Understand why sworn translation is so important to business

Livros para tradução juramentada sobre a mesa

This type of translation is fundamental to businesses of all sizes and segments.

Translation services are key to meeting the demands of globalization and enabling documents in different languages to be understood by as many people as possible around the world. However, sworn translation in São Paulo and other regions of Brazil is a special type of translation compared to other translation modalities.

With different applications, sworn translation is simply indispensable in legal and corporate environments. If your business hasn’t needed it yet, it probably will some point along the way.

This text provides a brief explanation of what this kind of translation is all about and why it can make a difference in helping secure business deals and expand operations.

What is sworn translation?

Also called public translation, it is a modality of translation targeting foreign documents required to produce legal effect, so that its validity can be maintained in situations where the document is translated into another language.

There are not so many differences between general and sworn translation. As regards to the way of translating, sworn translation also requires the expertise employed in general translations. The biggest difference is that public translators have authority to attest their translations.

Sworn translators – officially referred to as Public Translators and Commercial Interpreters (TPIC) – need to be qualified by their State Board of Trade after they have been dully approved and qualified to provide this type of service.

This is necessary for their translations to be officially attested, which ensures their authenticity. In other words, sworn translators are authorized to give legal validity to the document translated by them without having to resort to any public agency to do so.

Why is sworn translation in São Paulo and other states so important to business?

Basically, because it validates a multitude of documents that need to be exchanged between companies or institutions from different countries before the law, so that such documents can be submitted and recognized in their respective countries.

When you think about the most common documents requiring sworn translation, most of them are related to bureaucratic procedures required between companies, such as commercial contracts, technical reports and bank vouchers, for example.

In addition, if a company is interested in hiring a foreign employee, sworn translation will also be required from the applicant as he/she will need to submit diplomas, transcripts, syllabus, among other documents, written in the native language of the country he/she will be working.

In short, any document that a company has to use and that is not in the official language of the country to which the document is intended must undergo sworn translation. Otherwise, it will not have its legal validity confirmed and will therefore no longer be useful.

It is common to look for sworn translation services in São Paulo because the state is Brazil’s main business center. According to Econodata website, there are more than 5.4 million businesses in the state of São Paulo alone.

However, other businesses around Brazil – and around the world – also require sworn translation services whenever they need to prove, in their respective countries, the validity of a document issued in foreign territory.

Globo com a palavra tradução escrita em diferentes idiomas

Examples of the use of sworn translation in São Paulo business scenario

To better understand how this translation service works, we provide the example below, showing how sworn translations are essential in the corporate world.

Let’s suppose a Brazilian company has entered into a contract with a company located in the Netherlands to market some of its products. The product datasheet is written in Dutch and the company holds all the appropriate marketing authorizations.

Some of these marketing authorizations may be requested in Brazil as the products will be marketed in the country. If a regulatory agency requires product datasheets to be submitted and the Brazilian company only has documents written in Dutch, the process cannot continue.

This is because it is not possible to understand the document, that is, the person responsible for analyzing the datasheet would not be able to perform the authorization procedure only with the document written in Dutch.

First, the Brazilian company would have to look for a qualified professional to perform the required sworn translation in São Paulo (or in other state) so that a Dutch/Portuguese translator can translate the document into Portuguese without compromising its legal validity.

With a sworn translation in hand, the Brazilian company can submit the documents to the agencies responsible for product certification in Brazil and then obtain the necessary authorizations for marketing.

Countries have different legal requirements to market certain products and certifying agencies change, but the above example makes it clear how sworn translations are indispensable in the business world.

How to choose a sworn translation agency?

Once you understand why sworn translation is required and what requirements translators need to fulfill to provide this service, it becomes clear how important it is to choose a good agency. You can do this by looking at the following criteria:


  • Experience: The time a company has been operating says a lot about the quality of its services and the competence of its staff, and this also applies to translation agencies.



  • Technical staff: Translators must be carefully selected and thoroughly tested on the languages they master in order to ensure their expertise to clients.



  • Delivery time: It is important to check that the delivery time proposed by the agency isn’t too short. Accurate and high-quality translations take time. Ideally, delivery terms should be fair and beneficial to both parties.



  • Rate: Quality services have their value, and this should be reflected in the rates charged by the translation agency. Rates should be in line with average market prices, i.e. it is also wise to suspect of rates that are too low.


Each of these aspects must be taken into consideration when comparing agencies that offer sworn translation services in São Paulo. The aspects above will help you make a good decision.


Fidelity is a translation agency with over 49 years of market experience and highly-qualified staff, performing sworn translations in a strictly professional way, meeting all customer expectations.

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