sworn translations

Frequently asked questions about sworn translation

If you need a sworn translation from or into Spanish of your academic record, a contract or a deed, and you don’t know where to start, here are some questions to ask.

Frequently asked questions about sworn translation

Is a legal translator the same as a sworn translator?

Many customers are not sure of what a sworn or official translation is. A legal translator specializes in legal translations, i.e. documents coming from the field of law. A sworn translator is authorised by a public body or a private organisation to certify translations. Although most of the sworn translations are of a legal nature, technical translations, such as patents, or medical translations, such as discharge reports or clinical analyses, are also certified.

Do I need to bring the original document to have it translated?

There is not need to attach the original document to the translation unless expressly requested. All you need to do is send a scanned copy with good resolution. Please note that some official documents may be invalidated by the affixing of improper stamps.

I've been asked to have the translation apostilled, what does it mean?

The Hague Apostille is an annex attached to the document to make it internationally valid in those countries that have signed the convention that bear that name. The translation will be apostilled when it is delivered in a foreign country and the procedure consists of two steps:

1) In Spain, once the translation has been delivered, the Public Notary must authenticate the signature of the translator.
2) The sworn translation with the signature legalisation is sent to the Association of Notaries so that the Dean can issue the corresponding Apostille.

Can I make photocopies?

If you wish, you can make photocopies and keep them as proof, but you must give out the originals to the body that requested the sworn translation.

Does the signature of the sworn translator have to be legalised?
Translations that are signed and stamped by a sworn translator are considered, for all purposes, official documents valid within the Spanish national territory. In Spain, there is not need to legalize the signature before a Notary, unless it is as a previous procedure for the issuance of the Apostille.
Can I order more copies of my translation?

Yes. If after some time you need an exact copy of the same translation, you can order additional copies by paying a percentage of the amount you paid for the first copy. The price varies if the copies are ordered together with the original, or if it is done after a period of time.

When do I have to pay?

Sworn translations are always paid for in advance. Translation is a service and not a commodity. Translations are personalized and “tailor-made”.

Is the translation sealed and signed?

Yes. The sworn translation can be printed on stamped or plain paper and bears the signature and stamp of the sworn translator (which is also kept in a register at the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs). This is what any ministry, university or civil registry requires when they ask you for a sworn or official translation.