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December 5, 2019By legaltranslationsTranslations Skills

Why is Professional Academic Document Translation Important?

Academic documents range from academic achievement certificates, degrees and diplomas through to articles, reports, journals and books. There are many reasons why they need to be translated from time to time.

Academic documents  needed for academic study overseas

Students who wish to enrol in a course in a country other than their own may need to show evidence that they are suitably qualified to cope with the course. That means providing their academic qualifications. If the language used in these qualifications is the same as that of the country to which they wish to go to, then they may only need to be evaluated. Often, this is a task given to a specialized qualifications assessment body that compares the foreign qualifications with those of the local ones to make sure they are equivalent or match the standard expected.


    There is an obvious complication if the language used is different, as the documents then need to be translated by a qualified translator before they can be sent for assessment. The actual requirements vary from country to country so it is important for student applicants to find out what they need to do before just sending off their documents, even if they have already been translated. There may be additional requirements such as using accredited translators and having their translations certified. Usually, it is the translator who does the certifying.

    Job and visa applications by professionals

    Professionals who go through the process of applying for a visa for employment or a job application may also need to go through a similar procedure as far as their academic documents are concerned. Again, the qualifications will need to be assessed to ensure they match the standards required by both the employer and the immigration authority that oversees visa applications and approvals.

    Academic qualifications, especially higher education qualifications such as degrees and diplomas, often come with quite elaborate markings and may come complete with signatures, stamps, watermarks and seals. Some counties insist that wherever these additional features have text on them of any type that they are also translated. This helps to ensure that the qualifications are genuine.

    It seems a shame to reflect that there are people who try and take advantage of the lack of familiarity that foreign agencies might have of documents procured elsewhere and may stoop to forging documents in order to obtain jobs or immigration visas which are based on incorrect information. Professional translators are relied on to some extent to screen out obviously fraudulent academic documents.

    Research document translation

    Academic documents of all kinds are commonly translated all over the world so that professional research material and ideas are shared as widely as possible. Here it is less important that the documents are genuine, although this is obviously still important, but that the documents or articles are translated as accurately as possible.

    Most translators tend to specialize in the translation of a particular type of content. That means that if scientific documents, for example, need translating, it will be important that they are handed over to a specialized scientific translator who will be more familiar with the terminology and content that is used in that particular document.


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