Sworn English translation in Spain
Thread poster: Amanda Gomez

Amanda Gomez
Spain
Local time: 23:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 7, 2013

Hi everyone!

One of our clients is asking us to quote for an ES>EN sworn translation for a book published by a Spanish public institution.

Now, my question is: what does this imply? Would it be feasible to find an English native translator who is qualified by the competent Spanish Ministry to act as a sworn translator for a text to be delivered to a Spanish public institution? Does this exist? I mean, I've always dealt with Spanish translators who swear their translations into Spanish...

Thanks in advance for your info!


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:39
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Sworn translation of a BOOK? Dec 8, 2013

Spain and Brazil are two of a kind regarding translations for official purposes: both countries have a LAW on that.

I tried my best to explain the Brazilian system on these pages.

Now I don't mean all - or most - other countries are a mess to this regard: they simply leave each receiving office/authority/entity naturally empowered to set their own requirements to accept documents originally issued in a foregn language.

Most governments licensing translators to work for official purposes examine them working both ways, i.e. from one or more foreign languages into the national one, as well as from the national language into the very same foreign one(s). I haven't heard of one-way public translators licensing anywhere.

However official translation acceptance is left to the receiving sovereign country's judgment.

Being licensed by the Brazilian government for EN-PT means that my official translations into Portuguese have public faith in Brazil, and any Brazilian authority must demand and accept them as such, as provisioned by Brazilian federal laws.

Yet these laws apply only within Brazil. The US, UK, and other EN-speaking countries' authorities may (but not MUST) believe that if my translations into English are good enough for the Brazilian government, these should be good enough for them too... or not! They are definitely NOT bound by Brazilian law.


Now I fail to envision why anyone would want a sworn translation (i.e. having public faith) of a book, unless it were to be used as evidence of either a) copyright infringement; or b) libel or slander.

Such sworn translation into English, per se would not be acceptable in Spain, being in a foreign language there, so the first step would be to ascertain what are the exact requirements by the receiving institution.

One difference between Brazilian and Spanish laws on this matter is that in Brazil a sworn translator must be a Brazilian citizen and reside permanently in Brazilian territory. In Spain, citizenship of any EC country is required, and the sworn translator may reside anywhere on this planet.

So this is indeed possible, however it should be checked whether a sworn translation is at all necessary AND acceptable, being it the translation of an entire book.


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Amanda Gomez
Spain
Local time: 23:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, a book... Dec 8, 2013

Thanks José Henrique!

That was really helpful! The book will be of an informative content and my client cannot explain why the public institution will need it to be sworn, except for the fact that it won't be altered in any way later on...

So, according to what you say, it'll have to be a sworn translator, of whichever nationality within the EC, certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Spain (even if he/she is living somewhere else in the world). Is that correct?

Thanks!!!!
Amanda

[Edited at 2013-12-08 10:28 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
SOP Dec 8, 2013

In Spain, there aren't many native English speaker sworn translators (traductor jurado) AFAIK (I only know of one). Usually when clients ask for a sworn translation it's a knee-jerk thing and they're not really necessary. In fact, I've done translations into English before which were then certified or stamped by a Spanish "traductor jurado" and nobody batted an eyelid - all the clients appear to be worried about is seeing an "official" stamp on the document in order to jump through the bureaucratic hoops.
However, logic dictates that the translator who does the job and certifies its integrity should be a qualified native speaker of the target language. Happy hunting!


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Amanda Gomez
Spain
Local time: 23:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Swearing a translation which is not yours? Dec 8, 2013

Hi Neilmac!

Thanks for your answer.

So... would it be possible to find a Spanish sworn translator who'd be ready to swear someone else's translation?

That'd make things easier for me... but more expensive!

It's a good hint, though! Thanks a lot!!


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:39
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
ITI certification Dec 8, 2013

Well, it depends how "official" you want the sworn translation to be. A "traductor jurado" would be the usual way to go for certificates and so on, as others have mentioned.

Another alternative would be to get an MITI to translate it, and sign and seal the translation. MITIs (Members of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting) are exam assessed and entitled to use "Certification Seals" in the language pair they have been certified in.

http://www.iti.org.uk/about-industry/certification-sworn

As an MITI and medical translator, I've only actually used the seal once - to translate a patient report for insurance purposes. I expect that translators in other fields use it more often.

However, if the translation is for Spain, I suspect you'll have to use a Ministry of Justice "traductor jurado" because the ITI seal won't be accepted at an official level in Spain.


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Amanda Gomez
Spain
Local time: 23:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
ITI / Jurado Dec 8, 2013

Emma Goldsmith wrote:

However, if the translation is for Spain, I suspect you'll have to use a Ministry of Justice "traductor jurado" because the ITI seal won't be accepted at an official level in Spain.


Thanks Emma. I'll see what the client is actually looking for because, in this case, the sworn translation is not to be used as an official text in any way (I mean, it's not to be turned in on an ministry, embassy, or similar), but it'll be a published regular book. However, it seems that the public institution who's in charge of writing this book wants it to be sworn for the purpose of making it more "official" (if that makes sense at all!). In this case, maybe the ITI seal will be just want they want.

Thanks again, Emma, for your info.


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 23:39
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Here's what I believe to be the latest list Dec 8, 2013

And there are plenty of names which would suggest that the translation into English would be into their native language.

http://www.maec.es/es/MenuPpal/Ministerio/Tablondeanuncios/InterpretesJurados/Documents/2013IIJJ.pdf

I could write at length about the subject of sworn translators in Spain, but, fortunately for all concerned, I'm rather busy...



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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 23:39
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
That link was out of date Dec 8, 2013

Here's the latest:

http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Portal/es/ServiciosAlCiudadano/Documents/listadoTIJdiciembre2013.pdf

The translators working with English start on page 549 and those resident in the UK on page 565. I take back what I said about there being plenty of people translating into their native English.

As ever, contact details are often noticeably absent or incomplete.


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Amanda Gomez
Spain
Local time: 23:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I'm impressed! Dec 8, 2013

Noni, thanks!

You've really helped me! I have some study to do here...

Thanks again!


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Helena Chavarria  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:39
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sworn translators certifying translations Dec 8, 2013

neilmac wrote:

In Spain, there aren't many native English speaker sworn translators (traductor jurado) AFAIK (I only know of one). Usually when clients ask for a sworn translation it's a knee-jerk thing and they're not really necessary. In fact, I've done translations into English before which were then certified or stamped by a Spanish "traductor jurado" and nobody batted an eyelid - all the clients appear to be worried about is seeing an "official" stamp on the document in order to jump through the bureaucratic hoops.
However, logic dictates that the translator who does the job and certifies its integrity should be a qualified native speaker of the target language. Happy hunting!


I've been asked to do the same. Actually, I sometimes feel a bit annoyed because it's me who has to do all the hard work!


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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
Certified translations Dec 9, 2013

I'm a native English sworn translator and it is true that there is a just a small handful of us. I think that it is standard practice to send it to an English native translator and then have a Spanish native sworn translator read it through and stamp it. This would be a much more sensible idea than sending it to a Spanish native sworn translator to do the translation.

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Amanda Gomez
Spain
Local time: 23:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I've called the Asetrad Dec 9, 2013

Thanks Tatty!

I'm being offered your second option (having an English translator do the job, and then a Spanish sworn translation read it through and stamp it) quite a lot...

I've called the Asetrad and they confirmed that there's a very limited number of English native translators who are sworn by the Spanish Ministry and advice me to read through the 1438 pages of the Ministry's list of sworn translators to see if I can find anyone who adapts to my needs.


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