Certified Translations for Use Abroad

While most of our customers come to us looking for a certified translation for use in the United Kingdom, a significant number need them for use abroad. A certified translation and all of its requirements are not the same everywhere, so on this page we set out some information on how the process works and what is needed in some of the countries we get most requests for.


Certified Translations and Apostilles in France

France has very strict procedures for carrying out certified translations, especially if the applicant is a foreign organisation. In this case, an Apostille will be requested in advance for the original document and once the translation has been certified, the translator's signature must be authenticated and a Hague Apostille must be requested for the translation. For a certified translation for use by an individual however, the apostille isn’t always necessary. The main issue is that the translator is carried out by an authorised certified translator. This is one who has passed the state prescribed qualification and is registered with the French Ministry of Justice.


What must a French certified translation contain?

Certified Translations always have 3 elements in France:

- the complete translation of the source text,

- the original or a true copy of the original,

- the translator's sworn statement.


All pages of the translation must be signed and stamped by the sworn translator. At the bottom of the last page, the translator's sworn statement attesting that the certified translation is a true and faithful copy of the original must appear.


Certified Translation in France: how does it work?

In France, certified translations are carried out by "Expert Translators before the Court of Appeal", appointed by the Ministry of Justice. The sworn translator or "Expert Translator" is a translator authorised to validate the authenticity and conformity of a translation with the original document. All sworn translators are listed in the Sworn Translators Directory.


Any document written in the a foreign language and requested by an official authority requires a certified translation.
Any document presented to the French government, universities, notaries and courts must be written in French or translated into French by a Sworn Translator.

We have authorised French sworn translators working on our team, so if you have been told you need a certified translations of a non-French language document for submission in France, we can help you.



For many official and legal texts, the law requires that a certified translation comply with strict regulations. In Germany, only about three per cent of all professional translators meet these strict requirements, which allow them to produce certified translations. These translators are appointed as sworn or authorised translators by the competent regional or higher regional courts, depending on the federal state in which they live. Our team includes these authorised translators, so we can carry out a certified translation for you for use in Germany.

What exactly is a certified translation?

Certified translations are texts or documents that are translated from a foreign language into German or vice versa and whose authenticity is legally guaranteed (i.e. certified). In short: the certification of a translation is a uniform certificate of authenticity for a translated document.

Examples of the types of foreign-language documents you might need a certified translation of for use in Germany.


Extracts from the commercial register

Annual reports and other business documents

Insurance policies

Court judgments

Certificates (e.g. birth certificates, adoption certificates, marriage certificates, divorce certificates, death certificates)

Academic diplomas

All official documents (e.g. driving licences)

Job references

Why and when do I need a certified translation?

In principle, certified translations by a sworn or authorised translator are always required if a foreign-language text is to be given legal effect in Germany or anywhere else in the European Union before courts and state authorities.

What is the difference between a certified translation and a simple translation?

Simple translations (e.g. from the fields of advertising or literature) do not have to meet any special formal requirements.
A certified translation, on the other hand, may only be carried out by sworn or authorised translators. In the case of certified translations, after the text has been translated, a certification mark, certification stamp and the translator's signature are added. Depending on the federal state within Germany, the regulation applies that a certified translation must additionally be over-certified by a signature of the responsible consulate and/or the president of the responsible court (by means of a so-called legalisation or apostille).

Only a small percentage of German translators are allowed to issue certified translations.

Certified translations may only be produced by sworn or authorised translators. Normally, documents and signatures are certified by authorities or authorised persons (e.g. a notary). The authentication of a document or signature is a legal guarantee of its authenticity. This means that a legal responsibility is assumed with an authentication. This sharing of responsibility serves the purpose of ensuring that authenticity is not guaranteed frivolously. The authenticity of the object to be authenticated is carefully checked. Persons who come into contact with the certified document can thus rely on its authenticity and legal certainty.


In the case of foreign-language texts, neither employees of an authority nor a notary may assume such responsibility, since they simply lack the technical background. Since linguistic subtleties can have very different legal effects, only court-appointed or sworn translators are used for the certification of foreign-language texts or the translation of foreign-language texts; the latter.


The small number of certified translators that are publicly appointed and sworn in in Germany is due to the strict admission requirements and examination conditions. Our group does include some of these authorise translators, however, so if you do need a certified translation to be used in Germany, just get in touch.



Certified and authenticated translations


The practice that confers legal value according to current Italian legislation is the affidavit. This can be carried out by the translator going to court and making an oath report and the affixing of stamps to the translation. This gives legal value to the translation.

Foreign authorities often require that the certified translation be accompanied by a declaration from the translator or translation agency, indicating their personal and contact details and confirming that they have carried out the translation to the best of their ability and respecting the original text. This is basically what is required for a certified translation in the United Kingdom, but it is not sufficient for use in Italy.


In Italy the certified translation is completed in the Court of First Instance by means of the translator making an oath, which is then sworn in. The further legalisation of the translation involves an additional step, which is necessary if the sworn translation is to be submitted abroad. In this case, the document must be legalised by contacting the Public Prosecutor's Office of the same court, where it was certified. A stamp will certify the legal value of the person who signed the text.

When might a certified translation be required for use in Italy?

Certified translations are often required in Italy for the following:


Enrolment in a professional register

University enrolment

For work purposes

For tax purposes (invoices, receipts)

For immigration reasons 

As you can see, the fact that a certified translation must be sworn in court makes the process more complicated in Italy than is most other countries. This is no problem, however, as our translators in Italy are authorised to carry out this procedure and can go to their local court in order to certify your translation. Just get in touch if you require certified translations for us in Italy.



10 questions about sworn translation

What is sworn translation? Who can produce one? What is the legal value of sworn translations? We tell you all this and much more below. Read on.

1. What is sworn translation?

In Spain, a sworn translation is a translation of documents written in a foreign language that is carried out so that obtains legally validity before a specific official body. Sworn translations must always bear the stamp and signature of the sworn translator and, furthermore, on the last page of the same, there must be a certificate proving that it is a sworn translation.

2. Who can perform a sworn translation?

In Spain, sworn translations can only be carried out by translators authorised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) to translate from a foreign language into one of the official languages of the Spanish State and vice versa. Sworn translators are not civil servants, nor do they have an official position. They are independent professionals who practise their profession independently or within a company and who have been authorised by the MAEC.

3. Who guarantees the preparation and suitability of sworn translators?

It is the MAEC itself that certifies that they are duly qualified through the three systems that, until recently, have been in force to access this appointment:

- By passing the language exam of the Office of Interpretation of Languages.

- Recognition of a foreign qualification obtained in another EU country.

- Through the validation of the degree in Translation and Interpretation, provided that the credits required for legal and economic translation have been passed.

At present, the status of sworn translator can only be obtained through the first two channels: passing the aforementioned examination organised by the Office for the Interpretation of Languages, dependent on the Ministry itself (which consists of a series of eliminatory language tests) and through the recognition of a foreign qualification.


4. What is the value of translations made by sworn translators?

Translations carried out by sworn translators are not simply private translations, but have official value. This is established by Royal Decree 2555/1977, of 27 August, which approves the Regulation of the Office of Interpretation of Languages of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (as amended by Royal Decree 2002/2009, of 23 December) which in Article 6 paragraph 1 states the following: 

“Translations and interpretations from a foreign language into Spanish and vice versa carried out by Sworn Translators and Interpreters shall be of an official nature, and translations may be subject to revision by the Language Interpretation Office when so requested by the competent authorities.”

In accordance with the provisions of this precept, it must be understood that private translation is carried out by any person with knowledge of languages and the capacity to translate, while official translation is that carried out by a "sworn translator" who, thanks to the accreditation granted by the MAEC, is able to certify the fidelity and accuracy of her translations.

5. Who or what bodies require sworn translations in Spain?

Normally, these translations are required in administrative and judicial processes in which foreign documentation must be provided or a statement must be made before the Public Administration. Therefore, it is usually public bodies that require a particular document to be translated by a sworn translator in order to recognise its validity. 

6. What are the most frequent services that a sworn translator can provide?

The following are among the most common services provided by sworn translators:

Translating a written document and certifying that the translation is correct and complete.

Certifying that a translation carried out by another person is correct and complete.

Interpreting in a judicial process, in an act before a notary, in a marriage ceremony, or in any other official act in which a person or people involved do not speak the language in which the act is carried out.

7. Does any foreign document that has to be presented as evidence in a legal process have to have a sworn translation?

Although Law 1/2000 on Civil Procedure states that it is necessary to accompany the translation of documents written in a foreign language in order for them to have probative value, according to current regulations this translation can be carried out "privately", that is, by any person with the capacity to do so and without any other additional requirement. However, in this case, the quality of the translation may be questioned, both by the opposing party and by the judge, and the translation may be rejected with the consequent damage to the person providing it.

Therefore, it seems advisable, and even convenient, to accompany a sworn translation (carried out by a sworn translator with her stamp and signature) of the document in question, as this will have "official" value before our courts. In the latter case, only the judge will be able to reject the document, and this will probably happen very rarely. 

8. What documents are usually translated by sworn translators?

Some of the documents most frequently translated by sworn translators are the following:

- Foreign business contracts or certificates that must be presented to a Spanish authority for recognition.

- Academic certificates, medical certificates or criminal records.

- Documentation provided in naturalisation procedures.

- Wills issued abroad, birth, marriage and death certificates.

- Residence permits.

- Powers of attorney granted abroad.

9. What legal documents do not need a sworn translation?

Most of the documents used in the commercial traffic between companies and individuals do not need a sworn translation. Contracts, agreements, insurance policies, etc. do not need to be stamped by a sworn translator to be valid between the parties, unless the parties agree. However, it is important that a translation is carried out by a legal expert in order to avoid errors in the translation of legal concepts or in clauses that could have serious consequences to legal relations.


10. Where can I find a list of sworn translators active in Spain?

On the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs there is an updated list of sworn translators active in Spain. This list is sorted by the languages they translate and by the provinces in which these translators live or work. Some of the translators in this list are part of our own certified translation group. So just get in touch in the care that you need a certified translation for use in Spain, and awe will organize everything for you.


Translations can either be standard or certified.

A standard translation can be done by anyone with knowledge of another language, and is not legalised, so it is not official. It may be accepted, or it may not. This is why it is convenient to know the requirements of the entity for which it is intended.

"What is a certified translation?

A certified translation in Portugal consists of a notarial document (which can be issued by a lawyer), which certifies the identity of the translator and ensures that the translation is faithful to the original submitted. The certified translation
consists of a set of three parts (the order may not always be the same):

The statement of the lawyer (or notary) and the translator, which must be signed and stamped. Certification by a lawyer is issued in the target language (not all notaries do this).

The original (or certified photocopy), which must be signed and stamped by the translator and the lawyer (or notary).

The translation, which must be signed and stamped by the translator and the lawyer (or notary).

A lawyer has the power to translate and certify his or her own translations.

For foreigners, a certification stamp from the Post Office and the Parish Councils is unfortunately not valid.

"Is there such thing as a certified translator?"

As in the UK, there are no certified translators in Portugal. Rather, it is the translation itself that is sworn. The translator must claim responsibility for the translation in a statement made before a notary or lawyer. This is the service we can provide: we can deliver a certified translation that the translator has produced along with a notary or lawyer. Our members in the country will be glad to carry out this service for you, and this is what makes the translation official and acceptable for formal procedures in Portugal.


Have you ever heard of certified translation? Although many people have, at some point, come across this term, there is still great ignorance on the part of the general population as to what it really is and for what purpose it is intended. This means that most people only end up knowing about them only when they need one.

We are talking about one of the most important translation modalities that exist. Without it, it would not be possible to attribute authenticity to foreign documents, since our legislation does not recognise or accept documents written in other languages as evidence in court or as legally valid documents.

This is where the so-called certified translators, professionals specialised in translating documents faithfully, giving them authenticity so that they can accompany the originals in another language and thus be accepted by Brazilian agencies and institutions, come into play.

But how does a certified translation differ from other types of translation? What are the fields of action of the certified translator? We will try to answer these and other questions in this article, explaining in detail how this modality works and how it is possible to become a certified translator.

What is certified translation?

Unlike when a book or article is translated, for which a good, but standard translation is enough, for formal procedures in Brazil it is necessary that the translation has its accuracy proven. 

In other words, it is as if it were necessary to have a guarantee that everything that is present in the document and has been translated from one language to another is in fact true and that there have been no changes of any kind.

Why is sworn translation necessary? To understand its importance not only in Brazil, but in other countries, it is necessary to understand a little of the legal requirements that each nation has when receiving certain types of documents from foreigners. In the case of Brazil, this requirement comes as a result of Federal Decree No. 13.609 of October 21, 1943.

This decree indicates that no foreign document written in a language other than Portuguese is valid in Brazil. In order for them to be considered by a public body, for example, they must be accompanied by a translated version, thus giving rise to the certified translation.

To attest to this fidelity, we can turn to translation companies and individual translators which are duly registered with the State Trade Board, which qualifies them to carry out the certified translation of documents and other items that require absolute fidelity and suitability of information. 

We have freelance translators working in our group who are registered with the Brazilian State Trade Board, so we can put you in touch with the person who can carry out your certified translation in exactly the way they are required for acceptance in Brazil. Get in touch today for your Brazilian certified translation, we guarantee the highest quality, acceptance and the lowest price!



Do you need to translate documents into English for use in Australia? Whether you are applying for an Australian visa, validating your studies or registering for citizenship in Australia?

Any document in a language other than English must be accompanied by a certified English translation. We can carry out your certified translations for Australia at the best price, guaranteed.


Our group of freelancers includes translators accredited in Australia by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI), this is the professional body that regulates professional translators in Australia. As members of NAATI, our local freelancers translators will carry out your translation for you in the manner appropriate for acceptance by all Australian authorities.

The Australian system for recognition of certified translations is a little like that of the UK, in that it is unregulated. For this reason, and depending on where your translation is headed, it may not always be essential to order your translations from a translator accredited by NAATI. However, for guaranteed acceptance we recommend that you take this route, otherwise, you might find that your translation is rejected meaning you would need to start afresh, possibly having to pay for two certified translations. Since we guarantee the lowest prices for certified translations anyhow, we strongly recommend that you take the safe option.


We can provide a certified translation service for any documents, with the following being those that we get most requests for.

- Baptismal and birth certificates      
- Driving licences for cars or motorcycles    
- Marriage certificates
- Death certificate
- Divorce certificates
- Identity documents
- Educational certificates and diplomas
- Employment certificates
- Immunisation certificates
- Criminal record certificates


So, if you’re lucky enough to be headed down under and require a certified translation for the trip or move, just get in touch, we’re here to help with the guaranteed cheapest certified translation service.

United States

The situation for certified translations in the United States is very similar to that in the UK, that is, it is unregulated and there is no official body dictating what constitutes a certified translation and what will or won't be accepted as one.

The situation varies depending on which organisation you are submitting your translation with. As you can see in our
blog post covering the requirements for certified translations for immigration to the US, although the overall immigration process may be long and complicated, where your translations are concerned, is it relatively simple. As long as the rules for the way the certified translation need to be done are followed (there should be an accompanying statement in which the translator certifies that they are competent to perform the translation), pretty much any bilingual person may carry it out. Despite this relative laxity in the requirements for a certified translation, we recommend that you use a professional translator, preferable one with membership to a recognised translation institute. The American Translators Association, as the name would suggest, is well-known in the United States, and a certified translation carried out by one of its members would guarantee acceptance with any American organisation. Many of our freelancers are members of the ATA, so we always meet your needs when it comes to official translators required for use in the United States. Just get in touch if this applies to you. 

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Birth certificate translation? Marriage certificate translation? Divorce certificate translation?
Whatever your needs for standard or official translation, the freelancers at Certified Translation UK can help, for the best price, guaranteed.