What is sworn translation?

Sworn translation, also known as official, certified, or expert translation, is the translation of any type of document performed by a translator recognized by an official body and thus called a sworn, official, certified, or expert translator. This translation is accompanied by the signature and seal of the sworn translator.

Sworn translation currently holds great importance due to the accelerated pace of international business growth and the movement of individuals between countries.

Sworn translation doesn’t necessarily have to be of a legal nature, i.e., it doesn’t have to be only documents such as contracts, birth or marriage certificates, diplomas, judgments, driver’s licenses, etc., but it can be documents of all kinds such as love letters, medical certificates, documents serving as evidence in a trial, etc.

However, the most common documents for sworn translation are usually certificates (academic, birth, marriage, etc.), judgments, or contracts.

When should I request sworn translation?

Sworn translation is usually required for any document that will be submitted to any public administration, official entities, educational institutions such as universities, banks, courts, or tribunals, among others.

When is sworn translation valid?

For sworn translation to be valid, it must be signed and stamped by an official translator recognized by the official body of the corresponding country. In Spain, a sworn translation must be stamped and signed by a translator who has been awarded the title of sworn translator and interpreter by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. In this way, with their seal and signature, the translator verifies that everything translated is faithful to the original document.

It is crucial to note that sworn translation certifies the accuracy of the translation itself but never the content of the original document. Sworn translations in Spain are valid both on paper with the translator’s seal and signature and with a digital signature. However, in Germany, the translation must be delivered in most cases on paper.

In Germany, the sworn translator must be recognized by the competent authority, in the case of Düsseldorf, it is the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf (Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf).

What information does a sworn translation include?

In sworn translations, the translator’s certification must appear, including the place and date of the signature (at the end of the translation), the translator’s seal, the language combination, and the translation must always be accompanied by the original document. In addition, the header of each page will indicate the original language and the target language.

The certification added at the end of the translation should be indicated as follows:

Mr./Ms. (name and surname), Sworn Interpreter of (language), certifies that the foregoing is a faithful and complete translation into (target language) of a document drafted in (source language). In (place), on (date).

Can any translator perform a sworn translation?

No. As mentioned earlier, for a sworn translation to be valid, it must be signed and stamped by a translator recognized by the competent body. As we mentioned, in Spain, the translator must possess the title of translator-interpreter from the MAEC, while in Germany, they must be authorized by the competent court of each federal state (ermächtigter Übersetzer or beeidigter Übersetzer).

Requirements to be a sworn translator in Spain or Germany


It is necessary to pass the corresponding tests that the MAEC calls every certain period. There are several tests, some eliminatory, including multiple-choice tests, translations, etc. To take these tests, the translator must have the corresponding academic qualifications, such as a university degree in translation and interpretation.


The translator must have acquired certain academic competencies. In Germany, an exam will be conducted to certify your knowledge of German law (Rechtssprache Prüfung) along with a university degree in translation and interpretation or a state examination (staatliche Prüfung) in translation by the IHK.

Translation of the apostille

In sworn translation, we often come across the Apostille of The Hague. The apostille verifies the authenticity of the document, so it is often necessary to submit the document in a foreign country. Therefore, the apostille must also always be translated. So, whenever you need to translate a document, make sure whether you also have to submit and translate the apostille. Even for sworn translations from German to Spanish that are accompanied by the apostille, it must be translated.

How much does a sworn translation cost?

The budget for a sworn translation will always vary depending on the document, its length, the number of words, format, etc. If you need to make a sworn translation from German to Spanish for a document, it is always best to send a scanned version in .PDF format of the document in question by email (info@paulajorge-traducciones.com). This way, I can provide you with a budget that suits your needs, and I would be happy to do so without any obligation.

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