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Fuschia Hutton

How to translate a certificate from Italian to English


If you need to translate a certificate from Italian to English, you might not know where to start.

Maybe your university has requested an English translation of your degree transcripts, or you need a translation of your marriage of civil partnership certificate for your visa application.

They may have given you some tips on their requirements, but chances are you have been left on your own to figure it out for yourself.

Here is the lowdown on what you need to know before you translate your certificate from Italian to English.

Do I need a sworn translation?

Perhaps you’ve heard that you need a sworn translation, but you don’t know what that is.

Unlike some other countries, in the UK there is no a concept of a sworn translation – where a translation is legally accredited by a court. Instead, we have three levels of certification depending on your requirements:

  1. Self-certification. The translator provides a signed declaration that they are a professional translator. They might detail their qualifications in the languages involved, and whether or not they are a member of a professional body. Authorities and companies in the UK generally recognise this, but you should check with the organisation you need to submit the translation to whether this is acceptable.
  2. Affidavit. If a UK court will be using you certificate, then you will need an affidavit. The translator makes a sworn affirmation in front of a solicitor or commissioner.
  3. Notarisation. If you need the certificate for a court or authority in another country, then you will need notarisation. Notarisation is a fairly long process and a fairly expensive addition (around £90 on top of the translation).

Self-certification is the cheapest option, followed by affadivit, and then notarisation. So it is well worth checking what you need.

In my experience, the Home Office accepts self-certified translations from translators who belong to a professional body. However, I would always advise that you check with the organisation that you need to submit your translated certificate to.

How can I prevent against fraud?

Of course, when you are dealing with sensitive documentation such as certificates and identification, fraud is a serious issue. You don’t want your certificate or its translation to fall into the wrong hands.

The Chartered Institute of Linguists, strongly advises that translators only send self-certified translations of certificates by post, instead of digital copies. This is to avoid someone stealing your certificate and attaching it to a fraudulent certificate (in the event of a computer hack).

This means I usually request the hard copy of your certificate to be send directly to me by recorded delivery. I then return it to you along with the translation, which prevents someone from separating and then using them.

How much will it all cost?

Expect a certificate translation to cost £50 as a minimum, which would cover a simple, one-page certificate. Other factors also have an impact:

  • If the certificate in digital or hard-copy format, and what format it is.
  • The number of words, or if this is difficult to calculate, the number of pages and density of type.
  • Whether it is typed or includes handwritten elements (for example, historical records can be decidedly tricky to decipher!)
  • Which level of certification you need (if any): self-certification, affadavit, or notarisation.
  • Your deadline.

Do you need to translate a certificate from Italian to English? Drop me an email today and let’s see how I can help you.