Why You Might Need a Marriage Certificate Translated

If you intend travelling to another country for a job, a course or to migrate permanently, you will inevitably need to provide a number of personal documents for assessment by the relevant immigration authority. This includes confirmation of marital status. It is becoming rarer these days for someone to be actually married rather than being in a civil union or cohabiting, but if legally married, then that status must be confirmed by providing the marriage certificate. The corollary is that if the person is applying to go to a country where the official language is different from his/her own, then all the personal documents will typically have to be translated by a professional translator. There are different rules about how the translation should be authenticated depending on the country that is requesting documents, so there may be a need for certification, legalisation or notarisation, in addition to translation.

The requirements for marriage certificate translation

The main requirements for marriage certificate translation are the same as for all other official document translations. The assessing authority needs to be sure that the translated documents they are provided with are genuine translations of the original. Even if you can speak the language of the country you are going to fluently, it will not be appreciated if you translate any of your own documents yourself or get a friend to do the translation.

You will need to use a professional translator who can ensure an accurate translation of every feature and piece of text on the marriage certificate including seals, watermarks, etc. You will also need to ensure that the translator used is legitimate in the country you have to present the translation to. For example, in Australia, translators who are used to translate official documents for immigration purposes must be accredited with the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). Other countries may have their own version. For example, in France, translators must be sworn translators, registered by a French Court of Appeal.

The need for a certified translator

Although there are different rules about certified translations, certification or notarisation is a common addition to the translation process. Certification is normally done by the translator and may just be an endorsement attached to the translation confirming it is a “true and accurate” version of the original, accompanied by the signature of the translator.

Notarisation is slightly different as then the translated document is taken to a notary or other legal figure and a statement is made under oath before the notary is made conforming that the translation is accurate version of the original. Normally, it is the translator who takes the translation for notarisation, not the holder of the certificate.

Find the right language service provider

When marriage certificates and other important personal documents must be provided to an immigration authority or other assessment body, there is no sense in shortcutting the process. As a translation will need to be certified, you will need to use the right language service provider / translator to do all your translations for you to avoid having your documents and application rejected or delayed.