How the COVID-19 lockdown affects the certified translation process

The coronavirus crisis changed the world in 2020 in a way that has never been seen before and the certified translation sector is no exception. We hope that things will approach something resembling normality in 2021, but meanwhile, there may still be a whole range of reasons for which you may need a certified translation. These include the translating of a criminal record certificate in order to get a new job, translating a birth certificate to enable marriage while living abroad, or translating a foreign diploma in order to transfer credits to use while studying at a foreign university. However, what about the current COVID-19 crisis? How does the coronavirus affect certified translations? How is certified translation affected by the coronavirus?

Many administrations, companies, institutions and organisations have closed temporarily, so the usual requirements for the presentation of documentation have been delayed. It should be stressed that they have not been cancelled, but only postponed. In other words, the certified translation of certain documents will still be essential, the difference being that it will have to be submitted later. So, why not get any pending translations done now? Perhaps you have time on your hands to organise them.

Another point to remember is that the postponement of the acceptance of certified translations only affects hard copies, not those which can be delivered in electronic format. In other words, certified translations in digital format are still accepted without problem, as they can be emailed to the requesting institution without affecting security in any way. Furthermore, and as an exception to the current situation, many institutions are accepting certified translations in digital format as a means of not adding to the slow-down of the usual functioning of their processes.

What types of documents are affected by the coronavirus?

In general, the submission of certified translations may be delayed in some sectors such as education or the work environment. Although there are exceptions. Other fields of translation, especially those that are related to health, continue with their normal course. In fact, certified translations related to the coronavirus and other related health fields are still very much present and have of course seen increased demand in many cases. For example, there are people who have been temporarily "trapped" in a country by the closure of borders due to the coronavirus and who need to take certain medicines. These people may well need a certified translation of their prescriptions or medical certificate to continue receiving treatment.

What steps can we take in response to the coronavirus?