What are the qualifications needed to perform legal translations in the UK?
Thread poster: Rosalia Parrington
Rosalia Parrington  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:34
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feb 10, 2010

Hello everyone, I need some professional advice. I am currently living in the UK, where I offer services as a freelance translator. I have been asked to translate a marriage certificate from Spanish into English, and, although I have the skills for making the translation, I have not as yet translated a legal document in the UK. If someone can please let me know what the regulations are for freelance translators and/or the qualifications needed to be able to make legal translations in the UK, it will be much appreciated.



[Edited at 2010-02-10 14:00 GMT]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2010-02-10 14:03 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-02-10 14:04 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-02-10 15:05 GMT]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:34
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
There's no single answer to this, it depends what the client wants Feb 10, 2010

...or intends to use it for. In some cases anyone can do it, in some cases some sort of authorized translator is required. Membership of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting gives such authorization. In other cases, the translation may have to be notarized by a notary public.

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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:34
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
I don't do legal, but... Feb 11, 2010

Hello there

Well, it may depend on what the client wants, but it is very, very hard to get freelance work, especially in the legal field, unless you do have qualifications, e.g. a Degree in Foreign Languages, a recognised Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Linguists, or else your "foreign" qualifications need to be recognised by a professional language body here in the UK.

I would contact the Institute of Translators and Interpreters/Chartered Institute of Linguists if I were you, to see what you need to do.

Legal translation is very tricky stuff indeed. I have done about four in the last year for a Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, on a private basis, merely because I used to work for her when she was the head of an interpreting and translation service at the local council....she is a legal interpreter and translator so she always reads through my translations and makes any corrections...but normally I don't touch legal, as I have no training in that area. [She is pleased with the work I have done however].

Also, are you registered with any languages agencies in the UK? They will also tell you what is required of you.

Good luck in a competitive line of work!

Kind regards
Liz Askew


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