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Legal translation

Written by Montserrat González

Montserrat is a professional translator who likes to read and write fictional stories. There's nothing she enjoys more than spending time with her friends and family.

March 11, 2021

Differences between Sworn, Certified, and Notarized Translation

There are documents about different matters, and each one uses a certain type of terminology that is not used in other texts. But what can be done when the text is written in a different language? The answer to this is simple: It has to be translated!

Translators always seek to break down linguistic barriers between languages and their speakers to make a text understandable to people from different parts of the world. That is why different types of services are offered within the translation industry and not only the typical translated document. When it’s a legal document or an official document to carry out a procedure, a certified, sworn or notarized translation is requested.

But what are their differences between each other? Sometimes, even translation students tend to confuse these three types of services since they are used in the same field and share similarities, but each one has its differences and its specific use. In the following article, I will share their differences so that you, as the recipient of the service, know which type of translation to ask the translator or translation agency in order to successfully complete your procedures.

 

How to Choose the Correct Translation Service

If you have to submit official paperwork for any process that must be carried out through a government organization and you require the translation of those texts, you must know which service you need so you can get it on time and avoid errors or rejections in your process.

A simple translation is the translation of any physical or digital document, that doesn’t have a seal nor has official validity. This type of translation is usually provided for any kind of documents, such as documents in the technical, medical, and localization areas, that don’t need some kind of “certification” or “seal” from a government organization. The ones that are mentioned above are more specialized translations that not just any translator or translation agency can provide.

 

Sworn Translation

A sworn translation, also known as official Translation, is the translation of an official document certified by a wide range of official bodies. Some examples of these documents can be birth certificates, certificates of naturalization, court records, medical documents, among others.

This type of translation is different as it is official and made by a translator that is endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the corresponding country. This type of translation is required when a document must be presented to an official entity such as the U.S. Embassy or the Mexican Consulate. The title of a sworn translator or expert witness translator gives translators the authority to certify that the translation of a document is authentic and accurate.

If you require this type of service, I recommend you to go for a translation agency since this will be in charge of verifying these requirements and choose the perfect translator(s) to do the translation.

 

Certified Translation

But what is the difference between a sworn translation and a certified translation if both have to do with federal/government certification? Even if it is a tiny difference, it exists.

A certified translation consists of the translation of any document, that is, doesn’t have to be official or translated by a translator export, but its validity is certified by a translator, a translation agency, or a competent authority. In this type of document, the translator includes a legend that states that the translation is faithful to the original text.

The translator must be a professional who is a member of a relevant body and certified by the language pair you need. Such certification is gotten by taking an exam and meeting the requirements requested by that organization. Therefore, you must check if the translator complies with these characteristics when hiring the service.

If you as a client request a translation, the translator, translation agency, or translation organization must provide a letter signed by the corresponding professional/agency attesting that the document submitted is true and accurate.

 

Notarized translation

You can also ask for your notarized translation if needed. For this type of service, a professional translator takes an oath before a notary public to ensure that the translation is true and authentic, making him/her officially responsible in case of any errors.

The notary public officer is in charge of validating the translator’s identity only, not his/her knowledge. The translation is delivered with the seal of the notary’s office and a declaration of the professional’s knowledge of the language pair in question. Before hiring this service, it’s important that you investigate if the organism you’re delivering the document accepts notarized translations or not.

Now that you know a little bit about each type of translation, you can choose the one that best fits your needs. If you are interested in learning more about it, I recommend you to read about the importance of terminology in specialized translation, so you can take these aspects into account before hiring a translator.

Traduality Language Solutions offers you the highest-quality official translation services, please do not hesitate to contact us if you need one!

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