If you want to immigrate to a foreign country in search of education or employment one of the most common requirements is for you to submit a sworn translation of your documents from one language to another, let’s say English to French. This would mainly include your birth certificate or university degree or criminal background certificate. But what is a sworn translation? And how is it different from a simple translation?

What Are Sworn Translations?

In this article, we will try to explain what a sworn translation is. And why not just anyone can do it. So, let’s begin.

Sworn Translations have many other names, such as official translation or certified translation, depending on where you are located. But they all refer to the same thing. Sworn translation is a translation produced by an accredited professional translator, who has been officially validated to do so. And what is so special about a sworn translator, you might ask, is that, unlike a non-sworn professional translator, a sworn translator is a professional who has been appointed by an official body after having passed several intensive legal translation examinations. In many countries such as France or Spain, these translators are accredited by their Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Why can’t you Produce a Sworn Translation Yourself?

Or any of your friends who speak a foreign language?

The answer to this question can be given vis-a-vis a practical example. So let’s discuss that.

Imagine that one of the requirements when applying for an engineering job in a foreign state is for you to have studied engineering at the university level. You’ve done a professional training course related to engineering, but its content and the number of hours involved are not the same as those of a university engineering degree.

Falsify Information

If you produce the translation yourself or someone you know, you might falsify information and translate your qualifications as if you had studied at university when it is not actually the case.


This is why the sworn translator is necessary. In other words, sworn translators are a kind of material translator. They produce an objective translation, sign, and stamp on all its pages. And include a certificate to attest that it is a true and complete translation of the original document.

If there is a problem with a translation, or it includes false information, then the sworn translator would accept full responsibility.

Where Can you Find One?

Now you know what the sworn translator is, you might ask where you can find one?

You have two options, contact a sworn translation company to arrange everything for you, or directly contact a translator from the official register of sworn translators.

Difficulties Faced In Sworn Document Translation

People who are looking for Sworn translations are in need of the services of an expert that is highly knowledgeable in legal terms and practices. Translating legal documents need accurate and correct translation, and it’s one of the most difficult of all translation work.

There are many things that need legal translation, including birth certificates, application letters, technical titles, financial statements, evidence documents, litigation materials, and business contracts.

  • Knowledge Related To Legal Intricacies

Translators should not only possess general knowledge of legal terminology, but they should also be well versed in statutory requirements and the legal intricacies of foreign cultural and legal systems.

  • Financial Costs

The process of translation per se is already a complex process that involves so many specific skills. However, translating legal documents is more taxing as the ramifications of even the slightest of mistakes involve a complex legal process, notwithstanding the financial costs in reverse.

  • Incorporating Legal Language

There are some things to keep in mind when doing a legal translation. The source text is structured to follow the legal system that conforms to its own legal language and culture.

Sworn text, on the other hand, will be read by another person and it’s similar to another language and legal system.

  • Clearly Defined Rules

There should be clearly defined duties and rights for all organizations and individuals concerned when creating the translation. It should ensure that sworn translations are delivered precisely in the source and target text.

  • No Direct Equivalents In The Target Language

Likewise, it should be remembered that the linguistic structures of the source language might not have direct equivalents in the target language.

It is the responsibility of the translator to find a suitable language structure that is similar to the source text and legal issues.

  • Strict Deadlines

Sworn translation carries strict deadlines because when translated documents are needed, they have to be submitted by the client within a specific time period. Hence, delays cannot be afforded. Particularly in the cause of a delay, the concerned party might render the document.

  • Employee Confidentiality

Now employee confidentiality is an issue because almost all legal documents contain sensitive data. Lawyers constantly faced the contrasting world of real legal life. And ideally, you have the law, which is actually an assortment of numerous personals that are still subject to general interpretation and not by permanent statutes.

  • International Legal Problems

Lawyers when dealing with international legal problems have to do with words that should be accurately written, which depends on good sentence structure, syntax, and word selection. Hence, it is the reason why legal translators should have the necessary experience and knowledge of legal terminologies of both the source and target languages.

  • Translating Legal Documents Into Foreign Language

An international lawyer will depend on the expertise of a translator to help foreign documents translated into his own language. The more difficult form of translation is translating legal documents into foreign languages. It is considered more difficult than proper technical translations.

The legal terminology is what makes it difficult because each country has its own legal terminology as well as a legal system. More often than not, it is also different from another country even if the language they speak is identical.

Translator Requirement

A legal translator must have competencies in three areas’

  • Competency in the target language particularly writing style,
  • Familiarity with the person’s terminology,
  • And general knowledge of the legal systems of the source and target languages.

There is no room for word-for-word translation when translating legal documents.

The Translator For Sworn Translations Must Be Part Detective

The professional translator of legal documents must be part detective. They must be legal scholars and linguists with the amount of research work that needs to be done to be able to decode the source and write its actual meaning that will never in any circumstances deviate from the original content, even if an exact translation is not possible.

Understanding Where The Sworn Translations Is To Be Used

Likewise, the translator must understand where the translation is to be used. As this will affect the approach when translating the document. It definitely affects several parameters including term or register syntax, phraseology, and terminology. When the source text is not well written, it is also the job of the translator to decide whether to translate it into something vague as the original or make it meaningful, which could be the case that was hampered by poor writing.

Top Three Tips When Choosing The Best Sworn Translation Services Provider

Sworn document translation is such a demanding task. It requires professional legal translators that have the right academic background and are backed by years of legal translation expertise.

Do you want to hire a sworn translation service today? What are the tips you should remember prior to making a decision to hire one? With these tips, you will be able to translate English or any other international language to your native language for a better understanding.

Here are the tips to remember;

  1. The efficiency of the services
  2. The cost of hiring sworn translators
  3. The trust and reputation of sworn translators.
  • The Efficiency of the Services

You should ensure that you check the level of efficiency. Therefore, they should focus their effort and mind on the existing materials like conducting or printing preliminary observations by identifying the existing vocabulary before translating the documents. This will ensure that they get the grammar and diction correctly during the process of translation.

  1. The cost of hiring sworn translators

Before you can hire a sworn translator, you should know how much they will charge you. This means you must do your research well to know the amount of money you will spend on their services.

With correct comparisons of rates in the market. You will be in a position to get the best deals, thus helping you make some savings. The next time you choose sworn translation services you should ensure that you do not pay too much when affordable options are available.

  • The Trust and Reputation of Sworn Translators

When choosing sworn translators, you should ensure that they are trustworthy, since they will determine the quality of services they will provide. By visiting their websites you will find reviews of clients who have hired them in the past to make an informed decision depending on what will ultimately satisfy you.

These engaging sworn translator services are more appropriate when translating texts, documents, or even materials for maximum satisfaction.

In conclusion, the above are the three tips when choosing the best-sworn translation services depending on what will ultimately satisfy your needs.

Concluding Remarks

Sworn translation services are playing an important role in breaking the language barrier between nations across the world. The quality of service provided by legal translation services has to be accurate and precise. There is no room for error in such an important field. The smallest of errors can have devastating legal consequences for the parties involved.

This is why before investing in the services of any legal translation company, you should examine a whole host of legal translation companies to find which one is the most reliable and dependable.

Any translation company should provide services that are well versed in both English and the target language. The translators should also be intimately familiar with the legal process in both countries. There are some things to look out for in a good translation company.