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How to provide a certificate of accuracy to client
Thread poster: Maria Diaz

Maria Diaz
United States
Local time: 16:54
English to Spanish
Jul 1, 2003

I used to do in-house translations (ENG to SPN) in the company I used to work for in the US. They're very happy with my job, and now I'm looking into doing the same for them as a freelance translator, but they require a certificate of accuracy for each job.

How do I provide it? Do I need a stamp/seal or are there other ways to do it? What are the legal implications? I also heard the stamp/seal needs to be notarized...

I have no degree, certificate or diploma in translation, so I'm not sure what it should say... I'd apreciate some advice!

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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:54
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Certification of translations in the U.S. Jul 1, 2003

Perhaps this is what they are referring to.


"What is a Certified Translation?

In the United States a certified translation consists of the following three parts:
1) The source-language (original) text
2) The target-language (translated) text
3) A statement signed by the translator or translation company representative, with his or her signature notarized by a Notary Public, attesting that the translator or translation company representative believes the target-language text to be an accurate and complete translation of the source-language text. Sometimes this statement bears the title “Certificate of Accuracy” or “Statement that Two Documents Have the Same Meaning.” Some translators will attach a Curriculum Vitae to the notarized statement.

Please note that any translator and any translation company representatives, regardless of credentials, may “certify” a translation in this way. A translator does not need to be “certified” in order to provide a “certified translation.” It is also important to realize that the Notary Public seal assures only that the signature is that of the person who presented him or herself to the notary. The Notary Public is not attesting to the accuracy of the translation.

What is a certified translator?

In contrast to many other countries, in the United States there is no federal or state licensing or certification for translators. There are some credentials available to translators working in some language pairs in this country, but they do not carry the same weight--in the market place or in the translation community--as federal licensing or certification in other countries.

The American Translators Association offers translator “accreditation” in some language pairs. ATA accredited translators are required to specify the language pairs and directions in which they are accredited. For example, a translator accredited in German to English is not necessarily accredited in English to German.

The Department of Social & Health Services in Washington State screens translators in several languages to translate DSHS materials. Translators who have passed this screening in a specific language pair may call themselves “DSHS Certified Translators.”

The Translators and Interpreters Guild, a national organization of independent professional language translators and interpreters, announced in September 2000 that it will be offering TTIG Certification for translators.

Please note that there are many languages for which there is no type of certification or screening available in this country. There are many excellent, experienced translators who are not accredited or certified.
In the United States it is not necessary to be certified or licensed in order to provide a certified translation for official use."

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
It is not regulated Jul 2, 2003

GoodWords is right, there is nothing regulated on an overall basis in the USA regarding translation. Normally a notarized statement saying that "this is a complete and accurate translation from language A to language B and I know both, etc." is about all you can give and all anyone can expect.

However I have found that U.S. Federal Court certification is quite an advantage and often a requirement when translating legal documents, but certifications from other agencies, state and local, can also be a big plus.

Many good translators have no such recognition at all, nor would it be possible except for a few common languages such as Spanish, etc. (yes, mostly Spanish, not many others).

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Maria Diaz
United States
Local time: 16:54
English to Spanish
Are there diff. ways to get a "certificate of accuracy" notarized? Jul 2, 2003

GoodWords/Henri, thank you very much for the information! I still have some questions about the way to do it.

When you say:"A statement signed by the translator or translation company representative, with his or her signature notarized by a Notary Public..." Do I have to get a notarized certificate of accuracy individually for each job (in original) or can I use a general one for all jobs?

Do I have to provide the client with an original every time?

Where can I see samples of what the certificate should say/look like?

I don't know if this sounds crazy or makes any sense: Can I get a stamp or seal with my information (or the notary public info.?) notarized and then stamp every translated document or certifcate of accuracy?

Lastly, what are the legal implications of doing this? Is there any liability? To what extent?

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