Legal translation Legal translation


Any document that is to be submitted to a court/Government department/Academic institution/Professional organisation (industry regulator, eg: British Medical Council, Law Society, etc..)/Insurance company has to be presented as either a Certified translation or Sworn translation. Briefly, Certified translations are used in English speaking countries that use the Common law system (see list under Certified translations). Sworn translations are predominantly used in the rest of Europe where the Civil law system is used.


Will I need a Certified translation or Sworn translation ?

A 'Certified translation' is only recognised by the Government/Court and the translation is not a legal document. Anglophile countries that use 'Common law' - UK, Ireland, -see list below. The courts/Government do not regulate (set exams for/set requirements for) the translators providing the Certified translations. Certain Professional Translation Organisations (that set exams and membership) will be recognised by courts and Government departments as able to provide Certified translations. The Professional Translation Organisations will set the exam standard and membership criteria.

A 'Sworn translation' is a legal document in its own right. Continental Europe that use 'Civil law' - France, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Czech republic, Hungary, Romania, Turkey. Sworn translators will be directly regulated (pass exmas/abide by certain conditions) by a court or Government department.


Legal translationCertified Translation

is used for legal documents into English for:

  • UK
  • United States
  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • South Africa
  • Commonwealth countries/ex-British colonies
  • Countries that use the Common Law system

In the case of UK, the translator has to be a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists or Institute of Translation and Interpreting. He/she will attach a statement including their registration number and signature. That 'Certified translation' is recognised by UK courts and UK Government departments.

We can receive scanned copies of the original document for translation. Your 'Certified translation' can only be delivered as a hard copy (via mail or courier).


What the UK authorities require?

  • The translator has to be a member of the CIoL or ITI.
  • Attach a statement to the translation stating:
  • Their registration number, contact details, date and signature as well as..
  • a statement stating that it 'is a true and faithful translation of the original' document.

In the statement, it would mention the original document, thereby linking this to the translation. All three documents (translation, scanned copy of the original and statement) would be required to be sent by post (as it has the signature of the translator).


Sworn translationSworn Translation

is used for legal documents from English for:

  • France
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Finland
  • Denmark
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Italy
  • Czech republic
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Turkey

This is carried out by a 'Sworn translator', who has passed exams and is appointed/regulated by the courts or a Government department. The sworn translation will bear their stamp and signature. They can only receive the original copy and delivery is as a hard copy (via mail or courier).

All sworn translations will bear the stamp of the sworn translator, although the fornalities do slightly differ between countries, for example Italian Sworn translations require a stamp from the courts as well, Russian Sworn translations need to be stamped by a Public Notary.


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Sworn and Certified translation in Europe


Use the map of Europe below to find out whether you need a certified or sworn translation for your document:

Legal translation in Europe British Certified translation French sworn translation Spanish sworn translation Italian sworn translation German sworn translation Polish sworn translation Ukrainian translation Russian translation Finnish translation Swedish sworn translation Norwegian translation Icelandic translation Irish Certified translation Portuguese translation Belarusian translation Romanian sworn translation Bulgarian translation Greek translation Turkish sworn translation Lithuanian translation Latvian sworn translation Danish translation Dutch sworn translation Belgian sworn translation Estonia Swiss translation German translation French sworn translation Italian sworn translation Hungarian sworn translation Slovak translation Czech sworn translation Serbia Croatia Bosnia and Herzegovina Albania Moldova Slovenia Russian translation Greek translation Spanish sworn translation Greek translation Luxembourg Andora French sworn translation German translation Vatican


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