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Can Certified Translations be used abroad?

ARE CERTIFIED TRANSLATIONS VALID IN OTHER COUNTRIES?

A certified translation, which may also may also be known as, depending on the country in question, a sworn translation, an official translation or a legal translation, is the translation of official documents, performed by a translator who is recognized as qualified to do so by an official body such as a state government or an official translation association.

Many countries have a government body that certifies translators in certain languages. However, in some countries, such as the United Kingdom, there is no such government agency.

A certified or sworn translation is a translation carried out by a professional translator, who certifies in writing the completeness and accuracy of the translation. In other words, certified or sworn translations are all those that bear the signature and seal of an accredited translator. This type of translation is used when you need documents that are guaranteed to have been performed by a professional. They are valid as if they were affidavits that proves that the translation is true and correct.

This type of translation is important because it works as if a notary or lawyer were signing a translated document. Which proves that the translation is correct. In addition, the translator must follow all the requirements of the Standard Protocol of Procedures for Certified Translation in order for the translation to be valid.

A notarized translation is a translation in which the translator declares before a notary that the translation is complete and accurate.

The requirements according to the country for which translations of foreign documents take effect in their respective territory will vary. It is ALWAYS best to find out what the particular requirements are first, depending on the country, the institution or body requiring the document and the procedure for which the document is needed.

I would like to be able to mention below all the countries in the world, however, I am only able, for reasons of a lack of available information, to mention some of them and the requirements they request. If any reader would like to add a missing country or modify what is described below for updating purposes, please let me know so that I can provide accurate and up-to-date information.

Argentina: The translation must be done by a certified/sworn translator and subsequently validated by a sworn translator in Argentina. Language(s) into which to translate: Spanish

Austria: The translation must be submitted with a translation into German or English attached. The translation must be prepared by a sworn translator and notarized. Language(s) into which to translate: German

Australia: The translation must be done by a certified translator who is a NAATI member in Australia. For translations from the United States these must be done by an active translator member of the American Translators Association (ATA). Language into which to translate: English

Belize: Must be translated into English by a certified translator. Language into which to translate: English

Belgium: The document must be translated by a certified/sworn translator in conjunction with notarized translator certification. Language into which to translate: French, German and Dutch

Bosnia and Herzegovina: The translation must be done by a certified/sworn translator. Language into which to translate: Bosnian, Serbian, and/or Croatian

Brazil: The translation must be done by a certified/sworn translator. Language(s) into which to translate: Portuguese

Bulgaria: Bulgarian translation and certification of the signature of the sworn translator. Language into which to translate: Bulgarian


Canada: The translator must provide an affidavit that the content of the translation is true and representative of the content of the original document. Translators who are certified members and in good standing of one of the provincial or territorial organizations of translators and interpreters in Canada do not need to submit an affidavit, only a copy of their credential. Language into which to translate: English and/or French

Chile: The translation must be done by a certified/sworn translator accompanied by his/her own notarized certification. Language(s) into which to translate: Spanish

China: The translation must be done by a certified/sworn translator accompanied by his/her own notarized certification. Language into which to translate: English and/or Mandarin

Colombia: The translation must be done by a certified translator and notarized. Language(s) into which to translate: Spanish

Costa Rica: The translation must be done by a translator before a Costa Rican Notary Public. Language(s) into which to translate: Spanish

Croatia: The translation must be done by a certified translator and notarized certification must be attached. Language(s) into which to translate: Croatian

Denmark: The translation must be carried out by a certified/sworn translator accompanied by his/her own notarized certification. Language(s) into which to translate: Danish

Egypt: If the translated document is used in Egypt, it must be translated by a certified translator and can then be authenticated by the Egyptian Embassy. Language(s) into which to translate: Arabic

El Salvador: The translation to be performed in El Salvador by an expert translator appointed by a Salvadoran Notary Public (Art. 24 Law of Voluntary Jurisdiction and Notarial Practice and Other Diligences). A translation done by a professional translator outside the territory of El Salvador will not be valid. Language(s) into which to translate: Spanish

Spain: The translation must be carried out by a certified/sworn translator, duly authorized, or registered, in Spain. Language(s) into which to translate: Spanish

United States of America: The translation must be done by a certified translator who issues a certification equivalent to an affidavit which must be notarized stating that the content of the translation is true and representative of the original document and mentioning their registration number or a copy of their credential as a member of the association to which they belong. Language into which to translate: English

Philippines: The translation must be done by a certified/sworn translator accompanied by his/her own notarized certification. Language into which to translate: English and/or Filipino

Finland: The translation must be done by a certified translator and a certification and notarization must be attached. Language into which to translate: Finnish, Swedish or English

France: The translation must be done by an official translator appointed by the State. Language(s) into which to translate: French

Germany: The translation must be done by a local certified/sworn translator, the translation has to be verified by the Consul. Language(s) into which to translate: German Guatemala: The translation must be done by a certified translator, who must attach their certification. Language(s) into which to translate: Spanish

Haiti: If the translated document is used in Haiti, it must be translated by a certified translator and then authenticated by the Haitian Embassy. Language(s) into which to translate: French and/or Haitian Creole

Hungary: The translation of the document must be done by a certified/sworn0 translator in Poland or by a Consul, if the translation has been done by a local certified translator, the translation has to be verified by the Consul. Language into which to translate: Hungarian

Jamaica: The document must be translated by a certified/sworn translator in conjunction with a notarized certification. Language into which to translate: English

Jordan: The translation must be done by a certified/sworn translator. Language(s) into which to translate: Arabic

India: The document must be translated by a certified/sworn translator in conjunction with notarized certification. Language into which to translate: English and/or Hindi

Indonesia: The document must be translated by a certified/sworn translator. Language into which to translate: Indonesian by default, English for a local certified translator to translate into their native language.

United Kingdom: The system is unregulated, but the UK Government often requires the translator to be member of a recognized body such as the Chartered Institute of Linguists or the Institute of Translation and Interpreting. Comparable foreign bodies, such as the American Translators Association are also accepted. A translator who works for a company which is a member of the Association of Translation Companies may also certify their translations for official use in the UK. Language into which to translate: English

Israel: The translation must be done by a certified translator, who must attach a notarized certification. Language into which to translate: Hebrew and/or Arabic (depending on the region).

Iceland: If a document cannot be translated into Icelandic, the competent authority of the country issuing the certificate must issue a certified copy in English. If it is not possible to obtain confirmation from the authorities, it may be sufficient to obtain confirmation of certification from the certified/sworn translator translating the document and attach this notarized confirmation to the document. Language into which to translate: English, Icelandic, and/or Nordic languages.

Italy: Translations must be stamped "per traduzione conforme" (true translation) by an official translator appointed by the Italian state. Language(s) in which to translate: Italian

Japan: The document must be translated by a certified/sworn translator in conjunction with a notarized certification. Language into which to translate: English and/or Japanese

Kenya: The document must be translated by a certified/sworn translator. Language into which to translate: English and/or Swahili

Malaysia: The translation of the document must be done by a certified/sworn translator in Malaysia or by a Consul, if the translation has been done by a local certified translator, the translation has to be verified by the Consul. Language into which to translate: Indonesian

Mexico: The translation must be done by a certified translator, who must attach a notarized certification. Language(s) into which to translate: Spanish

Morocco: The translation must be done by a certified translator and notarized. Language into which to translate: Arabic and/or French

Nicaragua: The translation must be done by a translator before a Nicaraguan Notary Public. Language(s) into which to translate: Spanish

Norway: The document must be translated by a certified/sworn translator. Language into which to translate: Norwegian

Panama: The translation must be done by a certified/sworn translator and subsequently endorsed by a certified translator in Panama. Language(s) into which to translate: Spanish

Netherlands: The document must be translated by a certified/sworn translator. Must be translated into English, French, German or Dutch. If the translator is registered outside the Netherlands, the translation must also be notarized. Language into which to translate: English, French, German or Dutch.

Pakistan: The translation must be done by a local certified/sworn translator, the translation has to be verified by the Consul. Language into which to translate: Urdu and/or English

Paraguay: The document must be translated by a certified/sworn translator. Language(s) into which to translate: Spanish

Peru: The translation of the document must be done by a sworn translator in Peru or by a Consul, if the translation has been done by a local certified translator, the translation must be verified by the Consul or by a sworn translator in Peru. Language(s) into which to translate: Spanish

Poland: The translation of the document must be done by a sworn translator in Poland or by a Consul, if the translation has been done by a local certified translator, the translation has to be verified by the Consul. Language into which to translate: Polish

Portugal: The translation must be done by a certified translator and notarized. Language(s) into which to translate: Portuguese

Puerto Rico: The translation must be done by a certified/sworn translator who issues a certification which must be notarized. Language into which to translate: Spanish and/or English

Czech Republic: The translation of a document into the Czech language can be done by any translator. When that person is certified as an expert translator before the Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic he or she can translate documents from and into the language so that it is certified and put a large round seal. In this case no certification or verification from the Embassy is required. Otherwise - if someone translates a document in Spanish into the Czech language and is not certified as an expert translator by the Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic the translation is subject to certification by the Embassy. Language(s) into which to translate: Czech

Dominican Republic: All documents must be legalized by the consular offices of the Dominican Republic, before being legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and must carry the apostille of the corresponding authority of the country of origin. All documents must be translated into Spanish by a certified/sworn translator.

Romania: The translation must be done by a certified/sworn translator. Language into which to translate: Romanian

Russia: The translation must be done by a certified translator and notarized. Language(s) into which to translate: Russian

South Africa: The translation must be done by a certified translator, who must attach a certification and notarization. Language into which to translate: English

Sweden: The translation must be done by a certified translator and notarized. Language into which to translate: English and/or Swedish.

Taiwan: The translation must be carried out by a certified/sworn translator accompanied by his/her own notarized certification. Language(s) into which to translate: Mandarin

Uganda: The document must be translated by a certified/sworn translator. Language into which to translate: English and/or Swahili

Uruguay: The translation must be carried out by a certified/sworn translator accompanied by his/her own notarized certification. Language(s) into which to translate: Spanish

Vietnam: The document must be translated by a certified/sworn translator in conjunction with a notarized certification. Language(s) into which to translate: Vietnamese

Venezuela: The translation must be done by a certified/sworn translator and subsequently validated by a sworn translator in Venezuela. Language(s) into which to translate: Spanish

Zimbabwe: The translation must be done by a certified/sworn translator accompanied by his/her own notarized certification. Language into which to translate: English, Xhosa, Chitonga, Shona, Venda, Sesotho, Ndebele, Chichewa, Tsonga, and/or Setsuana (depending on the region)

It may be that there is no accredited diplomatic seat (Embassy or Consulate) in a given country that can verify translations, or that there is no certified/sworn translator in a given language combination, thus hindering the translation process. In this case, the next step is to translate the document into a language known in the target country (generally English, French and Spanish) as long as the translation is done by a certified/sworn/official translator or by a translation agency (in both cases, a translation certification must be requested), which is equivalent to an affidavit, as stated above, and be notarized so that, subsequently, the document may be translated by a professional translator authorized by the country of final destination of the document, according to the respective legislation of the country. As a golden rule, remember: FOR GUARANTEED ACCEPTANCE, ALL DOCUMENTS TO BE USED ABROAD SHOULD BE FIRST APOSTILLED OR AUTHENTICATED BY THE GOVERNMENT INSTITUTION OF THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN OF THE DOCUMENT.

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