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Sworn Translation – What is it and how is it made?

Atualizado: 12 de Set de 2019

Any document in a foreign language must be accompanied by a sworn translation so that it will be legally valid in another country. Thus, documents submitted to official institutions, academic entities, court proceedings and lawsuits, among other purposes, must have their sworn translation.

Here we explain the main characteristics of this type of translation.



How to request a Sworn Translation?


When this type of service is necessary we should retain a sworn translator also known as public translator and commercial interpreter who is subordinated to the Board of Trade of the State where he/she operates. This professional is qualified by a public examination and his/her activities are controlled by the Board of Trade.


At ProWords, we work with sworn translators of all boards of trade in the country.


What is the structure of a Sworn Translation?


Although the formal structure of a sworn translation shows little variations according to each state board of trade, its essential elements are common and these are:


Laudas – The pages of a sworn translation are called “laudas” (in Portuguese) which size is determined by the Board of Trade; thus, even if one sheet may contain more lines than the number determined in each “lauda”, a sworn translator should observe the Board of Trade standardization.


Introduction – A sworn translation starts with an introductory paragraph containing the translator’s identification, which could also contain the translation, the page and the registry book number where the document was filed. Such data should be repeated in the introductory line of each page of the document.


Graphic Elements – A sworn translation also informs any and all graphic elements of the original document. Therefore, such contents as seals, stamps, coats of arms, signatures and other particulars are also translated or mentioned.


Closing – The last paragraph of a sworn translation should contain a statement that the translation is complete and true to the original document; this information is followed by the translator’s name, signature and stamp as well as his/her registration number in the Board of Trade of the State where he/she is qualified.


Registry – All sworn translations should be included in the “Registry of Translations”. The translator collects this book in the Board of Trade and should return it when it is completely filled out; thus all sworn translations have or will have their registration in the respective Board of Trade. This is a controlling phase that increases the translations reliability and security.


Sworn Translation from Non-original Documents


Most times, a sworn translation is made from an original document; but any document can be subject of this type of translation: notarized or simple copies, emails, letters, websites or texts of any nature. In all cases, the sworn translator indicates at the end of the page the type of document submitted which worked as “original” for each translation.


It should be emphasized that sworn translators are not supposed to know which type of document is required by Brazilian or foreign institutions. Clients should get this information before requesting the work; the professional should only translate the document submitted to him/her.


Does a Sworn Translation replace the original document?


No. A sworn translation only accompanies the original document; as the document is legally valid with its sworn translation, the opposite is also true.


The translation has no expiration date either; however, since it is a true copy of the original document to which it is linked, if the original document has an expiration date, the translation will also lose its legal value on the same date.

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