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Sworn translations for international validity

Sworn translations for international validity

Planning an important event that involves the laws of another country? Check with an experienced LSP to find out how you should handle the translation and validation of all documentation that might be required. Sworn or certified translations may be necessary and an important step to ensure the smooth unfolding of your plans.

Sworn translations are translations of documents that a certified “sworn translator” has translated and vouched for the accuracy of. Sworn translation experts are highly trained, specialized linguists. In addition to target language mastery, they also possess education in the laws of the countries for which they translate. There are countries in which sworn translations are required to ensure the legal validity of your documents in situations from marriage to company mergers.

Skrivanek provides sworn translations for legal purposes around the world:

  • Court transcripts
  • Passport/visa applications
  • Marriage, death, and birth certificates
  • Corporate documents
  • Contracts
  • Financial statements
  • Patent certificates
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Educational transcripts

A translator achieves certification as a sworn translator by passing an exam in their home country, undergoing a government certification process, taking an oath in a court of law, or some combination. The conditions that grant a translation legal authority vary country to country.* In some countries, like the U.S., the U.K., New Zealand, and Australia, the authenticity of documents is confirmed by means other than sworn translations, including the somewhat more relaxed requirement for “certified” translations to which a statement of accuracy by the translator is attached.

Now in 2023 sworn translations can be made valid by digital stamps rather than actual, witnessed signatures. A digital stamp is unique to an individual or organization and protected by specialized software that employs cryptographic technology (the use of cryptographic algorithms and systems that shield sensitive information). Skrivanek recently created a sworn translation of a marriage certificate from Arabic to Czech. After thirty years of work in this field, this was the first instance for us when the digital stamp of the court-approved translator of the Arabic document rendered it valid in Czech. Undoubtedly, in a world of nomads and burgeoning international connections, this will become more and more common.



J. V. McShulskis



* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certified_translation



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