Important questions and answers that will make you comfortable when you use certified English translation services for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), National Visa Center (NVC), and U.S. Passport Agency to get your Green Card (permanent resident visa), American citizenship and passport
Do you translate from any language?
Currently, we translate into and from over 200 languages. Our web site does not include all the languages that we translate. Please contact us for any language that is not listed here.
How can I get a “certification” for the translation?
We use a form created by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service – INS) for our certification. We affix our corporate seal and stamp on our certification that is accepted by U.S. Government agencies, and other public and private organizations. More information on translation for U.S. immigration.
Our “Certification by Translator” document is designed to meet the requirements of the USCIS of the U.S. Department Homeland Security.
Do you need “notarization” of your translation?
Please note that the USCIS does not require notarization. If you definitely want to have have our translation notarized by an independent, third-party U.S. Notary Public upon your request at an additional cost.
Here’s exact wording from the USCIS website for certified translation:
Please submit certified translations for all foreign language documents. The translator must certify that s/he is competent to translate and that the translation is accurate.
The certification format should include the certifier’s name, signature, address, and date of certification. A suggested format is:
Certification by Translator
I [typed name], certify that I am fluent (conversant) in the English and ________ languages, and that the above/attached document is an accurate translation of the document attached entitled ______________________________.
Date Typed Name
As you will notice there is no mention of notarization or notary public. All USCIS wants is “certified translation” that meets the above conditions. And, that what you will receive from us: a certified translation as required and expected by the USCIS.
How long does it take to translate a document?
In general, we ask for three days for translating your documents and mailing your translation to your address or emailing the translated copy. However, we do it within a couple of days in most cases.
Do you work on weekends?
We work on most weekends to assist our clients who need their documents translated as soon as possible. Many of our translators work on weekends.
What do you need for fast translation?
(1) When you need an estimate of our fee, please:
- state the source (from) language (we translate to and from over 200 languages), and
- give us the approximate number of pages to be translated.
We confirm our exact fee if you send us a scanned/electronic copy of your document(s). You may try to use your smart phone or electronic camera to take pictures of your documents.
(2) When you make your payment: Make sure to enter your address. Some people do not enter their addresses when they want to have their translation sent in by email. PayPal®, the financial institution that process your payment to us needs your address to verify your credit card information, and
(3) When you are sending us your documents: Make sure that the copy of your document is readable. Scanning produces better copies and in color. If you don’t have a scanner, make two copies, one lighter and one darker to send them by fax.
My document is old and not easily readable. What can I do?
Unfortunately, some birth certificates, marriage certificates, and documents issued or written years ago lose their readability. This is something beyond your and our control. We understand that. However, you can do something to improve the readability of your documents:
- Provide a legible, easily readable text.
- If you are faxing a difficult-to-read document, make at least two copies in two different color tones. We work on the copy that is more readable.
- Write down words in the original/source (to be translated) language or in English so that our translator does not need to figure out what the word is. Our translator will mark the word or figure “illegible” or “unreadable” if he or she cannot read it.
- If there are abbreviated/shortened terms as in most school transcripts, give us the abbreviated words in spelled out form.
Please remember: Scanning gives better copies that faxed copies most of the time. Have your document scanned if you have a hard copy.
How much do you charge for your translation services?
The most important factor in any translation job is the “time” that our translator will spend to complete the translation.
For short and immigration documents: Translation and certification fee by number of “document.”
For large documents and texts: Translation fee by the number of “words.”
Basis for translation fees: Practically, all translators in the United States charge a rate per word and per document. We have standard fee for certified English translation of birth certificate, marriage certificates and many other legal or civil registration document.
Do you have same rates for all languages?
We have different rates for different languages. Some languages such as Arabic, Urdu, Japanese, Korean and some others have one character that is equivalent of one word in English language. In other words, one page full of one of these languages may result in translating in two and even three pages in English language. That’s one of the reasons why translation agencies have different rates for different languages.
Do you charge different fees for similar documents?
We do not have a “general” rate for any language, subject, or type of document. Translation fee varies according to the following factors:
Subject matter (business, legal, technical, medical, scientific, etc.)
Volume or length of the material to be translated: We apply “volume discount” for English translation of multiple documents and multiple pages. The simple reason is: it will be easier for our translators to translate more documents relating to the same person and subject. Perhaps, same format, same names and similar information will be repeated.
Time-frame, turnaround time, or urgency: in general, we translate one or two-page documents within 24 hours (weekdays) and within two business days if there are more pages to translate. We complete most translation jobs next business day without higher fee or urgent translation fee that some translation companies apply.
How can I know the number of words?
If your text is in electronic format (in a word processor, spreadsheet, PowerPoint, etc.), you can use the word count utility of your software. For instance, in Microsoft Word, click on Word Count listed under Tools when you have your text on the screen. You can get the number of words and characters counted automatically.
What happens if I cannot count the number of words?
If you have the material to be translated in hard copy such as a fax message, a written letter, or a copy of your birth certificate, marriage license, etc., then, tell us the number of pages. We can quickly figure out the approximate number of words based on our experience with such materials. Let us know if your text is “formatted” as in the case of certificates, passports, diplomas, transcripts, and other official documents. We try to translate in such a way to make our translation look as similar to the original format as possible.
Do I pay the same fee for translations from and into English language, both ways?
No. In most cases, translation fees may not be the same as it is from a certain language. For instance, the fee for translating from Japanese into English is different from translating from English into Japanese.
First, the number of words in the target language is not the same. The number of words increases from 10 to 35 percent in the target language. Obviously, it is the number of translated words that reflect the translation efforts involved.
Second, the number of words is different due to use of symbols and characters that mean more than one letter in languages such as Arabic, Korean, and Japanese to name few.
Third, typing in languages with accent marks and symbols (character-based languages) slows down the translation process.
Ultimately, it is the time spent for the translation that counts in addition to the additional efforts made. That’s why a translation from English into another language generally costs more.
What formats do you accept?
We accept all text formats including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Works, WordPad, Power Point, PDF, Word Perfect, and some others. We also accept image formats including JPEG/JPG, GIFF, BMP, TIFF, PSD, PDD, EPS, PNG and others.
Does translation of formatted text cost extra?
Yes, it does slightly. Because, formatted text reduces the speed of translation.
Should I send you the original documents?
No. Do not send the original document, as it may get lost in the mail. Send us the scanned copies in the attachment of your email message or send by fax.
Is payment by credit card online secure?
Yes, it is. PayPal® is the administrator of our credit card operations and has an insurance coverage against illegal use of credit cards. Please review your rights and privileges when using PayPal® at their website.
Can I give you my credit card information over the telephone?
We do not accept confidential credit card payment over the phone as it is not a secure way of doing business. Payment to PayPal® is safe and insured.
What are my payment options?
- Payment by credit card on our web site (PayPal®, now owned by eBay is the operator)
- Payment by personal or business check to PayPal®
- Postal money order (payable to: ACR Systems Inc.)
- Western Union (please contact us for instructions)
- MoneyGram (please contact us for instructions)
- Bank wire transfer (we send you wire instructions for payments over $1,000)
How many words or pages can you translate per day?
It depends on the language. However, a professional translator can translate about 3,000 words (5-6 pages) a day.
Who performs the translation?
We assign your translation to one of our professional translators specializing in the required field. We carefully screen their credentials and they have an education and/or experience in the specific field. We have legal, technical, and medical translators in addition to our other professional translators who can translate email messages, personal letters, and other daily communications.
What are my options to receive my translated copy?
We can send you the translation in the following formats depending on your needs:
- in Word format attached to our email
- in PDF in the attachment of our email
- by fax
- by overnight courier (Federal Express and UPS)
- Priority Mail by the U.S. Postal Service
- First Class Mail
- by CD-ROM
How about confidentiality of my documents?
Your documents are always handled in a confidential manner. We use Work Order forms to assign translation jobs to our translators containing provisions stating the confidential nature of the assigned material for translation. The content of your document is not disclosed to anybody other than our translator and the editor to review the translation for proofreading and editing, if needed.
We delete scanned copies of your documents in your native language about ten days after we mail your certified translation to you to protect your privacy.
Do you use machine translation?
We do not use machine translation or software that translates documents between two languages. We use only human translators for your translation needs. We do not know of any machine or software that can translate better than a professional human translator. Machines and software programs cannot translate your texts by taking into consideration the cultural differences, dialects, and updated terms.
Humor is another example that can only be translated by human translators who are up to date in the native language. Human translation takes into consideration all features of a language including morphology creating meaning from each piece of words in the structural), syntax (sentence structure), semantics (intended meaning), and all other linguistic knowledge.
Human translators reflect their years of knowledge, experience, and unique, native language capabilities to give you the meaning of the written words.
Our professional language translators pick up the right words by relying on their mastery of both (source and target) languages and their deep understanding of their specialized fields and the cultural and linguistic differences.
Can I use machine translation on the Internet?
You may use automated translation software on the Internet to get the meaning of some words and sentences. However, you must be careful if the text that you are trying to translate is a legal, medical, or technical text. Machine translation has never reached the quality of human translation and never will.
Machine/Automated Translation (MT) versus Computer-Aided Translation (CAT)?
Machine translation is also called automated or automatic translation done by translation software. It is a typical word-by-word translation process.
Computer-Aided Translation is also called interactive translation is different than MT. CAT is used by professional translators to speed up their translation process and improve the integrity and consistency while they manually translate the material. CAT contains a translation memory (TM) to assist the professional language translator in placing the previously translated words and sentences if they are repeated in the new text. CAT saves time and creates consistency within the text and between the texts that have been translated in the past and the text currently being translated.
What is localization?
Localization is a process during which a web site or software is translated into a different language in the same format (same buttons, navigation structure, and features) and by taking into consideration the local, cultural needs.
Can you send me my translation faster?
You have the following options: (1) Rush translation request: higher translation rate applies if you need your translation sooner than our quoted time frame. (2) We can send your translation by a courier service (Federal Express/Overnight or UPS/Next Day Delivery) for an additional $30, $45 for Canada and Mexico, $65 to all other international destinations. You may also request Priority Mail by the U.S. Postal Service for an additional $10. First Class Mail (irrespective to its weight) is free.
Can I get an invoice if I need it for reimbursement or any other reason?
Yes, we can provide you with an invoice for the payment that you made for our translation service. Our signature carries a scanned signature and can be printed for your files.
How can I get more information?
We have high-speed Internet connection and can answer your questions within few minutes between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) USA.
What is your email and street addresses for sending materials to be translated or money orders?
Here’s our address and contact information:
ACR Systems Inc.
10888 Creekbridge Pl.
San Diego, CA 92128 USA
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 858-922-7724 (add 01 in front of the number if you are calling from other countries)