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Get Wise, Get Certified 1

Get Wise, Get Certified

Quality certifications create industry standards to be proud of. In the translation and interpreting industry, allowing uncertified individuals to perform a job can have disastrous consequences. This reached the world stage in in 2013 when a man posed as a sign language interpreter for Nelson Mandela’s memorial speech and marginalised the deaf community by signing “hours of complete nonsense.” Experts pointed out an absent lip pattern and a lack of body language which made the communication impossible to follow. The fraud blamed schizophrenia, saying he was hallucinating angels – but his disaster could have be avoided using certified professionals.

So what do you have to do to be taken seriously around here? Quality certifications are a great start but it is important to know what type you need, if any. For written documents there are three types.

  1. Basic translation includes a certified letter from Global Voices on headed paper declaring the translation as correct and complete. It is accepted by all British government offices including the Home Office, Passport Office and courts.
  2. Sworn Translation is used for official documents requested by public authorities or government bodies and must be certified or notarised by Affidavit – Medieval Latin for someone who has declared an oath. A declaration is made in writing and an oath is sworn in front of a solicitor to say that the translation is complete and accurate to their knowledge. It is certified with a stamp.
  3. Legalisation (or Apostille) is required for documents destined for overseas authorities. It is sworn certification which is then checked by the foreign and commonwealth office to be accepted by a foreign country. It can take the FCO up to four weeks to process these certifications but Global Voices offers an emergency legalisation service in less than a week.

Failure to provide interpreting certification can jeopardise validity in court. The defence lawyer of a Russian woman accused of stabbing her husband in July 2015 said her confessions were taken out of context due to poor translation from uncertified interpreters. Allegedly she admitted that she killed him “professionally” as she worked as a butcher but her lawyer questioned the interpretation of her occupation. Quality certifications mean that translations are accepted which saves time and allows trust between professionals in situations where the information has a significant impact.

Global Voices also has two important certifications for the company as a whole:

The ISO 9001:2008 is a certified quality management system which proves the ability of Global Voices to consistently provide a service that meet the needs of the customer. It represents a commitment to strive for customer satisfaction and assures conformity of regulatory requirements.

EN 15038 is a quality standard established specifically for translation service providers ensuring the consistent quality of the service. It requires audits by our certification body, SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, and testing company, recognized as the global benchmark for integrity.

We want to make the translation process as simple as possible for you and can promise exceptional customer care, so don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your project.


Global Voices Ltd. (Head Office) – Scion House, Innovation Park – Stirling – FK9 4NF – United Kingdom –


Tel. 0845 130 1170 –    info@www.globalvoices.co.uk –   www.globalvoices.co.uk

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