Difference between certification and sworn translation

Don’t know whether to choose between certification and sworn translation? Learn more about the difference between these two services and find out which one is right for you

When you need to have a document translated, your first step should be to hire an agency or a professional translator to do the job.

Before accepting the job, the translator will likely ask some questions to gain a better understanding of the task. In particular, he/she will probably ask you if you know what type of service you need.

To avoid any problems with this question, you need to know the difference between certification and sworn translation. You will need a specific service depending on your scenario.

We will now explain what each of them means. Check it out below:

Sworn translation

As the name suggests, this service is called a sworn translation because translators are required to take an oath.

Using a stamp and signature, the professional translator certifies the accuracy of the translation, thus ensuring it is legally equivalent to the original document

Certain documents require this type of service, especially in cases where:

  • You want to submit them to a foreign country;
  • They come from a foreign country and you want to submit them to your home country.

Also, depending on the country where the translation will be done, a specific protocol should be followed. In Spain, for example, translators need to be accredited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and have their stamps and signatures registered.

In general, a sworn translation needs to follow the following steps:

First, a printed or scanned copy of the original document must be sent to the company or professional providing the service.

Once the document is received, a translator will translate the document, sign, and stamp it. Finally, the sworn translation is sent back to the customer along with the original document.

Documents that can be translated using this format

Some examples of documents that may require sworn translation include:

  • Medical reports
  • Contracts
  • Education certificates
  • Divorce applications
  • Marriage certificates
  • Birth certificates
  • Death certificates
  • Wills
  • Forensic reports
  • Corporate bylaws
  • Patents
  • Statements
  • Constitutions

Certified translation

Certified translations require stricter authentication and guarantee a much more accurate process than translations simply performed by native speakers of a given language or even regular translators.

This is possible because only qualified, certified and highly experienced translators in a specific field can perform them.

Also, as in the sworn translation process, the certification bears a statement from the professional translator attesting the accuracy of all the information presented in the document.

Then, the statement is signed, stamped and contact information is included. This is done to certify translation quality and validate translation equivalence.

Also, a certification requires validation by a notary or a city official to complete the process.

Certified translation is generally required on immigration documents, court transcripts, supporting documents, and passports, for example.

Certified translations are also usually required when you need to submit a birth, death or marriage certificate, for example.

How can the right translation service help your business?

Choosing the right translation service will ensure the necessary validity of your documents in different countries and bring benefits to your business.

For example, imagine your company has closed a deal with a foreign business and that a contract has been prepared to validate the transaction. One of your priorities at this stage is to ensure the document is valid in both countries, so that it can be submitted to public and private agencies whenever necessary.

Depending on the country and the content of the contract, it will be necessary to choose between certification and sworn translation to avoid any potential problems and have legal support if necessary.

This also applies to powers of attorney, employees’ technical certifications, lawsuits, and any other documents that should be legally valid in different countries.

Choosing the wrong service can be more expensive than you think because you will lose money and time.

In addition to any potential rework, you may still face potential legal penalties because you won’t have any legal support.

It’s better to ask first than regret later

Now that you know the difference between certification and sworn translation, you should still simply ask and find out which type of service is the most suitable for you.

In this case, take the tips below to save time, money, and avoid potential problems. Before requesting your translation, make sure of the following:

  • Find out exactly (in writing) what kind of translation you should send;
  • Hire exactly (also in writing) the service you need;
  • Confirm that the translator’s credentials are correct and valid;
  • Obtain all required stamps and signatures before sending the document for translation;
  • Have all the documents to be translated ready and send them together (avoiding minimum order, and reducing logistics and freight costs);
  • Find a version of your documents in digital format that can be edited (when the text can be copied and pasted);
  • Provide or recommend a reference document;
  • Prepare everything in advance.

After understanding what your need is, you should hire a specialized translation agency to take care of your documents.

The truth is that a person or a business can truly benefit from having a good relationship with a sworn translation agency. Sworn translation agencies work with competent translators specialized in all types of translations.

So remember: when you need this type of service, count on Fidelity.

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