevant official bodies, they can also provide a certificate of accuracy. 

In addition to this, you can get a translation countersigned by a solicitor, signed in the presence of a notary or get certification provided by the applicant's embassy or consulate. 

This differs from certification in many other countries. In Portugal, for example, after a translation is carried out by any professional translator, it is then certified by a notary, solicitor or lawyer where the translator swears that it is translated to the best of their abilities.

When obtaining a UK certified translation, it is always worth checking with the authorities involved whether a self-certified translation is sufficient or if they would like it countersigned by a solicitor or notarised.





by Henrietta Body