It isn’t necessary to have special powers to translate articles, manuals or even medical histories. Such a translation can be done by any translator. However, when we need a translation of formal, official documents, we have to use the services of a sworn translator. In the article below we explain what a certified translation is and why it needs a special certification.

Certified vs. sworn translation

A translation that needs to be certified by a sworn translator is commonly called a sworn translation, although this term isn’t used by translators themselves. The correct name for the translation done by a sworn translator is a certified translation (this term is used in the Act on the Profession of Sworn Translator.)

We need a certified translation (colloq. sworn translation) always when we have to confirm the authenticity of an official document. When we want to work abroad and the employer requires a university degree, we have to have it translated by a sworn translator. An authorized person registered as a sworn translator can certify our document by putting a seal on it and signing it with their name. Every certified translation needs to be entered in the special repertory. At the end of the translated text, the translator writes a number from the repertory, the place and the date of completion of work, and states whether they certify the translation with the original or with the copy.

Interpretation involving a sworn translator

Sometimes, a sworn translator is also necessary while interpreting. When we are getting married to a foreigner who doesn’t speak Polish, a sworn interpreter must be present at the ceremony (and also while signing all the official marriage documents.) An authorized person should also accompany us during the reading of the notarial deed when, for example, one of the co-owners of an apartment or a house doesn’t speak the same language as we do. A sworn interpreter also takes part in interrogations and testifying in the court. In this case, they certify their powers only with a signature (without a seal), which is put on every official document.

Examples of texts that require a certified translation

Among the most frequently certified documents translated for individual clients, the following ones should be mentioned:

  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • School-leaving certificates and higher education diplomas
  • Course completion certificates
  • Medical certificates
  • Vehicle History Cards, Registration Books
  • Notarial deeds
  • Certificates of clean criminal record
  • Entrepreneurs often use the services of translation offices to order a certified translation (colloq. sworn translation) of:Company deeds and its statues
  • Court decisions and judgments
  • Excerpts from the commercial register (the National Court Register)
  • Statements from the tax office and the Social Security Office
  • Extracts from the trade register
  • Certificates of vesting a REGON statistical number

A certified translation isn’t necessary when we prepare documents for internal communication in a company. Tender documents, trade offers, annual reports or financial statements don’t require the sworn translator’s certification.

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