What is meant by “sworn translation” or “legalised translation”?
A sworn translation comes complete with a translation affidavit, or authentication, signed before a Court.
Authenticating, or swearing, a translation involves officially certifying before a Court Registrar that the text in the target language is an accurate translation of the source language text. By this swearing process, the translation acquires full validity in the country of destination and the translator formally takes responsibility for it.
The translation affidavit is sworn when the translation is submitted to the Registrar, who signs it together with the translator. The sworn translation must be produced together with the original document. The outcome of this process is a single document (original, translation and affidavit) which carries the Law Court’s rubber stamps and a revenue stamp for Euro 16.00 (in Italy) for every 4 pages of translation (including the page with the affidavit).
Translations where Italian is not the source or target language (e.g. translations from English to Arabic or from French to English) can also be sworn before the Italian courts. An intermediate translation into Italian is not required, since the Court official is not required to check the translation in any way, but merely to witness the swearing.
In some cases, as well as authentication legalisation by the Court is also required. Legalisation of a translation is an additional process which takes place after authentication. If a translation is to be used in a foreign country, the Law Court certifies the legal status of the official (registrar) who has signed the authenticated document, and also certifies that the signature itself is authentic.
Not all countries require this legalisation. It is the responsibility of the client to check whether a sworn translation must also be legalised.