Brazil has been encouraging student exchange programs. Every year, an increasing number of multinational companies start their subsidiaries in Brazil and bring dozens of employees from their countries of origin. Professionals take specialization courses abroad and come back home bringing not only knowledge and experience, but also partners and children born in another country.
These are only some of the cases where sworn translation is necessary. A sworn translation makes foreign-language documents legally valid in Brazil. Birth, marriage, divorce or death certificates, in addition to resumes, diplomas, inventory and certifications must be duly translated to Portuguese by a sworn translator to have legal effect in Brazil. For this reason, the service of sworn translators is sought after in Notary’s Offices.
On October 21st, 1943, Federal Decree No. 13.609 outlined that foreign documents would only be valid if submitted with their respective sworn translations, and that the original document would not be replaced with the translation. This is applicable to any physical document, including a marriage certificate, a technology transfer agreement, personal documents, printed email messages or patents.
This type of translation is indispensable whenever a document needs to have legal effects, including in court – as a piece of evidence in lawsuits, for example – or in situations requiring registration or filing with any Brazilian agency, institution or authority.
This translation service officially reflects the contents of the original document written in a foreign language to Portuguese, but it does grant it a higher value than the original document already has. Usually, the customer hires a sworn translator and the job deadline is agreed upon. However, in some cases, the presence of the sworn translator may be necessary. This is the case, for example, when this professional has to act as an interpreter in Notary’s Offices throughout Brazil.
Verbal original content faithfully reproduced
Among the most common situations, we can mention registering foreign children born in Brazil, marriages between Brazilians and foreigners, foreigners selling or buying real estate, or foreigners summoned to testify. In these cases, the sworn translator will act as an official interpreter for everything that is said at the occasion, faithfully reproducing the verbal content to another language.
The translator’s signature does not require authentication because his/her translation is officially accepted as true. However, several agencies and public departments in Brazil require signature authentication. It is important to stress that sworn translators (also known as public translators) need to have passed a public examination and be qualified by the Trade Board of the State where they live.
Notary’s Offices and sworn translators usually establish partnerships to work together in official processing tasks. Despite having passed a public examination, sworn translators are not public servants, and they are responsible for attracting and keeping their own customers. They can be found in the Trade Board of each State.
According to São Paulo Trade Board (JUCESP), there are approximately 1,500 sworn translators in the State. Despite the fact all sworn translators are equally qualified and that sworn translation rates are standardized by the Trade Board, it is recommended that customers learn about the experience background and the type of work each translator is more familiarized with, thus ensuring effective results according to their expectations.