An apostille translation is usually requested by authorities that are outside the UK when you supply your legalised documents. The translated document helps the overseas authorities understand the document.

Most of the translation requests we get are made by foreign authorities when presented with legalised English documents.

The apostille translation helps the foreign authority personnel understand the contents that have been submitted as legalised documents.

Our excellent translation service ensures that we follow all the legal requirements when translating documents to ensure that they are accepted.

Translations that are not properly certified may be rejected, especially by countries that are not part of the apostille convention.

Following the correct process to translate your documents ensures that it is accepted and completed as required.

What is a translated apostille?

A translated apostille shows that even if the legalised document is in English, it is authentic. Therefore, it must be in the language of the receiving authority.

However, the best thing to do if you are going to a country that doesn’t speak English is to inquire beforehand which documents need a translation.

We offer document translation services as part of our apostille service.

Here’s a look at our packages:

Certified translations accepted by the FCDO
Certified translations accepted by the FCDO / Image credit:

Does an apostille need to be translated?

It depends. If your document is foreign, it most likely must be translated. You must translate documents if it has been requested.

It is recommended that your legalised UK documents are translated for use in countries of different native languages.

This means that our professional service should include an apostille certificate and a translation service as well.

You will be required to attach a certified copy of the translation of the paperwork in the language of the receiving country.

The tricky part:

At this point, you probably have the following:

  • A document translated into the language of the overseas authority
  • A certified copy of the translation
  • A notarised translation

Under the Hague convention, this should technically be enough because the notarised document translated affirms the identity of the certified statement signer, and the apostille certificate makes the document recognisable and usable internationally.

But, in practice, lots of other smaller agencies in foreign organisations or countries, especially those outside the major metropolitan areas, are probably not familiar with the concept of an apostille certificate, or they do not know about it and therefore apply the concept incorrectly.

Local foreign organisations will often state that “no documents will be accepted if they have a foreign language that is untranslated.”

In this case, the rule trumps the Hague convention and the documents apostilled may not be usable. Therefore, you should attach the translated document to the apostille certificate.

How do you legalise a translation?

A translation is legalised through a certification process where the documents are declared to be authentic and accurately translated.

This can be authenticated by a public officer or through an apostille, who certifies that the translated document is a true copy and signed by a sworn and certified translator.

Our certified translation service includes the translator’s signature.

A public official or solicitor

Having a public official or solicitor certify your translation means that the document translations are only certified but not legalised.

The translation is legalised when an apostille certificate is issued and attached to it or when it has been authenticated and proven to be genuine.

Is the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in charge of translations?

No, the FCDO has nothing to do with document translations. If your documents need translating, you are responsible for having them translated. This is not to be confused with the Translation and interpreting service that the FCDO provides.

What information will be translated?

The information to be translated depends on the receiving country.

The documents that require a translation certification and apostille services from the commonwealth office are:

  • Birth certificate
  • Death certificates
  • Civil partnership certificates
  • Marriage certificate

Which documents require notarisation?

Certain documents require the translations to be notarised, certified by a notary public, for official purposes, which will be used in a higher official capacity in the foreign country.

Such documents include:

  • Academic certificates
  • Power of attorney
  • Reports
  • Contracts
  • Business documents
  • Official academic transcripts
  • Documents to purchase property
  • Affidavits

Will the translation be attached to the original?

Yes. Experienced translators attach the already certified translation to the original document. It doesn’t have to be the original copy, but it can be a certified true copy of the original.

Whether you pick your documents in person or we send your translated documents directly, in most cases, the foreign officials ask you to present your documents with the certified translation.

Our great customer service provides official confirmation of the certified translations to the authority requesting.

Through our excellent service, all sworn translations are part of our legalisation services for legal documents.


You will receive your translations for use from our office or we can ship the specific documents with the sworn translations to whichever country you wish. These are usually ready for international use.

We can also send a soft copy of the translation, and any other additional certification to your email for reference purposes only, not for use.

It depends. If you have followed the correct procedures with the translations, including ensuring that several phrases on the document are translated, then the document can be used in other countries.

Again, it depends, although in most cases, original documents are required for apostille services and translations.

Please contact us to find out which documents require to be originals and which ones can be photocopies.

If it is just a translation, and the document already has an apostille certificate, then a copy will do. But the copy must be clear and legible, with signatures, seals, and stamps completed clearly.

A translator cannot sign the sworn translation without the original copy. Additionally, the solicitor and notary will need to see the original copy of the document or a certified true copy.

The processing time required to translate a document will depend on the document.

Once you complete the order form and specify if the apostille is required and the official language you wish to have translated, then we can expedite the process.

For example, a UK apostille for marriage certificates can be the same day service

The total cost of our apostille service and translations will depend on the size of the documents and how quickly you will require us to translate.

Please contact us in order to have a look at our apostille service and the payment process. We have different plans based on the turnaround time for the apostille and translations.

Different authorities require different types of certification on different documents. Therefore, the best thing you can do is find out the exact requirements of your foreign authorities.

Please contact the country where the document translation will be used to find out what service to seek and what will be required of you.

Ask which documents require certification, notarisation, or legalisation.

A business owner who wishes to open up new branches of his company overseas will be required to obtain an apostille certification for the essential paperwork such as Certificates of Incorporation and Articles of Association.

Yes. We can guarantee the best quality of translation services. We work with qualified, professional, competent, sworn translators, and solicitors.

Please contact us, for all your translation needs.

Yes. We respect our clients’ privacy and promise to keep their documents private and confidential. Our translators sign a Non Disclosure Agreement to protect your privacy.

A notarised translation is a translated document accompanied by the translator’s details such as their name, signature, and contact information to ascertain that the translation is complete and accurate before a notary public.

Please contact us for more on this service.

A sworn translation is where the translator swears through an affidavit that the document they have translated is a true representation of the original.

An affidavit is a document containing a statement from the translator swearing that the information in the translation is true, accurate, complete, and as close to the original as possible.

They also swear that the document was translated from the original, or a certified true copy of the document.

This is a document that often accompanies the translated certificate. The translator declares that the content of the translated document is true and accurate.

You may be asked to produce this in a foreign office for some documents, especially those for official use.

FCDO Services

Translation and interpreting

The Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (HCCH 1961 Apostille Convention)

Translation enquiry.

Request a free quote or get in touch with our team to discuss your requirements. We would love to help you.