The certified translation

The certified translation is different from the sworn translation and often confused with it. These are completely different procedures. With the certified translation, you simply certify that you are faithful to the source text. It is a translation issued by a court-appointed translator, accompanied by a declaration on letterhead paper certifying that the translation is faithful and conforms to the original source text. Certified translations do not require revenue stamps, it will be sufficient to attach the self-certification bearing the translator’s signature and stamp and containing his/her personal and contact details.

Some countries do not require a sworn translation to consider a translation valid for all purposes and with legal and official value. These countries simply require certified translations; in the United Kingdom, for example, certified translations of degrees, resumes, certificates, tax returns and other documents are widely accepted. Certified translations have no legal value in Italy, but are widely accepted by some offices and universities.

The assumption that it will save you time and money is always the same: ask the authority that receives the documents what exactly is needed. Neither the court, nor the Justice of the Peace, nor the authority issuing the document can know that. There is no single reference text from which certain information can be obtained. Unfortunately, it varies from case to case, country to country. In order to understand what the main distinction between the two types of translation is really based on, it is enough to make the difference between documents for evidentiary or public declaratory purposes and documents that regulate relations between private individuals and that perhaps require a greater degree of formality.

There are several reasons why it is necessary to choose a professional translator for a certified translation. Here are some of them:

Professional translator: the translator must be a court-appointed translator (CTU) or be registered with professional associations
Accuracy: the translation must be precise and faithful to the original text, avoiding errors or inaccuracies.
Fluency: the translation must flow naturally and fluidly, as if originally written in that language.
Cultural adaptation: the translation must take into account the cultural differences between the source and target languages, adapting the text to make it comprehensible and appropriate for the target audience.
Consistency of terminology: specific terms must be consistent throughout the translation text.
Respect of the layout and format: the translated text must be adapted to the original format, in terms of layout and design.


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Legal and Technical Translations  |  Dott.ssa Antonia Tofalo  |  MCIL CL, AITI  
Court-Appointed Translator of the Court of Salerno, Italy – (n° 17/2004)
Roll of Translators and Interpreters at the Chamber of Commerce of Salerno, Italy – (n° 972)
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