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What is Sworn Translation? Article bY Certified Japanese Translation Service

Sworn translation is alternatively known as “official translation” and “certified translation”.

Sworn Certified Translation Service Japan Tokyo - Official Japanese Translation

If that sounds confusing, it’s because it is -- Even to so-called translation professionals! The object of this article is to provide clarity to ensure you get the right type of translation for your requirements.

Sworn Translation is:

So, what exactly is sworn translation? It is a method of:

Certifying -guaranteeing- the authenticity of a translation.

The obvious follow-on question here is:

Who can certify a translation?

The answer to this question not only clarifies the confusion surrounding sworn translation, but it also indicates an important difference to certified translation. Sworn translation can ONLY be certified by a:

  • Sworn Translator
    In civil law countries, particularly continental European countries, such as France, Spain, Germany and Italy etc., “sworn translators” are authorized to produce official translation known as Sworn Translation. Sworn translators are, based upon state-regulated qualification requirements, appointed and accredited by relevant government authorities. With sworn translation the translator completes and signs a sworn statement.

    Side Note
    In common law countries, such as the US and UK there is no such thing as Sworn Translation.

Sworn Statement
A Sworn Statement (variously known as a Statutory Declaration, Sworn Affidavit or Affidavit of Translation) is a document in which the translator declares that the translation is faithful to the original text, before a judge or other legal official. The importance of this statement cannot be overstated -- It really is at the heart of what defines sworn translations, which essentially says:

“I believe this translation is accurate”.

There is no pre-defined format required; however, it must at a bare minimum include the following in order to be accepted:

  • Date issued,
  • List of documents translated,
  • Name and contact information of the translator,
  • Seal or signature of the translator, and
  • Seal and signature of a legal official (such as a notary public).

The Statement must be worded similar to the following:

“I declare that the translation of the attached document(s) are to the best of my knowledge and belief a true and faithful rendering of the original document(s) done to the best of my ability as a professional translation.”

Here's an example of a Sworn Statement (new window)

In addition, the Statement is bound together with the source document and the translation, producing a single bound document (i.e., original document + translated document + Affidavit).

Clearing Up Common Misconceptions:

  1. Legal officials certify -guarantee- the authenticity of a translation.
    Legal officials (i.e., notary public in the example above) are NOT linguists; thus, they are not capable of verifying translation accuracy. The job of legal officials here is to simply bear witness to the signing of the Sworn Statement by the translator.

One final note on sworn translation.

As with certified translation, even with a good understanding (which hopefully you have gained reading these articles) this can be quite a complicated issue to navigate due to the different requirements of entities (countries and organizations). Thus, when in doubt, take heart in our oft repeated mantra:

Save yourself time, money and energy by getting your facts directly from the official authority (i.e. organizational level) that will be evaluating your translated documents.

Need more information on Certified Translation? Click here for Certified Japanese Translation FAQs

About the Author
Ivan Vandermerwe is the CEO of SAECULII YK, the owner of Japan, Tokyo based Certified Japanese Translation Service Visit SAECULII for the latest professional case studies, articles and news on Japanese Translation Services

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Tags: Certified Japanese Translation · Certified Translation Services Japan · Certified Translation Services Tokyo · Japanese Sworn Translation · Japanese Translation Services · Official Japanese Translation

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