On the other hand, Apostille translation services and certified translation services are also needed by Americans who relocate to live in other countries, and also known as expatriates (aka ex-pats). Certified translations are needed for a variety of personal identification documents including: birth certificates, CVs (résumés), letters of recommendation, medical records, and academic records among others.
This requirement applies to Americans studying abroad. Schools in other countries often require information about their criminal records and health histories, and having a highly accurate certified translation is not only valuable, in some cases it’s required by law. And there can be no end to the benefits that come from professional academic document translations.
But the problem also applies in situations that some might consider to be more benign.
For instance, Americans who wish to marry in Italy are required to provide a number of documents. These include: their U.S. Passports, birth certificate, evidence of termination of a previous marriage (if applicable), an Atto Notorio (Sworn Affidavit) from the Italian Consulate closest to their current residence, a Nulla Osta (which means Affidavit), and a Declaration of Intention to Marry. Under Italian law, these documents must be accompanied by certified English to Italian translations.
The doctrine of Nulla Osta specially applies to Italy. Nulla Osta means literally, “There are no impediments”. In a nutshell, it’s a requirement that you must declare that there are no legal impediments to your marriage in both Italy AND in the United States. So there is no wonder that they would want that declaration to be accompanied by a certified Italian into English written declaration.
Italian laws also requires posting Civil Banns, another term that means a declaration of your intention to marry. Imagine what the locals would say if your Civil Banns were written in English but not in Italian!
Civil Banns must be posted at the Town Hall for two consecutive weeks, including two Sundays, before the marriage can take place.
Even the Catholic Church becomes involved in requiring professional document translations. Not surprisingly, given the dominant role that the Church plays in Italian affairs both inside and outside of Rome, the Church requires baptismal documents, confirmation certificates, and letters of freedom, all of which require certified translations.
The situation is even more confusing in Japan, where marriages within religious institutions are NOT considered to be legally binding! The only way to legally marry in Japan is to register your marriage at a Japanese municipal government office. No church can perform this task for you.
Considering the fact that Japanese as a written language is indecipherable for most Americans, a certified Japanese to English translator becomes an absolute “must have” for any ex-pats choosing to marry in the land of the rising sun.
Americans marrying in Japan also must complete sworn Affidavit of Competency to Marry, which must be sworn before a notary public.
Imagine trying to accomplish any of this without the services of certified translator. Unless you are fluent in Japanese and 100% conversant with Japanese culture and customs, it would be impossible for you to do without.
Of course, marriage is a much more mundane process than most other processes. When we realize that, it becomes clear that having a certified translator on your side is essential any time you deal with the governments or businesses of foreign countries.