Translating an Official Document in Cameroon

As a foreigner in Cameroon or a national, you may want your academic certificates, identification papers, court rulings or matrimonial documents translated into French or English for administrative or travel purposes.

To begin with, you must know that in Cameroon unlike in France and some Western countries, there are no sworn or certified translators in the strictest sense.

In the Country, we have mainly two classes of people who translate:

First and foremost,  there are people with a “mastery” of two or more languages who have ventured into the translation industry, often with the goal to “make ends meet”.

Secondly, we have trained professional graduates from well known translation schools who are thus practicing the trade they duly learned.

To be on the safe side, especially with regard to the Cameroonian context, it is better to make sure that the translator you are contacting for your official translation is a professional from an acknowledged translation school. Why?

This is because a translation is only considered official in Cameroon and accepted in government offices, including the External Relations Ministry when it bears the Name, stamp and address of the a translator recognized as academically authorized to do so. In other words, having your translation done by someone who is not a graduate from a translation school will simply land you into trouble when you present the translation in a government office.

Another detail you should check about your translator in Cameroon is the cultural and educational background. You must note that Cameroon is a bilingual country and virtually anyone can claim to write both English and French. However, if you have certificates to translate into English, you are better up getting a translator who underwent English Education before becoming a translator. You can contact an English translator by sending an email to

If on the contrary, you want your certificate  translated into the French Language, you should contact someone who underwent French Education before becoming a translator. If you want a translation into English or French, visit the website

Like I said before, this is the practice in Cameroon. In our next article, we will see what is needed if you want to translate and use your document in Britain,  USA or France.

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