Sworn Translations

Sworn Translations

What is a sworn translation?

A sworn translation (a.k.a. certified translation or official translation) is a translation whose accuracy with regard to the original content has been officially certified.

When do I need a sworn translation?

Sworn translations can be required in many circumstances, but the most common scenario is when legal documentation in a foreign language has to be presented for local administrative procedures, or when local legal documentation has to be presented in foreign countries. These are some of the usual types of document that require sworn translation:

  • Contracts
  • Notarial Acts
  • Powers of attorney
  • Court documents
  • Official certificates

Sworn translation VS Regular translation

Sworn translations do not guarantee better quality than regular translations. In fact, both kinds of translation usually go through the same quality assurance procedures.

Is a sworn translation valid anywhere?

The process of certifying a translation is not internationally standardised. Every country has its own requirements regarding documentation, as well as its own procedures to certify sworn translators.

Therefore, depending on the type of documentation and the required purpose, in certain cases a sworn translation has to be certified by a local linguist in the country of destination. In other cases it is enough that the sworn translation undergoes a further certification (see Apostille) by the legal authorities of the exporting country.

For that reason, it is very important to know right from the beginning the purpose of the sworn translation and, especially, the country and organism where it will be used. This way, you will be able to save time and avoid incurring in additional costs.


Depending on their end purpose, a sworn translation may include a further step of official certification called apostille. Apostille is French for certification.

Through this process, a document issued in one of the Apostille Convention signatory countries becomes certified and can be used for legal purposes in all the other signatory states. A list of these signatory states can be found on the website of the Hague Conference on International Private Law.

The apostille does not authenticate the translation but is an official confirmation that a signature, seal or stamp on a public document is genuine.

Hard copy VS Digital copy

For a sworn translation to have legal value, the source document and its sworn translation must be delivered in hard copy format. This way, the documents are bound to the translator’s declaration
to avoid any changes being made afterwards. All pages of the translated document must have the signature and stamp of the sworn translator.

The layout is very important too. While most of the documents that usually require sworn translation have a straightforward layout, it is paramount for the translated version to maintain the exact layout of the source document to be deemed as valid.

Sworn translations at Arancho Doc

At Arancho Doc, our network of certified sworn translators in different countries and our solid experience providing sworn translations, allow us to help our clients get their official documents properly translated so that they can be accepted by the relevant organisations.

If you want to make sure that your legal documents go through the appropriate certification process, feel free to contact us for consultation.

By | 2017-06-06T13:17:07+00:00 September 15th, 2010|Professional Documentation|

About the Author:

The Arancho Doc Group is a recognized force within the international language industry. Headquartered in Bologna, Italy, the Arancho Doc Group provides language services and solutions to large corporations and multinationals from its strategic network of offices across Europe. By combining innovative technological solutions with in-depth knowledge of translation and localization processes, Arancho Doc is the ideal long-term language and communication partner of global companies. Arancho Doc is an SAP Partner and is certified according to the ISO 9001 and ISO 17100 Quality Standards

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