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How the COVID-19 lockdown affects the certified translation process


The coronavirus crisis changed the world in 2020 in a way that has never been seen before and the certified translation sector is no exception. We hope that things will approach something resembling normality in 2021, but meanwhile, there may still be a whole range of reasons for which you may need a certified translation. These include the translating of a criminal record certificate in order to get a new job, translating a birth certificate to enable marriage while living abroad, or translating a foreign diploma in order to transfer credits to use while studying at a foreign university. However, what about the current COVID-19 crisis? How does the coronavirus affect certified translations? How is certified translation affected by the coronavirus?

Many administrations, companies, institutions and organisations have closed temporarily, so the usual requirements for the presentation of documentation have been delayed. It should be stressed that they have not been cancelled, but only postponed. In other words, the certified translation of certain documents will still be essential, the difference being that it will have to be submitted later. So, why not get any pending translations done now? Perhaps you have time on your hands to organise them.

Another point to remember is that the postponement of the acceptance of certified translations only affects hard copies, not those which can be delivered in electronic format. In other words, certified translations in digital format are still accepted without problem, as they can be emailed to the requesting institution without affecting security in any way. Furthermore, and as an exception to the current situation, many institutions are accepting certified translations in digital format as a means of not adding to the slow-down of the usual functioning of their processes.

What types of documents are affected by the coronavirus?

In general, the submission of certified translations may be delayed in some sectors such as education or the work environment. Although there are exceptions. Other fields of translation, especially those that are related to health, continue with their normal course. In fact, certified translations related to the coronavirus and other related health fields are still very much present and have of course seen increased demand in many cases. For example, there are people who have been temporarily "trapped" in a country by the closure of borders due to the coronavirus and who need to take certain medicines. These people may well need a certified translation of their prescriptions or medical certificate to continue receiving treatment.

What steps can we take in response to the coronavirus?

We take safety very seriously, which is why are working only in online mode during the coronavirus crisis. We can do this without the need to go out and about, thus respecting the rules of confinement and security against of the current lockdown. In fact, as translators, our usual manner of working has not changed too much. We can no longer enjoy the freelancer lifestyle of working in the café of our choice, but we can do the same job from home with the help of a standard broadband connection. The process is very simple; you send us the documentation you need translated by email and we will send you back the certified translation by the same means. That is, with the official translation certified, signed, stamped and dated in electronic format. We have in fact been working in this way for years, so we do not have to adapt to the digital mode.

What are the advantages of translating documentation during the coronavirus crisis?

During the lockdown, it’s likely that we will all have some more free time on our hands, which we can use to do those tasks that we usually always leave until the last minute. For example, we may be able to get on with sorting out some paperwork and prepare all the necessary documents to get married, to take an exam, or to do a really good application for a job. If this is something you are going to have to do sooner or later, the advice we would give you is "don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today". When normality returns after the COVID-19 crisis, we will probably have many things to do outside (and we will probably also fancy a pint in the pub with our friends!), so this may be the best time to get those little tasks sorted. In addition, another advantage of translating your documents now is that you will avoid the high demand for translations and various requests when administrations are reopened. This may also lead to a better price, due to the inevitable fluctuations with supply and demand, which also apply to certified translations. Also, keep in mind that while the alert for the coronavirus or COVID-19 lasts, even more organisations than normal will accept certified translations in digital format. In other words, you can usually submit the relevant certified translation at the click of a mouse,

If you have any doubts or questions about the situation of certified translation in the face of the current coronavirus crisis, just let us know and we will do all we can to help you.


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