Sworn translations

What is a sworn translation?

A sworn – or certified – translation is a translation made by a translator authorised to do so and who has been sworn in before a court. Some documents may only be translated by a sworn translator otherwise they will not be accepted by foreign government authorities. Examples are medical statements, legal documents and extracts from official registers.
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When do you need a sworn translation?

If you’re moving abroad for work or school, chances are you will need to provide a certified translation of official documents such as your diploma or extract from the birth registry. In addition you may need to get an apostille or legalisation.
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What makes a sworn translator special?

Anyone can call themselves a translator, but not everyone can say they are a sworn translator. Due to the nature of the work – translating official and legal documents – these translators have to comply with strict guidelines. Only approved translators are entered into the register of sworn interpreters and translators (Wbtv) You will find me under registration number 10025.

Sworn translations are usually more costly than regular translations. This is because they require a great deal more work. There are strict requirements for both translator and translation:

  • accurate and literal translation of the text
  • description of elements on the original, including non-textual ones such as logos
  • a certification statement by the translator
  • the original documents or copies must be inextricably attached to the translation
  • each page of the translation must bear the translator’s seal and signature

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Besides the translating itself, a lot of time is spent on formatting the documents and on things such as going to the district court to get an apostille, if required. Sworn translators are required to obtain a large number of Permanent Education points every five years in order to remain registered in the Wbtv. This requires them to take refresher courses to stay up to date. More information can be found on www.bureauwbtv.nl (in Dutch)
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