Translation of official documents

When you have to file an official document drafted in a language different to that of the country where the organisation or institution it will be filed with is located, it will probably need to be accompanied by a sworn translation (also called an “official” translation). This type of translation is distinguished by three core features:

1. It bears the signature and seal of a sworn translator/interpreter appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Because these translations have legal validity, the only translators authorised to provide them are sworn translators/interpreters appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
We offer a sworn translation service for all types of official texts and documents.

2. It is official in the eyes of the authorities
A sworn or official translation has legal validity before competent authorities because it bears the signature and seal of a sworn translator/interpreter.

3. It can only be filed in paper format
Although the original can be sent to the sworn translator on any media, the sworn translation of an official document must be on paper due to its legal nature and the fact that it must bear the signature and seal of the sworn translator/interpreter.

As regards the types of official documents that usually require a sworn translation, they commonly include corporate bylaws, charters, marriage certificates, birth certificates, criminal records, academic transcripts, university degrees, monitoring reports, psychosocial reports and medical certificates, to name just some.


There are a further two elements present in the translation of official documents and texts: the seal and the stamp. The RAE (Royal Spanish Academy) dictionary defines them as follows:


1. A small piece of paper with an official stamp of figures or signs printed on it which is attached to certain documents to endow them with value and efficacy.

2. A mark that is stamped, printed and indicated with a seal.


1. Seal, especially one which is tooled.
2. Seal issued by the State for some documents, such as payment of duties to the tax administration.
3. Income from the treasury involving the amount of stamps, stamped paper and other taxes, some collected in cash, levied on the issue, use or circulation of documents.

When we talk about a “stamp” we may simply refer to a postage or ink stamp, but sometimes the word is used to refer to stamped paper or the paper of certain official documents which include the words “stamp”, “State stamp” or “payments to the State” and which show the amount paid, by which we can conclude that it is a type of tax. Notarial documents also feature them in the form of an ink stamp or sticker.

If you need someone to translate official documents or texts, speak to us. Request an obligation-free quote.


Let us know what kind of translation you need and we will prepare a customised quotation adapted to your needs.