Why a Birth Certificate Needs a Professional Translation

Last Updated On: February 8, 2022



If your birth certificate is in a different language from the official language of the country you intend to work, live, study or get married in, it will need to be translated. A birth certificate is a legal document that is often requested for identity purposes. When it’s translated it needs to be a professional translation. If you are asked for a birth certificate translation, you will need to make sure the document is accurately translated and this is what a professional translator can do. 

Getting your birth certificate translated is usually mandatory if you are applying for employment and residence visas in many countries as well as if you have lived long enough in a country and you have reached eligibility to file an application for citizenship or naturalization. In many countries, accessing government services depends on producing a birth certificate so if the certificate was issued in a different country that uses another language, then getting a translation will be necessary.


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    Qualities of a professional translator 

    Here are some qualities of a professional translator:

    • Linguistic expertise means the translator has a level of fluency that allows them to communicate in the languages they translate at a near-native level.
    • Awareness of changes in language as languages change over time and the professional translator needs to know about any changes that have occurred;
    • Attention to detail is key to a professional translation of a birth certificate and a skilled translator will check once, double-check, and even triple-check to ensure that all the details are correct.  
    • Take pride in the work they do and are committed to improving translation outcomes.

    A professional translator knows how to translate your birth certificate

    A birth certificate needs to be translated by a professional translator so it matches the format of the original document. It needs to contain all the information that can be seen on the original which includes seals and stamps. If there is some information on the birth certificate that can’t be understood the translator mentions this in the translation. This is so the person requesting the birth certificate translation knows all the legible information has been translated. In addition to this birth certificate, translations usually need to be certified. A certified translation requires a signed statement verifying the translator’s proficiency as a translator in the source and target languages and is therefore competent to translate a birth certificate. 

    Differences in terms used by countries on birth certificates need to be known by the translator so that they can be accurately translated into the requested language. A professional translator will have had sufficient experience working with the different terms used by different countries, while a less experienced translator and an automated translator may find it difficult to translate the different terms used in a birth certificate accurately. 

    Birth certificates and birth certificate translations are usually required in the following situations:

    • submitting an application for a place at a school or university;
    • applying for a driver’s license for the first time; 
    • registering a marriage or filing an application for a divorce
    • sports registration that has a minimum age requirement;
    • applying for a passport so travel overseas can take place;
    • applying for a pensioner’s card because it shows the age of the applicant;
    • opening a bank account or applying for a loan.


    When a government department or other organization in Australia requires a birth certificate translation and the original document is not in English, the birth certificate holder will need to provide a translation that has been completed by a professional translator accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).


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