Resources / Blog

Certified Translation: 6 Questions You Need to Know the Answer to

Sep 21, 2021

In certain situations, a translation may not be enough – it may require a certified translation. So what exactly is a certified translation? When might a certified translation be required? Morningside provides certified translation services for legal and official documents around the globe.

In our experience, here are six questions you need to know the answer to before getting started with your language solutions provider (LSP) on your certified translation project.

I. What is a certified translation?

A certified translation is a signed statement from a translation services company or LSP stating that the translation accurately and precisely represented the source document. Certified translations act as a legal record, which may be needed for several reasons, and any LSP can certify a translation.

II. Is a certified translation the same as a certified translator?

No, these terms mean two different things. A certified translator passed an exam and became certified by an organization affiliated with translations, such as the American Translators Association. 

III. When might a certified translation be required?

A certified translation might be required when someone needs to submit legal documents where the original documents or content are not written in the country’s official language where the documents will be submitted. This could include legal documents for court cases and certificates such as marriage, birth or death certificates.

It might also be needed in regulatory situations, such as the certification of medical translations, where the content has to be approved by a regulatory agency or a governing body. In these cases, documents such as research, protocols and patents may need to be certified.

ISO standards may also drive the need for a certified translation. If a company requires certified translations as part of their ISO process, they will request them from their translation company.

IV. Is there a unique process for a certified translation?

A certified translation is processed the same way that other translations are handled. Usually, a professional translation company will assign certified translations to their most senior translators since high-quality translations are essential when a certified translation is required. The process needs to follow a complete review cycle before the translation is completed and sent to the client.

V. What Does a Certified Translation Look Like?

In addition to the actual translation, a certified translation comes with a document. As previously mentioned, a certified translation is a signed statement. It contains a unique identification number to be tracked, the customer document number, the translated document number(s), the source language and target language(s), and other necessary company or document information.

VI. What Does a Certified Translation Cost?

The cost of a certified translation is estimated just like any other type of translation. It’s based on a per-word charge, and desktop publishing (DTP) charges. Some translation companies charge extra to prepare a certification, and others don’t.


Morningside equips the world’s leading organizations with end-to-end translation and localization solutions in 200+ languages. With over 4,000 clients in 55 countries, Morningside is recognized for our subject matter expertise in regulated industries such as IP, legal services, life sciences, and corporate compliance. With a network of 8,000+ linguists supported by best-in-class technology, our language translation services ensure that your ideas seamlessly reach new markets and audiences while allowing you to do more with your budget.

Ready to begin your certified translation project? Contact us today, and let’s get started.


Get the latest insights delivered to your inbox

  • ¨ You agree we can store your data. We promise to keep it safe. Learn More