What is a Notarised Translation?

Posted: 24th July 2014

Notarisation is the certification or authentication of a document by a notary; when a notary is called upon to certify or authenticate a translation the result may be referred to as a “notarised translation”. There are many reasons why you may be requested to provide a notarised translation. In the majority of cases the request would be made by an overseas governmental authority, a foreign court or a trade registry. For instance, when establishing a branch office of a UK-registered company in a foreign jurisdiction, one of the common filing requirements would be that the lawyers effecting the registration provide an authenticated translation of the original English-language constitutional documents of the company (the Certificate of Incorporation and Memorandum and Articles of Association).

Since the registry will want comfort as to the provenance of the translation you provide, and an assurance that it has been carried out by a properly qualified professional, they are unlikely to be satisfied with a so-called “plain” translation (one that is not certified). Instead it is typical for them to insist that the translation be certified or authenticated by a notary. There are two main ways in which a translation may be notarised: The first option would be for the translation to be completed by a professionally qualified translator, who then signs a certificate which covers their translation. The translator’s certificate states that the translation has been completed to the best of their knowledge and understanding. The notary then acts to certify their signature to the translator’s certificate. Of course, for the notary to certify the translator’s signature they must be personally known to the notary or appear before the notary to identify themselves.

De Pinna Notaries utilises the services of a large number of expert translators, who translate to and from all major world languages. The second way to produce a notarised translation involves the notary translating the documents himself. Some London notaries public, such as those at De Pinna Notaries, are qualified as “Scrivener Notaries”, which means that their training involves extensive study of one foreign jurisdiction’s legal system and language. If you approach a Scrivener Notary for a notarised translation then this lawyer-linguist is qualified to carry out translation into and out of this language himself. This may save time, complications and, ultimately, it may save on costs. Many major modern European languages are translated by Scrivener Notaries in London.

Once the translated document has been notarised in one of these ways the document may require to be “legalised” by Apostille issued by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. For certain destination jurisdictions the stamps of the consular mission of that country are also necessary before the document is in its completed form. At this stage the overseas recipient can be satisfied with the authenticity of the translation and the provenance of the document before them.


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