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 Talking about sworn translations

When a document with legal value is translated, to maintain its particular value also in a foreign country, it needs to contain a translator's attestation about the truthfulness of the translated text.

This certification is called an affidavit or a sworn translation. Only through asseveration, thus, does the translated document assume the same legal value as the original one.

Certified and sworn translations are not the same thing

If a professional translator does a translation, he also attests to the accuracy of what is written and to the reliability of his work. It is a personal declaration, an assumption of responsibility for the text translated into a foreign language. In this case, we speak about a certified translation, i.e. the assumption of responsibility by the translator or agency for the work carried out.

In the case of translations of legal documents such as academic titles, personal certificates or professional certifications, there is not only a duty of precision on the translated text but it is also necessary that these documents maintain the same legal value in a country other than their own. For this to happen, the document must be certified, or rather a sworn translation must be provided. The oath of a translation may be taken before a Registrar or a Notary.

When is a sworn translation needed?

Very often, for documents to be submitted to foreign institutions, it is necessary for the translation to be sworn in, while other times only a "certified translation" is required, i.e. a translation containing a declaration of professional competence and good faith by the translator who has carried it out.

If the certified translation is to be sent abroad, the sworn declaration must be legalized by the Chancellor in charge of the Public Prosecutor's Office at the Court or by a Notary Public.


Legalization serves to certify the origin of the acts, the identity and the qualification of those who signed them. This consists of the official attestation of the legal status of the translator who signed the document and of the authenticity of the signature.