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Legalised, Notarised, Sworn, and Certified Translations

What are certified, notarised, legalised and sworn translation services:

What are the differences and the processes required for each of them?

In the context of translations, these terms refer to different processes that can add various levels of authentication or validation to a translated document. It's important to note that the exact procedures and terminology can vary by jurisdiction, and the following explanations are based on general practices, including those in the UK.

  1. Certified Translation:

    • Definition: A certified translation is a translation accompanied by a signed statement from the translator or a representative of the translation company, affirming the accuracy and completeness of the translation to the best of their knowledge.
    • Process: The translator or translation agency provides a signed certificate along with the translated document. The certification typically includes details such as the name and contact information of the translator or agency.

  2. Notarised Translation:

    • Definition: A notarised translation is one where the translator's signature is notarised by a notary public. The notary public verifies the identity of the translator and confirms that the translator signed the document in their presence.
    • Process: After the translator has signed the translation, they take it to a notary public, who verifies the translator's identity and then notarises the signature. The notary's seal and signature are added to the translation.

  3. Legalised Translation:

    • Definition: Legalization is a broader term and may involve a more extensive process. It often refers to the authentication of a document for international use, making it valid in a foreign country.
    • Process: Depending on the destination country, legalization may involve obtaining an apostille (a type of international certification) or going through a consular or embassy legalization process. This is not specific to the translation itself but is about validating the document as a whole or the signature of the registrar who issued the document.

  4. Sworn Translation:

    • Definition: A sworn translation is a translation carried out by a translator who has taken an oath before a legal authority or a professional organisation. Sworn translators are often authorized to provide translations that have legal standing.
    • Process: Sworn translators are recognized and appointed by legal authorities. They translate documents and attach a statement attesting to the accuracy of the translation, along with their official stamp and signature.

In summary, these terms refer to different levels of authentication or validation. The specific requirements and terminology can vary, so it's essential to consider the intended use and destination of the translated document.

If you have any questions or requirements for certified, notarised, legalised or sworn translations in English-Spanish, email us at

Are we missing any details? Please comment below and together we can help anyone who is looking for information regarding requirements for translated documentation.

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