Notarised/sworn translations

Notarisation of a translated document’s certificate of accuracy

Some foreign authorities insist on a notarised/sworn translation. In the UK there are no “sworn translators” as such, i.e. translators sworn to a specific court and appointed by them as “officially recognised” translators. The only way to obtain a notarised translation in the UK is for a translator to prepare the translation and a certificate of accuracy. On visiting a notary public, the notary will certify (witness) the translator’s signature on the certificate of accuracy after having checked his credentials and seen proof of his identity.

For further information on notarisation and other certification issues, please visit the Iolante pages on the certification process in general and in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria and China specifically. A certified translation intended for the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must contain information on the translator’s competence, accuracy of the translation, the translator’s name, signature, address and date of certification.

Sworn translations

The UK is a country governed by common law. Therefore, the concept of “publicly sworn and appointed translators” does not apply. If you need a sworn translation your translator needs to translate the document in question and then see a notary public. The notary will check the translator’s passport and qualifications. After that the translator swears an oath that he carried out the translation to the best of his ability and that it is a true and faithful rendering of the original. The notary witnesses this oath and certifies the translator’s signature on the certificate of accuracy.

A sworn translation verifies the identity of the translator and his qualifications. However, it does not guarantee the quality of the translation. By taking the oath the translator becomes accountable for his translation.

Publicly appointed and sworn translators abroad

In contrast to the UK, countries like Germany and Austria with a civil law system have publicly appointed and sworn translators. Here, translators have to fulfil a number of criteria and can then be sworn in at the court of the district they are resident in. This then entitles them to supply certified translations in their registered language pairs to any German authority. Please visit our pages which deal with country-specific certification rules to find out which rules apply in China, France, the UK, Germany, Austria, SpainItaly and other countries.

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