As of 2018, I am a Certified French to English Translator
recognized by the American Translators Association
as well as a Certified Spanish to English Translator
recognized by the Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia, Canada
. This means that I have the qualifications necessary to provide you with certified translations required by government authorities, legal entities or academic institutions.
A certified translation
is an official translation of a document made by a translator who has passed a specific and very rigorous exam, whose passing rate is usually around 20% among those who try it. This means that it is a very special accreditation indeed. Not every translator is able to offer the services of a certified translator.
Certified translations are generally required by legal or government authorities, such as lawyers, notaries public, courts, consulates, the Immigration and Refugee Board, various Ministries and universities, for example, and these will enable them to issue passports or visas, to perform marriages or to approve applications to study at local schools, to name just a few. They are also necessary for immigration status approval, or in some cases to obtain driver's licences, or even by the Canadian Revenue Agency to approve tax deductions if you are claiming income from working abroad. Certified translations are also requested by businesses and individuals.
Before submitting your certified translation enquiry, check with the authority requesting it whether STIBC certification or ATA certification is required or if either is acceptable. In all my translation packages, I include a statement, wherein I declare that I am a Certified Translator from the language in the original document (Spanish or French) into English, that I am a member in good standing of the pertinent accrediting association, that I translated the attached documents and that the translations accurately reflect the contents and meaning of the originals. If required, and particularly in relation to documents required for a divorce, I can also add an affidavit signed and witnessed by a notary public as there are many notary offices around my area that I can go to for this additional service. I will add the notary public's fee to my invoice to you in this case.
Some of my clients tell me that the translation has to be notarized. This is actually a misnomer as the translation itself cannot be notarized. A notary public can only legally acknowledge, or notarize, the identity of the individual signing the certification statement.
In any case, you must present your original document in French or Spanish (or one authenticated by a notary public or lawyer) to the authority requesting it. It is advisable to study the rules of the entity requesting the certified translation. I will provide you with signed and stamped copies of the pdfs that you e-mail to me certifying that this is the copy that I have seen. I will then attach the certified translations to these copies and stamp and seal them with my certification stamp. In some cases, I am obliged to declare that I have seen the official document. That means you must bring it with you when you come to pick up the translation package so I can compare it with the pdf copy you sent me via e-mail.
Certified translations require much more scrupulous work than ordinary translations. As they are legal documents, they require 100% accuracy as the slightest mistake could have consequences. Not only does the time spent performing the translation usually take longer, the cost of the paper, ink and seal are also elements factored into the quotation. All of them explain the higher cost involved compared to ordinary translations.
After I provide you with a quotation, by counting the number of words in your document, or if there are many dozens of pages, by giving you a ballpark estimate of cost, and if the quotation amount is over $100, I will require a deposit before commencing the translation work. This is usually 50% of the final cost. If it is under $100 and you live in the Vancouver area, I can usually accept a cash payment when you come to pick up the document. If you are not in the Vancouver area, then upfront payment is required. I can then arrange to send you the translation package via Canada Post Xpresspost by adding the cost of the postage to my final invoice. Please let me know in your initial request if you will need the hard copy to be sent to you.
Apart from cash payments, I can accept e-transfers using interac, which is usually the simplest method of payment and available all over Canada. If you are not in Canada, other options are available. For example, I can accept Euros and USD, Western Union payments, which are fairly quick and have low fees, usually a percentage of my invoiced fee, or wire transfers, which take longer and have higher, but set, fees and end up being more economical than Western Union if the invoiced fee is large.
As for those rare requests I receive to certify translations that other people have made, well I could and would only do this if the translation was one hundred percent accurate, as counselled by the ATA. Should there be anything in the other person's translation I differed with, I would not certify it. I am really only happy certifying translations that I have completed myself. For more about the code of ethics upheld by translation and interpretation professionals, please see my ETHICS
Finally, if I have not covered all of your queries about certified translations, feel free to e-mail
me with your additional questions.