María Palomares Tarí
WHAT IS SWORN TRANSLATION AND WHEN DO I NEED IT?
Sworn translation is generally recognised as an officially accepted translation of a legal document or any document that needs to be accepted in a legal situation. This includes birth certificates, university degrees, academic records, certificates of incorporation, statutes and other official documents.
Sworn translations are regarded as having formal status by the authorities, so they are always needed when a translation is to be used for administration purposes or governmental requirements.
It is important to know that sworn translation requirements are dependent upon the country in which it will be used, and therefore regulations can change based on the location. In fact, that’s why maybe you’ve heard that these translations can also be called certified, public or official, depending on the process used for translating for the target country.
A sworn translation of a document is endorsed by the signature and seal of a sworn translator.
SWORN TRANSLATORS: WHO ARE THEY?
Sworn translation is the translation of any official document that requires the signature, stamp or seal of an authorised translator. Then, a sworn translator is a translator accredited to grant legal validity to a translation of the content of a document in another language. Through their signature and stamp, they authenticate the content of a document.
It is essential to notice that in some countries such as France, Spain, or the Netherlands, the translator becomes a sworn translator by taking an oath before a court. In this case, his or her translations are accepted as a full and faithful version of the original and in accordance with legal requirements, and they include the translator’s signature and seal. However, in other countries like the USA or the UK, it doesn’t work that way. In these countries, a translation can be certified if it has been signed by the translator in the presence of a solicitor or notary. Despite this fact, these professionals are not responsible for guaranteeing the accuracy of the document, but the translator is.
On the other hand, a translation can also be certified by the translator or the translation company by stating their qualifications.
To make this process easier and faster, in 1961 many nations joined together to create a simplified method of "legalizing" documents for universal recognition. Member of the conference, known as The Hague Convention, adopted a document referred to as an Apostille that would be recognized by all member nations. This apostille certifies that the person who sends the translation acts as attester of the document and certifies the accuracy, completeness and official value of the document, so it is officially recognized in the country of intended use.