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We pride ourselves on offering an approachable, jargon-free service. However, industry-specific vocabulary can occasionally pop up. That is why we have developed this glossary explaining some of the most frequently used industry terminology. We hope it's useful. It there is anything you don't understand, please do not hesitate to contact us.


This is a declaration in writing made upon oath by the translator before a Notary Public, solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths.

Certified translation

An official translation with a stamped declaration on our headed paper stating that, to the best of our knowledge and ability, we have provided a true translation of the original document.

Our certified translations are accepted by all UK official bodies including those listed below as well as many authorities abroad. More information on certified translations can be found on our certificate translation site.

Home Office 

General Dental Council (GDC) 

General Register Office (GRO)

Passport Office

General Teaching Council (GTC)

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

General Medical Council (GMC)

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC)

Commissioner for oaths

A solicitor authorised to authenticate oaths made on sworn statements.

Consecutive interpreting

In this type of interpreting the interlocutors (the people speaking) pause to allow the interpreter to speak in the second language. This interpreting style is common in meetings with a small number of speakers (e.g. in a medical situation or an interview).

Cyrillic alphabet

Derived from the Greek alphabet over 1000 years ago, Cyrillic is used primarily for Russian, Belorussian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian and Serbian.


Where work is done within an agency or company, rather than being sub-contracted to others.

Latin alphabet

Uses the same letters as English and most other European languages.


Where one language only is involved.


Where more than one language is involved.


Attestation of documents where a Notary Public binds the documents together and applies a seal. As with an affidavit, the translator has to go to a Notary Public in person with the documents. Notarisation is usually required when official documents are to be used overseas.

Notary Public

A public official, usually a solicitor, who is authorised legally to certify and attest documents and administer oaths.

Optical character recognition (OCR)

This is the process whereby paper documents or images are scanned by a programme which converts the contents into a computer-editable version.

Romance languages

Languages derived from Latin including French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish.

Simultaneous interpreting

The interpreter speaks at the same time as the interlocutor (the person speaking), either via a microphone/headphone system (this is often called conference interpreting, and is the type of interpreting used in organisations such as the EU or the UN) or by whispering directly into the listener’s ear in a more familiar situation (this is often called chuchotage interpreting, from the French word for whispering).

Source text/source language

The original text or language to be translated.

Target text/target language

The final version that a text or language is to be translated into.

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We provide professional translation services to companies and individuals across the globe. Excellent communication and quality customer care are at the heart of our business. To read feedback from our clients, please see our Testimonials page.

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Learn more about our translation services

Call us today on +44 (0)114 266 1103 or visit our Services page, to learn more about how we can help you unlock your international potential.