French certification rules

FAQs on certified translations in France

What is the role of a sworn translator in France?

According to French certification rules, only a sworn translator (‘traducteur assermenté’) can provide certified translations. This applies to every kind of client, be they private clients, businesses, public or private organisations.

A sworn translator is officially sworn-in at his local ‘cour d’appel’ (court of appeal) and becomes de facto a judicial expert at the court. He/She becomes thus entitled to provide translation services in legal/official procedures, such as tribunal hearings, police or social services investigations etc…

French certification rules for becoming a sworn translator

Initially, the translator submits a detailed dossier proving his/her competence/qualifications/experience to the court. After being accepted, he/she is sworn-in for a three-year trial period.

The translator must then re-submit a dossier every five years. What is more, he/she must take part in compulsory continuous professional development (CPD) in the fields he/she has declared as a specialism.

What steps have to be carried out to certify a translated document in France?

French rules specify that the certified translation must

  1. bear the signature of the translator;
  2. display his/her seal;
  3. show the registration number of the document;
  4. show the date.

Furthermore, it must include the words ‘traduction certifiée conforme à l’original’. What is more, in some cases (e.g. documents for embassies/consulates), the translator’s signature must be legalised by the municipality or a notary.

What sort of French certified translations can a translator who lives in the UK carry out?

Our French translator is authorised to provide certified translations for use in the UK.

British rules are not as strict as those in France. A qualified translator who is a member of a professional institute (i.e. the Institute of
Linguists or the ITI) can self-certify translations. They can also provide a sworn translation or a notarised translation for use within the UK.

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