Certified translation in the UK
Thread poster: Silvia Vaquero

Silvia Vaquero
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 30, 2014

Hi there,

I have a degree in Translation and Interpreting granted by a Spanish University which automatically entitles me to work as a certified translator. However, I haven't done any certified translations since I finished my degree a couple of years ago. I've been living in the UK since around that time and now I may have the opportunity to get some certified translation work.

My friend's boss needs him to provide him with a translated version of his syllabus, I am not aware for what purposes. They think it will need to be a certified translation, but after doing some research it seems that there is no such thing as officially recognised "Certified translators" in this country. I would really like to get started on this but I hardly know where to begin. I'm expecting to receive a scanned copy of the syllabus so that I can provide them with a quote, but it will all depend on whether I am actually authorised to do a certified translation or else in the UK there is no difference between that and a regular translation.

In case there is, I'd really appreciate some guidance on standard fees. Also I don't know to what extent I would be legally responsible for the translation.

Thank you very much in advance.



Annie Rigler  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:42
Member (2010)
English to French
Certified Translation in the UK Jul 1, 2014

Hi Silvia

In order to be able to certify your translations in the UK, you would need to be a member of either the ITI or the MCIL. Otherwise, your certification may not be accepted by official bodies.


Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:42
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Not true Jul 1, 2014

Annie Rigler wrote:
In order to be able to certify your translations in the UK, you would need to be a member of either the ITI or the MCIL. Otherwise, your certification may not be accepted by official bodies.

This is what I always reply to enquiries about certification in the UK:

Always ask the institution requesting the documents to clarify what you need exactly.

Certified translation - the translator adds a clause at the end of the translation that they are qualified and that the translation of the document is accurate and true to the best of the translator's knowledge. It is used for governmental bodies or employers for certificates, diplomas and other documents.

Notarised translation - sometimes required by legal bodies. The process is the same as above, but an affidavit is also sworn in the presence of a notary public in order to declare the translation accurate, which is then confirmed by the notary's stamp and signature. Additional costs for notary public fees apply.

Apostille - this is a notarised translation which is then sent to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The FCO then confirms that the notary public was authorised to sign the translation. It may be required in countries that comply with the Hague Convention. Additional costs on top of the translation apply.

The terms "certified" and "sworn" are sometimes used interchangeably. Sworn translators are on the list of a country's embassy or are authorised by a country's ministry to stamp their translations. In countries that don't have sworn translators, any professional translator can self-certify their work with a declaration.

Professional memberships have nothing to do with this.

The declaration that the translator adds goes something like this (feel free to change this as you wish):

Translator’s Declaration

I, the undersigned, XXX, MA DPSI etc., am a professionally trained translator, competent to translate from Language 1 into Language 2. The attached document titled ‘’Y’’ is, to the best of my knowledge and ability, a true and accurate translation into the target language, Language 2, of the attached Language 1 original presented to me, titled ‘’Y’’.

Contact details

[Edited at 2014-07-01 08:25 GMT]


Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:42
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends on the institution Jul 1, 2014

Hi Silvia,

As Diana says, it depends on the Institution.

I'm an MITI, which means that the ITI provides me with seals that I can attach to my self-certified translations. See here for some guidance from the ITI: http://www.iti.org.uk/about-industry/certification-sworn

Some institutions will specify that a certified translation has to be done by an MITI, FITI or a translator sworn before a court in a non-UK jurisdiction. See for example the requirements of the University of Edinburgh: http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/applying/certified-translations

Try to get as much info as possible about what the certified translation is for, and that will help you decide if you're the right person for the job.

Best wishes,



Jianhong Jane Wang  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:42
Member (2017)
English to Chinese
+ ...
A declaration from the translator Apr 12, 2017

The generally accepted practice in the UK is that the professional translator will include a declaration on the translated document. The declaration should state that they are a professional translator and they believe it to be a ‘true and accurate translation of the original’. Professional translators will often include their qualifications and professional membership details (if applicable) to add authority to the translation.


Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:42
French to English
+ ...
Always ask the client Apr 12, 2017

Silvia Vaquero wrote:

They think it will need to be a certified translation, but after doing some research it seems that there is no such thing as officially recognised "Certified translators" in this country.

Your research is right. You'd think there would be some kind of regulations or laws governing something as important as this, but no. This means that different authorities - such as universities, courts, the General Medical Council, etc. - can have differing requirements for certified translations. From a legal standpoint, absolutely anyone is entitled to set themselves up as a translator. You don't have to join a professional association, but this will add greatly to your credibility and quite a lot of clients out there will insist that certified translations be provided by a translator who is a member of one of the main professional bodies.

Because it's a legal grey area, your friend's boss will need to find out from whoever will read the translation exactly what their idea of a "certified translation" is and who they think is entitled to provide one. If he doesn't, there's a risk that your translation may not be accepted by whoever he gives it to, so there's not much point taking on the work until he has done that.

[Edited at 2017-04-12 19:08 GMT]


United Kingdom
Certified translation in the UK Dec 12, 2017

There are many agencies who can help you with document certification. NATADAN LTD is one of the best translation agency in UK. You can check their website here: http://certifiedandlegalised.co.uk and can get all the information you required.


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Certified translation in the UK

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