Certified, sworn or legalised translations? Let’s explain the difference!
On most of the websites across the web, the term ‘certified translation’ is used as a synonym for ‘sworn translation’ or ‘legalised translation’. All three types of translations fall under the definition of ‘Official translations’, but there is a huge difference between the three processes!
Certified Translations are translations required for official purposes. They must be carried out by Qualified Translators, i.e., translators that belong to recognised professional associations.
In English-speaking countries, professional associations of translators include:
- ITI – Institute of Translation and Interpreting (UK)
- CIOL – Chartered Institute of Linguists (UK)
- ATC – Association of Translation Companies (UK)
- NAATI – National Authority for Translators and Interpreters (Australia)
- ATIO – Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (Canada)
- NZSTI – New Zealand Society of translators and interpreters (New Zealand)
In which cases is certification required?
The certification process could be required for official purposes, such as birth, death and marriage certificates, legal documents, academic transcripts, certificates of criminal records, ID documents, good standing certificates, etc.
Certified translations are valid exclusively in English-speaking countries.
The equivalent process in Italy – Sworn Translations
In Italy, as in many civil-law countries, certified translations do not have any legal force. In order to be legally valid for official purposes, translations must be ‘sworn’ through a process called ‘Asseverazione’. The sworn translator, appointed and accredited by the relevant government authority, must go the Court, sign and seal the translation in front of the Court clerk, thus assuming the criminal liability for the
accuracy of the translation.
In most cases, only sworn translators who are listed on the official list of the Court may produce a 'sworn' translation.
Legalised Translations / Apostille
Certain official documents may need to be ‘legalised’ or accompanied by Apostille before being translated, to confirm that the signature, stamp or seal is authentic and made by a public official (in this case the legalisation must be completed on the original document, before sending it to Italy for the translation), or after the translation (but this is usually required only for translations that must be sent from Italy to other countries).
Certified and Sworn Translations for the UK, USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand
As qualified members of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, of the Associazione Italiana Traduttori Interpreti and Court-Appointed Translators registered with the Court of Verona, we can provide certified, sworn and legalised translations according to our clients’ needs.