What type of translation do you need?
A translation is simply the conversion of written text from one language to another. Sometimes when an institution requests that you provide translated documents, it often asks you to a certified translation. But what is a certified translation?
What is a certified translation?
In many European countries and in Brazil, certified translators are produced by a public translator who has taken and passed an exam in order to be able to certify their work with a personalized stamp. In Portuguese, this public translator is known as a tradutor juramentado. According to the Brazilian legislation, however, tradutores juramentados are NOT allow to provide services outside the Brazilian territory. Therefore, if you need a document translated from English into Portuguese that will be presented to an official government agency in Brazil, it is possible that you will need to contact a tradutor juramentado based in Brazil. Please contact the receiving institution to verify whether they require that your documents must be translated by a tradutor juramentado.
In the United States, there is not such a requirement. Here, certified translation is one to which the translator has added a statement that the translation is true, accurate, and correct “to the best of my knowledge and ability” (Denzel Dyer). The statement may be made under oath, or “under penalty of perjury”, and may be notarized to confirm the identity of the person signing the statement.
Some American-based translators, however, may have a certification from the American Translators Association (ATA). Please verify with the receiving institution whether they require that your documents are translated by an ATA-certified interpreter (such requests are not common, but sometimes they do come up). In my certification, I provide my qualifications and affiliations as found here
Please note that, while, in principal, anyone could produce certified translations in the United States, you should make sure that you are hiring a qualified professional to translate and certify their documents. It is important to remember that just because someone speaks a foreign language, it does not mean that person has the necessary skills required to provide an accurate translation of your documents, much in the same way that "having fingers does not qualify someone as a pianist". A high quality and accurate translation is one that is often produced by an individual who not only has deep knowledge of the two languages in question, but who also knows the relevant cultures and specific contexts in which the documents were produced, whether they are legal, medical, pharmaceutical, legal, etc. in nature).
Certified translations are delivered digitally or in hard-copy documents (by mail or pick up). Please verify with the receiving institution which format they required.
What is a certified translation?
The cost of translations depends on many variables, ranging from source and target language, source document format, nature of the source text (e.g., technical or common language), standard delivery time frame or urgent delivery requiring work after-hours or on weekends and holidays, among others. Consequently, each document must be carefully analyzed before a quote can be provided.
adapted from Translationmusings.com