5 things you must know about sworn translation in Spain

In case you ever need one, and trust me, you will

What is a sworn translation and why do you need one

Chances are that you landed in this site because you need a sworn translation service in Spain or in Spanish. Even higher chances are that this is the first time you hear about sworn translation, and if so, these are some questions you could be asking yourself:

1. What is a sworn translation?

A sworn translation is any translation signed and sealed by a certified translator. This certification originates from an official governmental body, and in the case of Spain, it comes from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. The sworn translation then becomes a legally valid document, and the sworn translator guarantees the translation’s accuracy and fidelity to the original.

2. When do I need a sworn translation?

You will definitely need a sworn translation if you need to submit a document from your home country, written in a language other than Spanish, before any Spanish government body. This could be anything from your academic records, a marriage act, to court documents, bank extracts, medical reports and many more!
Likewise, if you need to submit a Spanish document abroad, you will probably need a translation. However, bear in mind that each country has its own certification method (certified and sworn translators, translators associations). In some cases, a Spanish sworn translation won’t do.

3. Who can provide sworn translations in Spain?

A sworn translator appointed by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

There are two ways to get certified in Spain. The most common one is taking a 3-level exam at the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, some graduates from the now extinct “Licenciatura” (a Bachelor degree plus specialisation) in Translation and Interpreting were in luck. Back in the day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs offered to certify students that completed electives on specialised legal translation and interpreting from a handful of universities as sworn translators. Why was this? It was considered that both ways led to the same end: to guarantee that sworn translators were competent and capable of producing accurate translations.

4. How to differentiate a sworn translation from a regular one?

Spanish sworn translations must include the original document (or its copy) together with the translation. Each page must be signed, sealed and bear the date. In the end, it must include a certification by the sworn translator. Regulations on the format of the seal and the certification have changed in recent years. But, of course, the name and certification number of the translator must be clearly stated.

5. Where can I find a sworn translator?

There are many ways to find the sworn translator that meets your needs.

In the website of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, you will find a full list with all the sworn translators and interpreters appointed up to date, with their languages of certification and contact details. However, it also includes inactive translators and obsolete data.

The best way to find the right sworn translator is searching through professional networks (LinkedIn and ProZ), looking up their professional websites, contacting agencies that specialise in sworn translation or checking Spanish Translators’ Associations (such as APTIJ and ATIJC).

In conclusion

If you need a Spanish sworn translator of English, you can always contact me!
And if you need somebody with a different language certification, don’t hesitate and contact me anyway. I know of many colleagues who can help. Translation providers like us often collaborate, and I believe that the best seal of approval is recommending a trusted colleague.

CONTACT

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