Sworn Translation vs Certified Translation: Understanding the Key Differences

As a Certified Translation Service agency, we often get asked, “What are the differences between a Certified Translation and a Sworn Translation”. They are, in some respects, quite similar; however, the crucial differences lie in how they are authenticated and where they are required. We’ve put together this article to go through these differences and provide a better understanding as to where they may be required in terms of assuring that your documents are accepted as accurate translations of the original. 

What is a Sworn Translation?

A Sworn Translation is a translation that is carried out by a Sworn Translator (i.e., a translator who is certified by a given country’s authorities to undertake official translations of legal documents) and has been authenticated and notarised as a true and accurate translation of the original document. A Sworn Translator must take an oath to attest to the accuracy of their translations. This generally applies to legal documents (for example, Birth Certificates, Immigration Documents, Marriage Certificates, Legal Deeds, etc.) and it is often the case that only a Sworn/ Translation will be accepted as legally binding. This is important because Sworn Translators must specialise in the nuances and legalise involved in such documents; a generic translation could leave a document open to interpretation and create a legally compromising situation for the party involved.

To certify Sworn Translations as legally valid, a Sworn Translator Stamp is affixed to the translated document, accompanied by the Sworn Translator’s signature and a statement certifying the document as an authentic translation of the original. It also acts so as to attest to the Sworn Translator’s credentials. This is an absolute necessity for the Sworn Translation to be accepted as valid and accurate. If you require this, we can include it as part of our Certified Translation Services.

What is a Certified Translation?

In the case of a Certified Translation, the translator themselves authenticates the document with their credentials, stamp, and signature. However, they do not have to swear an oath attesting to the translation’s accuracy and authenticity. 

For example, when you order a certified translation from Certif, we affix our seal and our stamp to the document, along with the name of the translator and their credentials, so that the person or party receiving it knows that it was carried out by an accredited translator. Learn about Certified Translation Services here.

What is the Difference Between a Sworn Translation and a Certified Translation?

The crucial difference between a Sworn Translation and a Certified Translation is that a Certified Translation is not authenticated or notarised by an external authority (just as a judge, notary, solicitor, Commissioner for Oaths, etc.) unlike a Sworn Translation. Essentially, there is no regulation when it comes to Certified Translations, unlike Sworn Translations. However, some Certified Translation Service providers, such as Certif.ie, offer a Sworn Translation if it is required by the customer.

Examples of Documents Requiring Certified Translation

There are many types of civil and legal documents which may require a Certified Translation Service. These include:


Benefits of Using a Sworn Translator

While in Ireland a Certified Translation has the same validity as a Sworn Translation, this is not necessarily the case in every country. For instance, if your documents are to be used in France, a Sworn Translation is specifically required in some instances. Therefore, using the services of a Sworn Translator is beneficial should you wish to use your legal documents in certain countries, for it is the best way of assuring their acceptance there. Certif.ie can arrange for a Sworn Translation in addition to our standard Certified Translation Services.

Benefits of Using a Certified Translator

There are many benefits of using Certified Translation Services over generic ones. It is an excellent way of ensuring accuracy and you can also have confidence that the individual undertaking the translation has the necessary credentials to do so. For instance, in a legal document, there are often nuances and legalese that require very precise translation to avoid them being misconstrued. At Certif.ie, our translators are trained in these areas so there’s no risk of misinterpretation. Now while a generic translator might be cheaper you may well end up paying more should their translation leave you or your business in a legally compromising situation.

All of Certif.ie’s Certified Translations are accepted by government bodies in Ireland, such as the Courts Service, the Health Service Executive, the Department of Foreign Affairs, etc.

Sworn Translation vs. Certified Translation: What Should You Choose?

As we discussed earlier, the key difference between a Sworn Translation and a Certified Translation is the body that certifies it. In the case of a Sworn Translation, the translator swears its accuracy in front of a legal official, such as a solicitor or a Commissioner for Oaths. In the case of a Certified Translation, the translation agency certifies this. 

As to whether or not a Sworn Translation is necessary, it depends on where the documents are to be used. If it is a document that is to be used within Ireland, a Certified Translation will suffice. However, some countries, such as the United States, require a Sworn Translation for certain documents, so it is best to research what is required in the jurisdiction you intend to use the document before deciding on whether or not to choose a Sworn Translation or a Certified Translation. Certif.ie can provide either as part of our translation services. 

Why Choose Certif for your Certified Translation Needs?

At Certif.ie, we pride ourselves on being the top Certified Translation Service provider in the market. Reasons for this include:

  • We charge our translations based on page count, not word count, which gives our customers better value for money.
  • All of our translators, proofreaders, and editors are qualified and experienced in the areas of documentation they translate, resulting in a far more accurate translation than you’ll get from a generic translation service.
  • Confidentiality is assured – all our staff must sign a confidentiality agreement; we are also fully compliant with GDPR so you can be assured that your sensitive documents are being handled with respect and diligence.
  • Reliable – we promise to deliver your translated document within the timeframe promised and no longer.
  • Flexible payment options, we can accept payment by PayPal, Credit Card, Revolut, and Bank Transfer, among others.
  • Easy to use translation service: you don’t need to visit us in person, you can submit your documents (or a clear photo of the same) by WhatsApp, Email, Messenger, our website, etc.
  • All of our translators hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Translation Studies, or a related field. They are also fully vetted.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my translation is certified?

All translations carried out by Certif.ie come complete with a stamp and a guarantee of the translator’s credentials to undertake the relevant language pairing. You can rest assured that our Certified Translation Services can be relied upon to be of the utmost accuracy.

What is the difference between a certified translation and a notarised translation?

A certified translation is accredited by the translation agency that undertook it (this is sufficient for documents used within Ireland). A notarised translation is approved by a legal official as a true and accurate translation of the original. This is necessary for certain types of documents in some countries, such as the United States.

We hope that this article has helped explain some of the distinctions between Sworn Translations and Certified Translations. Certif.ie can provide both. If you would like to learn more about our Certified Translation Services or have any questions about Sworn Translations, please get in touch.

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