How to Translate Academic Documents From French to English

Created: Mar 13, 2024 | Updated: Mar 13, 2024

Translating your academic certificates for international use involves more than just converting text from one language to another; it requires a thorough understanding of academic terminology, recognition of official documents, and ensuring that the translation is accepted by institutions abroad. Our guide today explains why translating your French documents is important, the things to look out for when choosing a certified translator and the process of ordering a translation in France. 

What are Academic Certificates?

Academic certificates are official records or formal documents issued by educational institutions that showcase your educational achievements and qualifications. They're proof of your learning and study, detailing where and what you've studied, and how well you've done. These documents are used to support applications for further education, jobs, or when moving abroad, serving as a formal testament to your scholarly accomplishments.

Why Translate Your Academic Certificates to English?

Translating your French academic certificates to English is necessary for a variety of reasons, especially if you're planning to study, work, or live in an English-speaking country like the United Kingdom or the United States where French isn't widely understood. It is important because:

  1. It Facilitates International Mobility: When you translate your academic certificates from French to English it removes that language barrier between you and any English institution or employer analysing your documents. It makes it easier for them to understand your qualifications.
  2. It Supports Visa and Immigration Applications: If you are applying for a student visa, a work permit, or residency in English-speaking countries, having translated academic certificates is usually a requirement. It is used to prove that you meet the criteria set by their immigration authorities. 
  3. It is Usually Manadory in Application Processes: Many universities, colleges, and employers in English-speaking countries require documents to be submitted in the English language before they can process your applications for admission, scholarships, or employment. In some cases, the translated documents need to be certified or notarised to meet their legal requirements. This step validates the authenticity and accuracy of the translation.
  4. It Ensures Accurate Assessment: A professional translation ensures that your academic terms and grades are correctly interpreted, allowing for an accurate assessment of your qualifications against the local standards of the English-speaking country.
  5. It Opens up Professional Opportunities: In the global job market, accurately translated academic certificates can open doors to opportunities by showcasing your qualifications in a universally understood manner, helping you stand out in competitive fields.
  6. It is Useful for Credential Evaluation Services: If your education needs to be evaluated against the academic standards of English-speaking countries, having your certificates translated into English is the first step. Evaluation services like World Education Services (WES) and the International Education Research Foundation (IERF) need documents to be in English to perform their assessments.
How to translate your academic documents from French to English


English-Speaking Countries That Require English Translations

English is a very popular language spoken by about 20% of the world. The countries below have English as either their de jure or de facto official language. Some of these countries have more than one official language and, therefore, English may not necessarily be their most common native language. 

- Australia

- Bahamas

- Barbados

- Botswana

- Cameroon

- Canada

- Fiji

- Ghana

- Guyana

- India

- Jamaica

- Kenya

- Kiribati

- Malaysia

- Malta

- Micronesia

- New Zealand

- Nigeria

- Pakistan

- Papua New Guinea

- Philippines

- Republic of Ireland

- Rwanda

- Samoa

- Singapore

- Solomon Islands

- South Africa

- Sri Lanka

- Sudan

- Tonga

- Trinidad and Tobago

- United Kingdom

- United States

- Vanuatu

- Zimbabwe

How To Translate Your French Adacemic Certificates to English

Now that we have established why you need to translate your French academic certificates to English, we can now go through the steps to getting it done. Let’s go!  

Find a Certified Translator

It is important to get a French-English certified translator who knows what they are doing. They need to thoroughly understand the task that is at hand and deliver a good job. These are the qualities to look for when looking for a certified translator for your French academic documents: 

  1. Their Certifications and Accreditations: A good translator should be certified by a recognized professional translation association or organization. This certification indicates that they have met specific standards in translation competence and ethics. In France, some recognised translation certifications include the Diplôme de traducteur spécialisé from the École Supérieure d'Interprètes et de Traducteurs (ESIT), the Master's in Translation from the Institut de Management et de Communication Interculturels (ISIT), and the Diplôme de traduction from the Université de Strasbourg

    In the United Kingdom, some notable translation certifications include the Diploma in Translation (DipTrans) offered by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) and the Masters in Translation Studies from various universities. The Institute of Translation & Interpreting (ITI) also offers membership which is recognized as a mark of professional quality in the industry.

    In the United States,  prominent translation certifications include those offered by the American Translators Association (ATA) for various language pairs, which is one of the most recognized certifications for translators. Depending on the requirement of the receiving organization, you can have your French academic certificate translated by a certified translator in France, US or the UK. 

  2. Their Specialization in the Subject Matter: When translating academic documents, you need to look for translators who specialise in academic or educational translations. They should have a deep understanding of academic terminology and the differences that exist between the French and English educational systems to ensure that they get accurate translations.

    For example, the United States grading system commonly uses letter grades (A, B, C, D, F) or a percentage scale meanwhile in France, exams are graded on a scale from 0 to 20, with 10 considered a passing grade.

  3. Look out for Their Experience: Experienced translators are likely to produce more accurate and reliable translations. Consider their years of experience in translating academic documents similar to yours.

  4. Their Attention to Detail: Precision is important in translation, especially for academic certificates that contain specific terms, grades, and personal information. A good translator pays close attention to every detail. Ask for previous translations and check for things like how they mirror the formatting from the original document correctly or if there is any error in your personal information. 

  5. Their Professionalism: Professional translators are timely, respectful, and committed to providing high-quality service. They adhere to a code of ethics that includes confidentiality, impartiality, and accuracy. They should also be communicative and responsive to your inquiries and requests. Request for the link to their portfolio or a public review platform like Trustpilot to see what other customers are saying about them.

  6. Their Language Proficiency: Native speakers are the best kinds of translators. The translator should have native-level proficiency in both English and French. This ensures that they can accurately convey the meaning of the original document in the translated version.

  7. Their Quality Assurance Processes: A quality translator or translation service will have processes in place for quality control, such as proofreading and editing, to ensure the final product is of the highest standard.

Prepare Your Documents

The first step in ensuring that your translation process goes smoothly is preparing the documents that will be translated. This involves gathering them, ensuring they are clear and legible, and understanding the specific requirements of the translation task. 

Types of French Academic Documents That Can be Translated
  1. Diploma Certificate (Diplôme): Proof of completing a degree or program from a French educational institution.
  2. Transcripts (Relevés de notes): A transcript is a detailed record of your grades and coursework during your studies.
  3. Certificate of Completion (Attestation de réussite): This document confirms that you have completed a course or program.
  4. School Leaving Certificate (Certificat de fin d'études): Proof of completing the required education before entering higher education or the workforce.
  5. Academic Recognition and Equivalency Documents (Documents de reconnaissance académique et d'équivalence): Documents that equate your French qualifications with those in another country.
  6. Language Proficiency Certificates (Certificats de compétence linguistique): Certificates such as DELF or DALF, proving your proficiency in French, might need translation if you're proving language skills in a non-French speaking environment. 
  7. Scholarship Awards (Bourses d'études): Documentation of any scholarships awarded during your education. 
  8. Recommendation Letters (Lettres de recommandation): Letters from professors or academic advisors that endorse you to potential employers or educational institutions.
  9. Research Papers/Theses (Mémoires de recherche/thèses): If your academic work is relevant to your endeavors abroad, you might need translations of these documents.
  10. Internship Certificates (Certificats de stage): Proof of any internships completed as part of your education.
  11. Professional Qualifications and Certifications (Qualifications et certifications professionnelles): Any additional certifications relevant to your field of study or work. 
  12. Curriculum Vitae (CV): Though not strictly an academic document, your educational background is an important part of your CV.
Tips for Preparing French Academic Documents for Translation

Preparing your documents for translation, especially for official or academic purposes, requires careful attention to detail to ensure accuracy and compliance with the requirements of the recipient organization. Here are some tips to help you prepare your documents for translation from French to English:

  1. Organise the Paperwork: Compile all the documents you need to translate. It's better to organize them in advance to ensure nothing is missed.
  2. Review and Understand the Requirements: Make sure you understand the specific translation requirements of the organisation or country to which you are submitting the documents. This includes the type of translation needed (certified, notarized, etc.), the format they require, and any other specific details.
  3. Make Sure They Are Legible: Ensure that all documents are clear and legible. If a document is old, worn, or damaged, it might be worth obtaining a new official copy from the issuing institution.
  4. Provide Context or Glossaries: If your documents contain specialized terminology, acronyms, or abbreviations that are specific to your field of study, work, or country, consider providing the translator with context or a glossary if needed.
  5. Choose a Reputable Certified Translation Service: For official purposes, you may need a certified translation that includes a signed statement from the translator or translation company attesting to the accuracy of the translation. Verify if this is a requirement for your documents. Select a trustworthy certified translation service or translator who is experienced in translating academic or official documents. Check if they have expertise in your specific field and ask questions about their process
  6. Review Draft Translations: If possible, review a draft of the translated document to check for any errors or misunderstandings, especially regarding names, dates, and technical terms. It might be helpful to have an English native speaker review it as well.
  7. Keep Originals and Copies: Always keep your original documents and make copies of the translations. Some institutions may require you to submit the original translations, so having backups is wise.
  8. Understand Notarization Requirements: Some translations need to be notarized to verify the identity of the person signing the certification of accuracy. Check if this is required and how to obtain it.
  9. Check for Apostille or Legalization: Depending on the country where the documents will be used, you might need an apostille or legalization to verify the authenticity of the translated documents. Check the requirements and process for obtaining these in your country.


Order a Translation

After all the documents have been sorted and you have chosen your preferred translator, you can now order your translation. This is how to do it: 

  • Visit the website: Go to the Translayte website.
  • Request a quotation: Navigate to the order page and provide all the details about the documents you want to translate such as the language, the type of translation, and the turnaround time. This will help the translation company come up with a cost for the services.
  • Send in a digital copy of your academic documents: If you are satisfied with the pricing, go ahead and send in a clear digital copy of your certificates in the appropriate format. 
  • Review the Translation: Once the translation is done, you should review the documents for any errors or inconsistencies. If you find any issues, feel free to communicate with us to request correction. Our customer service representatives are available 24/7 to resolve any issues.

Using Your Translated Documents

Carefully read and follow the submission guidelines provided by the institution or organisation requiring the translated documents. Always submit copies of the translated documents when possible, keeping the originals and certified translations in a safe place. If the originals are requested, always keep track of them and ask for details on how they will be returned to you. Start the translation process well in advance of any application deadlines to avoid last-minute stress.

The Cost of Translating Your French Academic Certificates

Translations are usually charged either per word or per page. To know how much it will cost to translate your specific document, you only need to know how much a translator or agency charges per page or word and multiply that by the amount you have. The more words or pages you have, the more it will cost. 

At Translayte, translations are priced at $27.50 per page. 


Get French to English Translations With Translayte

Translayte provides certified, sworn, notarized, and legalized French to English translations that are accepted globally, with services including official translations in over 130 languages for a wide range of document types such as academic certificates, birth certificates, marriage certificates, and more. We offer different translation services based on your needs—standard, professional, and specialist translations, each designed to cater to specific document types and complexities.

Our certified translations are accompanied by a certification, usually in the form of a signature, stamp, and a statement from the translator or a representative of our agency, ensuring the translation is true and accurate. If you require a physical copy of the translation, We offer shipping options, including standard postage and priority mail, with quick delivery times. 

What are you waiting for? Check us out and order a translation today. You will not regret it.


How can I Translate my Certificate into English?

You can translate your certificate to English by simply visiting, requesting a quotation, uploading your document, and waiting for your translation. 

Do I Need to Install any Software to Translate a Document From French to English?

No, you do not need to install any software to translate a document from French to English. All you need to do is send or upload your document on the website of your chosen translator and they will translate it for you. 

How Long Does a Certified Translation Last?

Translations typically do not expire. They may come with the date the translation was completed but not with an expiry date unless the requesting institution says otherwise. 

Do Translations Need to be Certified?

A translation does not always need to be certified. Whether a translation needs to be certified depends on the specific requirements of the situation or institution requesting the translation. 

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