How to Translate your Degree | TranslateSwift

How to Translate your Degree

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How to Translate your Degree

Are you seeking admission into universities in the US or abroad? If yes, you’ll need to translate your degree to process your admission.

Today, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about translating your academic certificates.

What is Academic Translation?

An academic translation is the conversion of scholarly documents from their source language to other languages. These include research papers, diplomas, college degrees, essays, articles, and transcripts. 

Today, our main focus will be on academic certificates.

Main Struggles in Academic Translation

Translating academic certificates or documents can be challenging because of the different teaching methods across many countries. Today we will look at common challenges translators face and why you should take note of them.

Subject/Courses variations

Subjects and courses vary in different countries. While students in the same class might offer 15 courses per semester in one country, students in another country might only have nine courses. Sometimes courses can have different titles in different countries even though they have a similar syllabus.

Linguists must take note of these variations to accurately translate certain courses/subjects in ways that meet the new country’s standards.

Grading System

Grading systems vary from country to country. For example, some countries use only a single variation of letters to analyze grades, like A, B, C, or F, while others incorporate more diverse grading systems like A- or B+. 

To create a balance, translators need to understand how grades in foreign languages compare to the US education system. This will help reviewers understand how your grades compare to local ones.

Types of Diploma and Degree Certificates that need Translation

Here are some common certificates that require translation, depending on your academic qualifications.

  • Academic transcripts
  • High school diplomas
  • College diploma
  • Report cards
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Associate degree
  • Master’s degree
  • Ph.D. and doctoral degrees

These are the top academic certificates that require translation in 2023.

When do you need to Translate your Degree?

Generally, if you have an academic degree in a foreign language other than English, you’ll need to translate it in the situations below.

When applying for a School or University in all English-speaking countries like US, UK, Canada, and Australia. 

English-speaking countries require international students to translate preexisting academic certificates and transcripts when seeking admission into schools. This is done to compare grades and see if applicants qualify for admission. 

Employment Visa

You’ll need to apply for a work visa if you’re seeking jobs in countries that speak a different language. To process your employment visa and work permit, immigration authorities will require a translation of your qualifications. Companies hiring you will also require your academic certificate translations to check if you’re the right fit.

USCIS Immigration Purposes

Suppose you’re looking to permanently immigrate to the US in search of a better life. In that case, you’ll need to submit your academic certificate translations to the USCIS, proving that you have adequate education and qualifications to work and be a productive citizen.

Permanent Residency or Citizenship Request

If you’re qualified for permanent residency or wish to apply for a citizenship request, you’ll need to present copies of your academic certificate translations for processing. 

How to Translate your Degree Certificates

Now that you know when you’ll need to translate your academic certificates, it’s time to find out how to do it when you seek schooling, employment, immigration, or citizenship in the US or abroad. 

Translating your Degree for the US

Here are some steps you’ll need to take to translate your degree for US applications. Ensure you check with the institution or agency to know the specific requirements for academic translations.

Notarize or Apostille in your Country of Origin

Sometimes, universities may ask applicants to provide additional certification of their academic qualifications from their country of origin. Your university, the ministry of education, or a notary may give this certification. 

You may also require an apostille that authenticates the signature of the authority who signed your certificates. The apostille and your original certificates will need to be translated before you submit them.

Find a Professional Translator

After you have the necessary certification to prove your academic certificate is authentic, the next step is to hire a professional translator or translation agency. Ensure the linguist you work with has experience in academic certificate translations. Educational transcripts and certificates have academic jargon that needs experience in the field to translate properly.

How to Translate your Degree to Study Abroad

Academic certificate translations vary for each country. Before translating, check with the institution you wish to enroll in for translation requirements. 

Secondly, you’ll need to check if your degree translation will require a certification of accuracy. For countries like Spain and France, degree translations from sworn translators are mandatory. 

Sworn or public translators are professionals certified by translation associations or government bodies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

For some countries, translations from your country of origin are sufficient, while for other countries, you’ll need to do it using local translators. Ensure you find out all the necessary details to avoid mistakes. 


We hope our guide has been useful in understanding the requirements for academic translation. If you need further assistance or want to hire a professional translator immediately, you can reach out to us today.