11 January 2021

What is a certified translation?

Categoria: Linguistic Services

One of the defining phenomena of our age is globalization, which has led us, willingly or not, to develop more and closer relationships with other countries. All over the world, economic and commercial exchanges have grown exponentially and so has the internationalization of companies and professional services.

As a result, more and more people need to translate documents and make them legally valid in other countries. This is what is meant by “certified translation”. Also known as “sworn translation”, or by the less appropriate definition of “legal translation”, it consists of the translation of a document whose legal value is recognized both in its original form and translated version into the target language.

This raises a question: when is it necessary to use this type of translation?


When is a certified translation necessary?


A certified translation, or sworn translation, is mandatory when it is necessary to present documents in another country that have the same legal value as the original text. This applies across the board to a wide variety of documentation: legal deeds, contracts, notary deeds, vehicle registration documents, marriage or divorce certificates and academic documents such as diplomas, transcripts and certificates.

Whenever a copy of a document of this nature is required in a language other than the original, a simple translation is not sufficient. It is necessary to enlist the services of a team of experts who can produce and provide a certified translation.


Who can certify a document?


Theoretically, a translator only needs to meet two requirements to provide a sworn translation: to be of legal age and to take an oath before the Clerk of the Court, the Justice of the Peace or a notary. In addition to these requirements, knowledge of both languages (source and target) in which the document is written and knowledge of the legal framework of the two countries in question are also required.

By taking an oath, the translator declares that he or she has accurately translated the text from the original and assumes responsibility for his or her work, especially from a legal standpoint.

The customer does not have to be present for the purpose of certifying a document, but the translator must appear before the Clerk of the Court, judge or notary and sign an oath in which he or she claims to have faithfully and accurately translated all the information contained in the original text. The result of the certification therefore consists of a stapled file including the original text, its translation – marked with a revenue stamp every 5 pages, and the signed oath form.

In practice, the regulation described above is not applied in all countries. In Italy, for example, to be able to certify documents, a translator must be registered as a court-appointed technical consultant (CTU), or must be a consultant with the local chamber of commerce, or alternatively can be nominated through a special list by an ISO 17100 or ISO 9001-certified translation company through a trade association.

To guarantee high-quality certified translations, we at Way2Global offer support from our project managers based at our Milan headquarters, as well as a professional off-site team of legal translators with expertise in local jurisdictions and international regulations.

This organizational structure allows us to certify documents and obtain sworn translations for customers at notary offices, courts, consulates, embassies or ministries anywhere in the world.

Do you need a certified translation? Contact us here!


What is a certified translation?


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