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In the UK there is no “certified translator” or “official translator” status.

However, translations of documents to be submitted to government departments, offices of official bodies and the like often need “certification”, sometimes known as "verification". In particular in the case of documents to be sent overseas, the translation may need to be “notarised” and possibly to receive an “apostille” from the UK Foreign Office.

It is important to find out from the organisation that is to receive the translation, what type of certification they require.

The options are the following:

  1. Self-certification” by the translator. The translator states their name, address and qualfications, the fact that they have good knowledge of the languages in question, signs and dates the certificate, on their headed notepaper. This may be accompanied by a seal from their professional institute and a countersignature by a qualified colleague.

  2. Statutory declaration before a solicitor, also known as a “swearing”. The translator attends the solicitor’s office, signs and swears to a declaration in a specific form of words mentioning their name and stating that the translation is faithful to the original document.  For use in the UK only.

  3. Notarisation. In this case the translator attends the office of a public notary and carries out a procedure comparable to 2 above. If required, the notary can usually arrange for the signed and stamped certificate, original document and translation to be forwarded to the Foreign Office for apostillation. It may be necessary for the client to also attend the notary. If your document is for use in a country other than the countries of the UK, notarisation will be required in most cases.


  1. The translator will make a small additional charge.

  2. In this case, in addition to the charge for the translation, the translator will charge for the time spent to attend the solicitor, plus the solicitor’s fee.

  3. As in 2, the translator will need to charge for time spent attending the notary’s office, plus the notary’s fee.


Please note that if certification is required, time will need to be allowed for solicitor or notary appointments if necessary, and for posting a printed original of the certificate and document + translation if that is required. In the case of notarisation, attendance by the client may be necessary.

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