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Gherson Answers Your Questions - Translation Services

Posted by: Gherson Immigration

Gherson has an in-house Translation Department that complements our legal services by offering certified translation of your documents as required by the Home Office, UK courts and other UK authorities.

Our team of translators consists of dedicated and qualified professionals, all of whom are registered with the Chartered Institute of Linguists (an accredited UK professional body for language practitioners). Besides legal translation and interpreting, we also specialise in a number of other areas and provide bespoke language services to our clients while maintaining strict confidentiality.

Why do I need my documents translated into English?

UK authorities, be it the Home Office, a UK court, or any other institution, require that foreign-language documents submitted in support of a visa or any other application be translated into English and duly certified by relevant translators before the document may be relied upon.

Why can’t I translate documents myself?

- Certified Translation

As mentioned above, translations submitted to the UK authorities have to be certified by relevant translators. This means that for each completed piece of work, the translator must vouch in writing that he/she has provided an accurate rendition of the original text, and leave his /her contact details, including membership number with a professional body (such as the Chartered Institute of Linguists). This procedure is to ensure that the translator can be called upon if a discrepancy is found, or in the event of any other dispute over the translated text.

- Professional Services

Rendering a text from one language to another involves a little more than translating individual words and arranging them into a sentence.

Choosing the right turn of phrase that accurately reflects the meaning of the original document without missing any detail or introducing unintended confusion, that sounds authentic and uses an appropriate tone (i.e. does not sound too familiar) for use in communications with the Home Office or court officials is something which requires years of professional training and experience.

It is important to remember that our dedicated team of translators is there to ensure that you can communicate with the UK authorities in a way that truly and accurately represents yourself and your case.

Why should I be cautious of using translation agencies?

Not all translation agencies are bad; in fact, there are some very good professional companies that maintain high standards. However, there are a number of things that you should be aware of if you consider using a translation agency:

- Potential Quality Issues

Most translation agencies do not have a dedicated in-house team and engage freelance translators on a project-by-project basis. When recruiting freelancers for a project, some agencies neglect to duly verify the translators’ qualifications and may end up selecting people who are not fit for the job.

Although certain translation agencies would still certify documents translated by such non-qualified individuals, the poor quality of the translated text will ultimately make it unusable for the designated purpose and may lead to the document being disregarded by the relevant UK authority and potentially weakening your case.

- Potential Confidentiality Breach

Being an established translator, I am often approached by translation agencies willing to contract me for a project. In my experience, it is not uncommon to receive a mass email (probably sent to hundreds of other translators) with a job request, which includes an entire set of client documents, including the client’s name, address, passport details and family history along with every detail of the legal dispute they are involved in. While this is undoubtedly a gross breach of client confidentiality and should not – and absolutely does not – happen in reputable firms (such as Gherson), these situations are still fairly common, and clients should beware of being potentially exposed in this way when working with certain translation agencies.

In conclusion, it is important to emphasise that whether you have engaged Gherson to assist you with a regular visa application or to represent you in connection to a complex legal matter, you should rest assured that your information will be handled with due care and in strict confidentiality, and that your documents will be translated accurately and in line with the highest professional standards.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for advice on your individual circumstances, send us an e-mail, or alternatively, follow us on Twitter to stay up to date.


The information in these blogs is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in these blogs. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2021

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