Studying abroad can be an incredible experience. In fact, 84% of study abroad alumni have reported feeling that their studies overseas helped them gain valuable skills for their subsequent entry into the job market.
Certified translation services are a must if you plan to study abroad. You will need your immigration paperwork and school admissions paperwork translated by certified translation professionals. Often, immigration services have certified translation as a requirement as part of the paperwork.
Certified translation simply means that the translators you use will provide a document along with the translation, which verifies that the translation is accurate and that the translator was qualified to undertake the work required to complete it. This ‘certificate of translation’ is an important document used to certify translations, since it makes sure nothing is misrepresented. Below are five ways certified translation services can make the study abroad process smoother.
- Help with Immigration Paperwork
The most common way to use certified translation services if you wish to study abroad is for getting immigration paperwork translated. Certified translation is often a non-negotiable requirement for immigration services.
Immigration typically requires a wide variety of documents if you wish to study abroad. You’ll likely need a student visa, which requires a wide variety of paperwork to obtain – usually a visa application form, passport, application fee, photos that meet precise requirements, and letters from guardians or sponsors, as a minimum.
Certified translation services can help deliver this complete package of documents. Using a certified translator can ensure that nothing is inaccurate or misrepresented to immigration officials.
- Translating Transcripts
Another major document you’ll need when studying abroad is your transcript showing your full performance in your previous studies, from essay work to grades. This is, of course, a very important document to represent accurately in whatever language it’s required to be in. It shows that you have the grades to enter the program you wish to study and it proves that you have obtained the qualifications that are the prerequisites for the courses that you plan to take overseas.
Certified translation services can make sure the document is laid out in the proper format. For instance, if you’re having your transcript converted into Chinese so you can study in China, or Japanese with a view to studying in Japan, that can change the layout dramatically, since these languages are read right to left and often are oriented vertically instead of horizontally.
Certified translation can also make sure that the specific wording of certain courses reads similarly in new languages. For instance, if you had very specific courses in philosophy, like metaphysics or epistemology, these very specialized terms need to be translated extremely carefully into the target language.
- Translation of Other School Admission Documents
School admission doesn’t end with just transcripts, of course. You’ll also likely need recommendation letters, diplomas or certificates from previous education, if applicable, and documents detailing standardized test scores, as a few examples.
These are again very important documents where no misrepresentation can happen as the content is converted from one language to another. If your letter of recommendation gives you a glowing review, then that mustn’t be lost in translation. Letters of recommendation, in particular, might be difficult to translate since they might use figurative language native to the original tongue. Translations of letters of recommendation also have to keep the tone and voice of the person writing them. This is why it’s important to use certified translation services that are trusted by professional bodies and authorities – services that are highly experienced at navigating study abroad paperwork.
- Help with Admissions Essays
The school you are applying to might also require that you write an admissions essay, and possibly have it translated. Admissions essays can be very personal documents, so may make use of figurative language that only makes sense within the perspective of a certain cultural background. As such, it’s up to a good translator to keep your voice, tone, and the main message intact, all while taking into account any phrasing that might not translate into the new culture and providing natural alternatives within the text.
One example of a type of figurative language that does not translate easily is idioms. Common examples of idioms in English might be “bite the bullet,” “break a leg or “call it a day.” Since admissions, essays often ask very personal questions, and admission departments like it when expressive, complex language is used, an admissions essay might have some of these features in them.
Those personal essay topics are important to translate well. An essay might ask you to explain your background or who you are in a way that relates to what you wish to study, lessons you’ve learned from overcoming obstacles or a time you changed a belief. Such personal questions can introduce many elements of your personal cultural background into the essay. A good translator will help those cultural elements retain their meaning and context in your translated admissions essay.
- Interpreters for Interviews
In addition to certified translation services, you may also need an interpreter. Some visa application processes actually require that you attend an interview. An interview with the school you wish to attend could also be a possibility.
Interpreters working through video is a common practice these days. With internet connections being more reliable, video remote interpreting (or VRI) has become a convenient service. As such, official translation services often offer this service.
Research found that 69% of international students still wanted to study abroad in 2020. Whether you need visa paperwork or school admissions paperwork translated, certified translation services can help make your application to study abroad a positive experience.