Can you do your own Italian citizenship translations?
This is one of the most common questions I get. I'm happy to say that the answer is a resounding yes. You can do your own Italian citizenship translations.
If you do choose to translate your own documents for Italian citizenship, I'm happy to look over them for accuracy (I do offer proofreading services for this purpose). However, if you're not sure that your Italian is up to snuff, it's probably best to leave the translation to the pros.
Professional translators don't make errors
Did you know that you can't translate names, addresses, and most proper nouns? For example, if your name is Frank and you're translating your U.S. birth certificate into Italian, you can't put down Francesco (the Italian version of "Frank") as your name. Save for rare exceptions, proper nouns stay untranslated.
Ditto for place names (Green Street, for example, doesn't become "Verde" Street) and the like. Also, you can't correct discrepancies via your translations. If your original misspells a name, you've got to maintain the misspelling in the translation.
Finally, we don't make the big errors that can torpedo your application for dual citizenship. I once re-translated documents that were rejected by a consular officer. The applicant had done the translations himself and had translated the word "race" in English to "gara" in Italian. While gara does mean "race," the original document was referencing ethnicity--not the Indy 500. The mistranslation made the document unintelligible.
Professional translators know this and we don't waste time making these little (and big) mistakes.
Professional translators format your documents correctly
I personally love translating documents for Italian dual citizenship because it allows me to be a little creative. I like to recreate the look and feel of the original record, replicating the tables and formatting where possible.
This serves two purposes: it looks nice and it's easier for the consular officials to compare my translations with your originals.
Professional translators are familiar with consular requirements
Because I see so many documents daily (and I also own an Italian citizenship consulting firm), I've grown very familiar with each consulate's documentation requirements. When clients have a question about what they'll need to present for their application, they can always ask their translator for guidance.
Here are some other reasons why you might consider hiring a professional to do your Italian citizenship translations
A professional can complete your translations quicker than you probably could
We can help with other things requiring an Italian speaker, such as tracking down documents from Italy
It might be cheaper in the long run to go with a pro. If you try to translate your documents yourself, you might get it wrong. Then, in a time crunch you'll need to hire someone to correct them as a rush job. This costs more than sending them to a translator in the beginning with time to spare.