By: Autumn On: August 3, 2020 In: Legal Translation Comments: 3
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When you need translation for a document, your first step should be to hire a professional to get the job done. But before they are able to perform the translation, your translation company will need to know some specifics about your project.

In particular, you will likely be asked if you need the document certified, notarized, or sworn. If you’d be confused by this question, you’re not alone.

Here’s a look at the differences between notarized, certified, and sworn translations including what types of documents require which type of translation.

Certified Translations

Certified translations are more official than translations simply performed by native speakers or even regular translators, because only translators who are certified can perform them.

In addition, certified translations have to include a statement from the translator that says the content has been completely and accurately translated by a certified professional. The translator then needs to include their signature and contact information. Essentially, this type of translation is a guarantee of quality on the part of the translation company.

Documents that usually require a certified translation include immigration documents, court transcripts, evidentiary documents and passports. Certified translations are also usually required when you need to show a birth, death, or marriage certificate.

Notarized Translations

Notarized translations can be completed by any translator, not just certified professionals. What differentiates them from other types of translations is that the translator needs to go in front of a notary and then sign an affidavit that says the translation is a true representation of the original document.

In this way, notarized translations don’t necessarily say much about the translator’s work quality, just the document itself. This is in contrast to certified translations.

You can expect to need notarized translations when you’re dealing with education-related documents. For example, diplomas and school transcripts usually need to be notarized.

Sworn Translations

As the name suggests, sworn translations can only be performed by translators who have been sworn in. More specifically, only translators who have taken an oath in the court of law under penalty of perjury can provide sworn translations.

A sworn translation shows that the document translation is genuine, much like a notarized translation does. But unlike the notarized kinds, sworn translations do not have to be signed in front of a notary public. Instead, the seal of a sworn translator is enough.

You’re most likely to need a sworn translation for legal documents. Patent certificates and documents to incorporate a company are some examples of paperwork that might require sworn translation.

How LLS Can Help

Not sure exactly what type of legal translation your document requires? Call or email us today.

With more than 35 years experience providing professional legal translations, we are the premier source of language support.

Call us at 1-800-788-0450 or simply fill out our free quote form.

Tell us about your experiences with different types of legal translations in the comments below!

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4 years ago

Thanks for clarifying certified, notarized and sworn translations.

Lynn kuznik
4 years ago

My daughter has been told she needs a sworn translation of a document from english to spanish.surely a certified document would be acceptable

James Norton
10 months ago

Thanks for sharing this helpful post . Great Information and awareness for people. This is good info. I appreciate your research.