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Sworn translators in Spain, the official translators of Spain

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Sworn translators in Spain, all you need to know when looking for sworn or certified official translators in Spain.

Sworn translators in Spain have the advantage of being recognised by the government as being able to produce official translations. The highly codified system in Spain means that it is really easy to know who can produce sworn translations and who can’t, however, there are always exceptions.

The only translators who can produce sworn translators in Spain are those who are recognised either as a “sworn translator-interpreter”, a “sworn translator” or a “sworn interpreter” (some can be both, others are only recognised as sworn translators or sworn interpreters) by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is the Ministry that regulates who can and can’t be a sworn translators in Spain.

In order to be a sworn translator in Spain you need to do one of three things:

  1. Have studied a degree in Translation and Interpretation at a Spanish university where you took extra courses in sworn and commercial translation (this is no longer possible as about ten years ago the higher education system in Spain changed in a way that made this impossible).
  2. Have passed a series of exams held by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  3. Be recognised as a sworn translator in another EU or EEA country.

The translator must also be a citizen of an EU or EEA country.

Once the translator is recognised as a sworn translator, he or she can produce sworn translation recognised by the Spanish government. But that does not mean they are Spanish government employees. Most sworn translators work as freelancers or are employed by private companies.

There are always exceptions to the rule:

Translations made by sworn translators recognised as such in other countries may also produce sworn translations that can be recognised in Spain. Therefore, for example, if you present a sworn translation made by a sworn translator in France (traducteur agréé), then it may be accepted.

While this is true, the official or person receiving the translation is under no obligation to accept it as it has not been done by a recognised Spanish sworn translator.

The sworn translators recognised by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs also don’t cover every language. Thus, there will be cases where you may need more than one sworn translator (including foreign translators) or have translations certified by Spanish diplomatic missions abroad.

To sum up:

A sworn translation made by a sworn translator recognised by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs should in most cases be accepted. However, there is some leeway and a translation made by a recognised sworn translator in another country may also be accepted. Always ask the body or organisation requesting the translation to make sure that the translation you are asking for is what you need.

If you are looking for a sworn translator in Spain or are looking for more information, feel free to contact us via our contact page.

And if you are interested in sworn translations in other countries, also send us a message or have a look at our main sworn/certified translation page where we talk about sworn translations in a variety of countries.

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