Signing an affidavit for a translation job
Thread poster: Francesco Toscano

Francesco Toscano  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:52
Member (2010)
English to Italian
+ ...
Sep 6, 2011

I completed a translation of a marriage certificate for an agency. Now at a second stage they are asking me if I can sign an affidavit for their client.

Sworn by (translator's namexxxxxx) of XXX on (date of translation xxxxx). This is the first affidavit regarding the XXX wedding certificate.
I swear that the content and facts of the translated document are true, to the best of my knowledge and ability.


How much should I charge them for the affidavit? An extra 50%-70% of the standard rate?


ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:52
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Affidavit Sep 6, 2011

I am not sure if signing an affidavit is a safe legal act in this case. The affidavit states "I swear that the content and facts of the translated document are true, to the best of my knowledge and ability." What if the original certificate is a fake document? You will be stating that the contents of the original marriage certificate are true, i.e. the couple are actually married. Am I way off?


LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:52
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Is that the actual language of the affidavit? Sep 6, 2011

It does sound like they want you to affirm that the FACTS of the source of the source document are true, something you cannot possibly do as the translator, unless you have personal knowledge of these facts. Usually the translator only affirms that the translation corresponds fully to the original and can make no representations about authenticity of the original itself.

It is also possible that they want a normal affidavit of translation but have simply worded/translated it poorly in English. In any case I'd be skeptical of signing it as written. I'd ask the agency how they expect you to certify the "facts" of the translation. If you get a reply, keep us posted - I'm curious.icon_wink.gif


Tina Vonhof
Local time: 04:52
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Not sworn Sep 6, 2011

You can't say "sworn by" if you are not a sworn translator. Any large agency should have its own lawyer or other authorized official to go to for things like that. If they don't, see the post about a "declaration" that was submitted just a few days ago.


Francesco Toscano  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:52
Member (2010)
English to Italian
+ ...
I made some changes Sep 6, 2011

I have reworded the whole sentence as follows:
I, XXX, freelance translator, attest that to the best of my knowledge this English translation is a complete and accurate rendering of the source document (XXX wedding certificate), and that I am both proficient in the English and in the Italian language.


Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:52
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
I go to a solicitor Sep 6, 2011

I take my credentials and copies of the original and translation to a solicitor and swear in his presence that it is a true and complete translation, usually on a form provided by the solicitor.
This service is surprisingly cheap, considering what solicitors charge for other things. I have been charged between five and nine GBP per visit - not per affidavit, on the last occasion there were two of them and I was only charged five pounds in all. This charge is of course passed on to your client, along with travelling expenses if you have to travel some miles to a solicitor.


PRAKAASH  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:22
Member (2007)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Thanks Sep 6, 2011


Thanks for the info. I have simply signed few affidavits assuming if they are only related to translations without giving specific attention to the word 'fact/s'?

I will be alert from now onwards as now I know that few client/s pass their part of danger to the freelancers end. How can translator verify a fact written in a certificate, he can only translate, and that's it!

Warm Regards,


Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Both Sep 6, 2011

....and that I am both proficient in the English and in the Italian language. BETTER:

....and that I am proficient in BOTH the English and the Italian languageS.


United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Affidavit or certification? Sep 6, 2011

When people ask me for an affidavit, I always ask: 'Are you sure you want an affidavit, or is certification OK?' Often, all they want is the latter - a signed note saying that it's a true translation. If they definitely need an affidavit, this has to be sworn in front of a lawyer or notary - again, check which they need. I usually charge the lawyer's fees at cost, and an hourly fee for my time. If it's a certification, I do it for free.


Local time: 06:52
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Me too Sep 7, 2011

I think it also depends on the laws governing where you work. Legal requirements for affidavits can vary by country. In Canada, I am a "certified" translator and I don't charge for the "certification" as I quote an all inclusive rate. If they require a sworn affidavit, it has to be signed in the presence of a lawyer so I pass on their rate plus an hour of my time to get it done.
You would have to confirm what constitutes an "affidavit" versus a "certification" in your place of work.

Good luck!


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