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Legal & Sworn Translations

Information regarding legalised translations and sworn translations in the United Kingdom and world-wide.

Legal & Sworn Translations

In the UK we do not have a sworn translation system in place like they do in countries such as France, Spain, Portugal etc. where there are governing bodies regulating sworn translators. Instead here in the UK we have three types of official translation, depending on the situation:

  1. Certified translation
  2. Notarised translation
  3. Legalised translation

This is usually for translations going into English and the documents are for use in the UK or any other English-speaking country.

Certified Translations

This is a translation that is signed and stamped as a true and exact translation of the source document. It is often referred to as a sworn translation but this is incorrect. If your document is for official use within the UK this is probably what you need but it is always best to check with the entity requesting the translation.

Notarised Translations

This is generally a certified translation of a document that is brought before a Notary Public and notarised. This does not make the translation any more official. It simply verifies that the document has been translated by the person who signs / stamps it.

Legalised Translations

This is when a translation needs to be legally valid for use in another country. The Foreign Commonwealth Office is in charge of this step in the UK. However they will only accept a translation if it has been through the previous two steps (certified and notarised). We can take care of all three steps and we need around one to two weeks for the entire process.

Sworn Translations

We work alongside a great deal of sworn translators all over the world. Depending on the country, there are different sworn translation systems in place. For example, in France, we work with a court-sworn translator and when he is finished with the document no further steps are required to make the translation official. Whereas in Portugal, the sworn translator must go before a Notary with the translation to verify.

What type of translation do you need?

If you have been told by a government official, a court representative, or anyone from an official entity that you require a document to be translated, we recommend that you are very specific in asking what type of translation is required. A certified translation? A notarised translation? A sworn translation? A legalised translation? Once you have clarified the type of official translation required, we will be able to provide you with an accurate quotation for both the price and how long the translation will take.

What type of documents require official translation?

The following are just a few types of documents that often require certified, notarised, sworn or other official translation:

Related Legal Translation Services

We offer legal translations in London and throughout the United Kingdom into and from all languages. Our most popular are listed below: