What is a Sworn or Certified Translation?
A Sworn Translation (from or to Spanish, and from or to English, French, German or any other language) has several features which make it different from normal translation:
1. It is sealed and signed by a sworn translator duly authorised to do it (the "sworn interpreter").
2. It is valid before the public adminstration or private companies.
Sworn Translations can only be delivered in hardcopy, due to their legal nature and because they need to be sealed and signed by the sworn translator. OFFICIAL STAMPED PAPER IS NOT NECESSARY, although it is available to clients upon request.
Nevertheless, the original documents can be submitted by any means (fax, email or a photocopy), as sworn translators are not notaries, but attestors of the contents of the translation (not attestors of the originality of a document, which corresponds to Notaries).
Who is entitled to attest sworn translations?
Sworn Translation, in Spain, is only authorised to sworn interpreters (sworn translators) appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as they are the only translators entitled to do this type of translation of all kinds of texts (legal, law, economic, general, certificates, etc.)
The Language Interpreting Department in Madrid and the Government Delegation or Civil Government in the corresponding province register such appointments, as well as the seal and signature of each sworn translator: English Sworn Translator, French Sworn Translator, etc.
Situations in which you might need a sworn translationCertain authorities (Ministry, Court, Academic Institution, etc.) usually demand sworn translation or interpreting of documents or acts. Such institutions, both Spanish or from overseas, need these translations sealed by an official Sworn Translator duly appointed and with lawful validity.
On the other hand, Sworn Translation is also used to officially support the information translated, as the translator is to be held responsible for the translation, by signing and sealing it, thus making this service necessary also for private companies or individuals.