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Certifications 101

Learn about when, where and why certified translation needed.
Let's get back to the basics.

What is a certified translation?

Certified translations can only be produced by certified translators - a unique and reserved title for individuals who have qualified and registered with the association of translators in their state/province (e.g. ATIO, ATIA, STIBC, ATA) and subscribed to their code of professional ethics.

Certified translators:

  • can produce certified translations for all provinces, not just for the one they are registered.

  • do not require an affidavit or the seal of a notary public to notarize their documents, unless specifically requested.

  • have a personal stamp, making the documents that they translate a legal record.

  • can provide certified translations for the specific language combination(s) for which they have been authenticated.

In the rare case that a language combination does not yet have a certified translator, including those registered with other provinces, an affidavit or notarized seal along with the document may be accepted. If this is the case, please check with the institution to explain your special circumstances and ensure your documents will be accepted.

What is an Affidavit of Translation or Notarized Translation?

An affidavit of translation is an additional document that states the translation is a true representation of the contents of the original document. It must be signed in the presence of a lawyer or other legal authority (with the power to administer oath).


A notarized translation is produced when the notary public provides their seal on the affidavit of translation.

Many institutions require professional translators to provide an affidavit of translation or a notarized translation. Translations requiring an affidavit can be produced by professional translators and certified translators (reserved title for individuals who have qualified and registered with the association of translators in their state or province).

Certified translators do not need to provide an affidavit or notarized seal unless specifically requested by the institution.

What is a Regular Translation?

Regular translations, including documents such as blogs, essays, websites or similar records that are not required for legal purposes, can be translated by professional and certified translators. An electronically signed certificate of translation is attached to all non-certified translations.

Many individuals choose to work with certified translators to ensure the accuracy of the translation and to support the authentication and legalization process. However, it is essential to note that translation exams are one-directional, meaning that if a translator is certified in translating from English to French, they are not certified in translation from French to English. Therefore, certified translators are only able to provide certified translations for the specific language combination for which they have been authenticated and do not take the role of a notary or any other legal authority in that manner.


Important: If you are unsure which type of translation you require, check with your legal counsel or the institution that has requested the documents.

Available Certification Types

Certified by a Province or State

Affidavit of Translation

Affidavit of Translation

An affidavit of translation is a translator’s declaration stating under oath that the translation is a true and accurate version of the original text. This declaration is signed by both the translator and a commissioner of oaths/notary public.


Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, some lawyers provide this service removely via videochat. If selecting this option, please make sure an electronically signed affidavit is accepted by your institution.

Notarized Translation

Notarized Translation

A notarized translation is produced when the notary public provides their seal on the affidavit of translation.


This type of certification is not the same as certified translation. It may be accepted instead of a certified translation depending on the institution documents are being sent to.

IRB Accredited

IRB Accredited

Services completed by translators and interpreters accredited and security-cleared by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.


This type of certification is not the same as certified translation. It may be accepted instead of a certified translation depending on the institution documents are being sent to.

Certificate of Translation

Certificate of Translation

A certificate of translation is an electronically signed declaration completed by all professional translators, which states that the translation is a true and accurate version of the original text. This document is attached to non-certified translations.

Check out our blog to learn more information about certified translation services.