The importance of sworn translation for companies

Sworn translation is one of the great unknowns for the general public. Many people take it for granted that all translations are sworn, while others often confuse it with legal translation, and some people are not even aware that it exists. And this is one of the services that FAST.txt provides.

A sworn translation is an official translation

Therefore, in order to be able to talk about how important a sworn translation is for companies, it is important to clarify what we mean by this term. A sworn translation is an official translation carried out by professionals accredited as «sworn translators and interpreters» by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (MAEC).

Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation of Spain

Although some time ago this accreditation could be obtained by taking a specialist course in the Degree in Translation and Interpreting, nowadays the way to obtain it is by passing a series of exams that the ministry holds from time to time. Furthermore, it should be noted that this accreditation is granted per language combination, so that if a translator is a certified translator of the English-Spanish combination, they cannot stamp documents as certified translations for any other language combination, unless they obtain the relevant certification for the same. The translated document must include a standard text showing the name and appointment number of the translator and must be stamped by the translator. In this way, the translator will be legally responsible for the content of their translation.

Which documents can a company need to translate that need to be sworn?

On the other hand, it is also important to note that any document can be the subject of a sworn translation, from a contract to a blood test, as it is the purpose of the document that determines whether a translation must be sworn or not. And this is where the main doubt arises on this matter: which documents can a company need to translate that need to be sworn? Well, first of all, we must say that the range is very wide and that there are as many possibilities as there are companies in the world, but let’s try to generalize.

If we start with smaller companies whose market is only local or national, we might feel that they do not necessarily need certified translations. However, if we assume that these companies may wish to hire a foreign employee, it is possible that they will have to issue or receive certain documents in another language, and this, being official administrative procedure, will require a sworn translation. In a classification, we could place the companies that, although they are dedicated to the local market, import products from other countries. In this case, and especially if we are talking about countries outside the European Union, all the necessary documentation for customs and to be able to undertake the import will also be subject to a sworn translation as provided by FAST.txt.

Multilingual documentation

Finally, we turn to multinational companies, which are undoubtedly the ones that can generate the most multilingual documentation. Here the examples are certainly numerous. To the cases we have mentioned above, we could add, first of all, exports. We are no longer talking only about customs documents or certificates, but also about quality certificates, technical characteristics of products, etc. Another quite common aspect in this type of company is the mobility of workers between countries, known as «expatriates». Again, many documents are needed for these procedures, and all of them will require a sworn translation. We should also point out that these companies often sign contracts and agreements with companies that are governed by other legislation. Therefore, it is customary to establish which will be the reference law for the contracts and which will govern in the event of arbitration and, in the event of legal disputes, all documents to be submitted that are originally written in a language other than that of the relevant jurisdiction must be accompanied by the corresponding sworn translation.

Thus, as we have seen, sworn translation is more present and more necessary than is believed in the business world. For this reason, it is very important to be clear about the characteristics of a sworn translation and for companies to have professionals of reference such as FAST.txt to whom they can entrust these tasks, in order to avoid any possible legal problems.

We at FAST.txt can provide you with this Sworn Translation service. For further information, please write to us at

Article written by Cristina Esteban of the FAST.txt team