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Sworn translation

Sworn translation

What is a sworn translation?

A sworn translation (also called an official translation because it is recognised by the authorities and official bodies) is a full and faithful rendering of the original text produced by a translator who is authorised by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (and who is only authorised to translate documents from a foreign language into Spanish). This translation is delivered to the client in paper format (never by e-mail) as it must bear the signature and stamp of the authorised translator.

Who can produce a sworn translation?

A sworn translation cannot be done by any translator, however expert they may be in a language. A sworn translator is one who not only possesses in-depth knowledge of the language he or she is translating into, in addition to being familiar with legal and administrative rules and the legal systems in the countries whose languages they work with, but who also acts as a public certifying officer appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Spain. The sworn translator takes full responsibility for the translated text, so these translations are normally more expensive than normal ones. It is also important to note that sworn translators can translate into both their native language (Spanish), known as direct translations, and into the foreign language (English, French, German, Italian, etc.), known as inverse translations.

The sworn translator is also called a sworn interpreter because they work orally, meaning that they have the skills to translate (interpret) in police stations, courts of law, notary offices, etc. with the guarantee that comes with holding a sworn translator's ID card.

When is a sworn translation necessary?

When doing transactions with certain official bodies (ministries, universities, courts of law, etc.) and the documents being submitted are written in another language. These bodies require these documents to be translated by a sworn translator in order for them to be legally valid. The most commonly requested translations of this kind are those for

  1. Administrative Documentation: Certificates for criminal record checks, marriage, death, birth, residency, social security, salary, income, bank statements, employment records, etc.
  2. Commercial Documentation: registrations in the Commercial Register, contracts, company incorporation proceedings, articles of association, lawsuits, writs, etc.
  3. Academic Documentation: academic qualifications and records (Primary, Secondary, High School, University), registration fees, etc. 
  4. Notarial Documentation: deeds, powers of attorney, all kinds of agreements, wills, general texts, etc. 
  5. Legal Documentation: rulings, resolutions, verdicts, crime reports, experts' reports, arbitration rulings, etc. 
  6. Documentation related to Intellectual Property: (application and granting) trademarks, patents, designs, copyright, semiconductor products, plant varieties, designations of origin, geographical indications, valuation of intangible assets, prior art searches, utility models, opposition texts, trademark distribution contracts, etc.

Sworn translations, official translations signed and stamped by a sworn translator appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, have official status according to the content of Royal Decree 2555/1977.

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