What are the most common documents that need translation?

Find out which documents require translation in international paperwork processes

Translation can be useful at different times in your life, whether for documents of your student exchange program, business contracts or even to validate your marriage consummated abroad – the fact is that document translation is a key service.

However, many people who still don’t know they need this solution may be faced the need of having their documents translated, and understanding how it works is crucial to avoid unexpected events.

Therefore, we have sorted out all the information you need to know about the topic, including examples of the most common documents that need to be translated. Check it out below:

What are the types of translation?

Translation services can be divided into three main categories: simple translation, technical translation, and certified, or sworn, translation. Each of them has its specific characteristics and can be used at different times.

Simple translation

Basically, any document can go through the simple translation process. This category includes contents in general, including books, theater plays, video subtitling, among others.

As it is an unofficial translation, it can be performed by most professionals who master the languages involved and, in general, technical knowledge is not much needed.

Technical translation

As one of the most important modalities in the area of translation, technical translation services are mainly intended to meet the demands of texts with technical and scientific content.

This category includes legal contracts, international scientific studies, chemical experiments and even package inserts for imported medicines or vaccines.

To carry out this type of translation, in addition to mastering the languages involved, translators must be specialized in the area in question, having the necessary skills to correctly translate specific technical terms.

Sworn translation

Also known as certified translation, sworn translation is intended to translate and guarantee the legal validity of a document, being frequently sought after by both individuals and legal entities.

This type of service includes the translation of documents issued in countries other than the country of destination – so that they can have the same legal validity in both places.

Diplomas, birth certificates, marriage certificates and even business contracts fall into this category, requiring a Public Translator and Commercial Interpreter – “TPIC” – who should be responsible for the translation.

Most common documents in translation

Diplomas and school transcripts

If you want to be admitted to an undergraduate or graduate program, either in Brazil or abroad, you will be required to submit your diploma and school transcripts.

Also, if you want to go on a student exchange program, for example, you will need to have your transcript or diploma (depending on the case) translated by a sworn translator.

Letter of introduction or recommendation to work abroad

For those who want to work abroad, a nice letter of recommendation can make all the difference when it comes to standing out among other applicants.

In order for the recruiter to clearly understand all the information described in your letter, you need to have it translated in the best possible way.

Letters written by professors or former bosses, recommending your acceptance, must undergo sworn translation to ensure their authenticity.

Identity documents

Passports, identity cards, driver’s licenses, among other personal documents must be translated for visa applications, university enrollment, and even job applications abroad.

These translations may be requested from the original document or from a certified copy, depending on the applicant’s needs.

Personal documents

Likewise, other complementary documents may be requested to complete the processes mentioned above as an example.

Birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, criminal records, adoption papers, medical declarations, income tax returns, bank statements and even proof of vaccination can be included in this list.

Business documents

For documents related to industries, companies and businesses, a sworn translation is recommended for patents, catalogs, certificates, contracts, declarations, wills, among others.

Legal documents

Finally, the following documents are in the scope of legal translation: contracts, case files, proof of payment, wills, documents from foreign vessels, petitions, powers of attorney and even e-mail messages, depending on the content.

Pay attention to all requirements

It is worth mentioning that, in some cases, document validity may be required for the process to be completed. Therefore, before having any document translated for legal purposes, it is important to make sure you know all the conditions required by the entities involved.

Furthermore, it is worth saying that not all documents mentioned above need to be translated. Therefore, you must check applicable requirements with competent agencies before having all your documents translated.

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