On the safe side with certified translations

Whether you need to hand in private documents such as your identity card or business documents such as records from commercial registers or contracts as evidence in international matters, public authorities, ministries, courts and consular offices often require an original document or a certified copy, and thus in an international framework also a certified translation. Kocarek GmbH translates and certifies these kinds of documents to the point and meeting all formal requirements.

In general terms, a certification means an official confirmation that a signature or copy is correct. This is a formal requirement used particularly in legal transactions, and which can only be performed by a notary public or another body authorised under national law.

In the case of certified translations, however, not a notary public, but a translator who is officially authorised by and registered at a German court confirms the authenticity and certifies that a translation is true, correct and complete with regard to the submitted source document.

You usually need a certified translation either when a document in a foreign language needs to be accepted as proof for official matters in Germany or, the other way around, when a document in the German language is needed as proof in a foreign country. For instance, if you immigrate from a foreign country to Germany or conclude international business contracts, you usually need more than a regular translation, but rather a certified translation confirmed by an authorised translator.

This means, the authorised translator legally confirms that the translation is true, correct and complete, thus giving the translation a special probative value. For this, every remark, stamp or seal must be translated or described. Even illegible signatures or omissions must be indicated. This is required to ensure the legally binding, word-for-word reproduction of the original source document, which is required by public authorities, ministries and courts in order to accept and recognise your documents as proof in official matters.

Only translators officially authorised at a German court may render certified translations in Germany. Before authorisation, the court reviews the translators to establish their professional expertise, meaning they need to demonstrate legal knowledge and level C2 language skills according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Furthermore, their personal suitability is established by ensuring that they have no criminal record or irregular financial circumstances. Having provided the appropriate documentary evidence, the translators appear in person in front of the court, where they are informed again about their special rights and obligations (especially regarding confidentiality) and provide their signature in front of a court clerk to be filed as a specimen signature at the court records.

Depending on the country, federal state, consular office, ministry, court or public authority, you may need to fulfil further special requirements for your documents. These requirements can vary very widely. You should therefore obtain detailed information in advance from the respective office to determine precisely which documents you need in which form.

In general, you should submit the original document or a certified copy as the source document for a certified translation, in order to achieve the highest probative value. If you cannot hand in the original document, the translator is obliged by statutory regulations to indicate this on the certified translation accordingly. Please note, however, that some authorities might not accept a certified translation done from a regular (non-certified) copy.

Even though the authorisation of translators is regulated by the laws of the German federal states (Bundesland), a certified translation is valid for the entire Federal Republic of Germany (Sect. 142 Para. 3 of the German Code of Civil Procedure [ZPO]) – irrespective of the federal state in which the translators have been authorised.

However, some authorities require an additional formal legalisation in form of a supplementary attestation, in which the court confirms the authenticity of the translator’s signature and certifies that the translator is registered at the court and therefore authorised to issue certified translations. This supplementary attestation can only be obtained from the court where the translator is registered and where his or her specimen signature has been filed. We will be happy to assist you in obtaining this supplementary attestation for you.

Certified Translations

We translate and certify the following documents (amongst others):

• Excerpts from commercial registers
• Contracts
• Annual accounts
• Medical reports
• Court decisions
• School certificates and references
• Marriage and birth certificates
• Last wills and certificates of inheritance
• Driving licences and personal identity documents
• Further documents upon request

Get your individual quotation:

We will give you a free quotation, with no obligation on your part. Simply send us the text, or a description of the service required.

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