What makes a Sworn Translator?

This post is inspired by a few clients I met throughout my career, the most recent one being just a couple of hours ago. They contact me for a sworn translation, send me the files via email and expect me to deliver a sworn (stamped) translation without having a hard copy of the source document. It just doesn’t work that way.

Therefore, I decided to shed the light on what it is exactly to be a sworn translator, producing sworn translation.

About to sign and seal my translation

1- A sworn translator is a certified public translator. In order to receive the certification, the translator needs to have at least 4 years of experience in the translation field, as well as a university degree in translation or languages. In some countries, translators need to have some other requirements as well, and they need to pass a test.

2- A sworn translator is called that way because they take an oath. They swear that their translation will always be correct and accurate. Being certified means being sworn before the courts.

3- Once the oath is taken, it needs to be renewed every 4 years.

4- After becoming sworn, the translator makes their own stamp with their name, title and contact number on it. They stamp each sworn translation they produce.

5-The documents produced by a sworn translator must be signed by the latter. The signature should come on top of the seal.

6-  Not only the translation is sealed, but the source document as well. The translation must overlap the source document and the translator must stamp on both documents. In other words, Each document is bound by its own sworn translation, and this is what makes certified translation different from a regular one. It cannot possibly be falsified, and since the translator has taken an oath, they are bound to make sure that the translation is faithful to the source text. Otherwise, and in some cases, they might face jail time wen the poorly translated documents are used in court.

7- Some sworn translators usually open their own translation offices, while others remain freelancers (like myself).

8- The documents that usually need certified translation are the official certificated, notices and other documents issued by different government authorities with official seals on them, all legal documents including, but not limited to contracts and power of attorneys, and some medical documents issued by hospitals and medical institutions. An online article, for example, does not require a certified translation.

If you ever need sworn translation from and into French, English and Arabic, do not hesitate to contact me! I’d be glad to help 🙂


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