What is colloquially referred to in Germany as a “certified translation” is, strictly speaking, something else entirely: rather than being a certification in the legal sense, it is the confirmation of the correctness and completeness of the translation by a (usually) court-appointed translator.
“Sworn translator” is another frequently used term. In fact, the details are subject to state sovereignty and, in Germany, are regulated by the respective state laws. In Baden Württemberg, for example, such “certified translations” are produced by publicly appointed sworn translators.
In a nutshell, however, it is true to say that certified translations are produced by sworn, publicly appointed or generally authorized translators and meet a number of formal criteria. For example, they must be clearly identified as certified translations in the heading, which also includes a note as to whether the document in question is a translation of the original, a certified or an uncertified document. Certified translations are only considered official if they contain the certification formula, place and date, signature and translator’s stamp.
In anglophone countries, the so-called certified translation corresponds most closely to the German notarized translation.
Notarial certification of documents
A notarial certification is sometimes obtained or required in addition to the certified translation. In this case, a notary confirms that the translator’s details are correct and that the signature is genuinely that of the person concerned,
but gives no guarantee whatsoever as to the quality, correctness or completeness of the translation. It only confirms formal criteria concerning the translator (and possibly his or her qualifications).
In the Anglophone world there is the so-called notarized translation, which roughly corresponds to the German notarization.