Electronically sworn translations?
Thread poster: Peter Smets

Peter Smets
English to Dutch
Jul 18, 2011

Dear colleagues,
We occasionally provide sworn (certified) translations. Now one of our clients wishes to know if it is possible to provide "electronically sworn translations". This is the first time we are asked this, and we have done some research on the internet, without much result.
Can you let us know if this is legally possible, and how to do it?
Thanks for your help!


Peter Smets

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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:21
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Electronically signed document? Jul 18, 2011

Perhaps they mean that the certification document along with the translation is locked in an electronically signed PDF file?
Whether this is legally acceptable, and what electronic technologies qualify would probably depend on the country and the purpose of the document.

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Maria Lila  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:21
French to Spanish
+ ...
Depends on the country... Jul 18, 2011

... but at least in Spain and in France it's not valid. The legally valid sworn translation must be printed, sealed and signed. I have been asked before, however, I'm bound by the rules of certified translations in this side of the world. A scanned copy of a sworn translation is not valid. I'm aware that sometimes many customers are in a real hurry, but I cannot help in that case. Only hard copies are accepted, at least for the Spanish and French authorities. For other countries, I have no idea.
Hope it helps.
Best, María.

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United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Hi Peter Jul 18, 2011

I think something has got lost in translation - I've never heard of an electronically sworn translation, and I can't imagine what it might be. I suppose you could certify a translation electronically, though I'm not sure how, but I think swearing by definition has to be done in the presence of a notary or similar professional. By the way, you appear to be using "swearing" and "certifying" interchangeably in your question, but they mean different things.

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Peter Smets
English to Dutch
Thanks! Jul 19, 2011

Thanks for your help. Electronically sworn translations don't seem to be available, if I understand well. It is sort of against the whole idea of the swearing. Regards, Peter.

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