The Legal Translations and the Sworn Translators

February 6, 2017by silk-r2

Legal translation services may be required by any business or individual, though they are most commonly required by law offices and courts, for which legal translation services are a must. If the translated document is to be legally valid in another country, it has to be translated and certified by a “sworn translator”. A sworn translator is a person who has been certified by his country’s government with the power to execute a legal translation. This is different from a certified translation. In the latter case, the translator is highly competent and is a member of a recognized professional translators’ association or club. While this offers a guarantee of the quality of work, it is not legally binding. The document may be well translated, but it will not have any legal validity. A legal translation service will provide you with a translated document that bears the seal of a local civil court which identifies the translator as being a sworn translator. Any translation that is produced by a sworn translator may be deemed as being a legal document when it bears an official seal and signature. Every page of such a document will be signed and sealed in this manner.   Typical cases where sworn translations are required include:

  • Legal documents
  • Official recognition of academic certificates
  • Naturalization proceedings
  • Residents’ permits
  • Powers of attorney
  • Minutes of meetings
  • Contracts
  • Letters of intent and memoranda
  • Audits
  • Financial information

Even if a translator specializes in legal translation or is a lawyer in his country, this does not necessarily make him a sworn translator. The procedure for translating to legal equivalence differs from country to country, but generally a sworn translator should obtain the minimum academic credits required to obtain the “sworn translator” title in a Translation and Interpretation program, in order to be able to provide professional legal translations, or he has to pass the official examinations given once a year by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The validity of the sworn translation or interpretation depends on the region where it is signed. Key characteristics of sworn translators In addition to possessing the characteristics of ordinary translators, all good sworn translators have the following characteristics:

  • A knowledge of the legal systems of the countries in which the other languages in which they work are used
  • Pedantic attention to detail
  • Honesty and integrity