In official or inter-agency matters, a higher degree of formality is often required. These cases are handled by Sworn Translators or Interpreters, who have been certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain or the corresponding country and who have been duly sworn in and are authorised to perform their duties. This professional assumes full civil liability in relation to third parties for the translation/interpretation he or she performs. For this purpose, each translation/interpretation is signed, stamped and sworn in order to certify total adherence to the original text/speech. A sworn translation has an official character similar to that of a public document issued before a notary. Therefore, the subsequent notarisation of such a translation is not obligatory, except on a few occasions that we will inform you about (see below for information on inverse sworn translation).
INSTRUCTIONS FOR OBTAINING A SWORN TRANSLATION INTO SPANISH
Before carrying out a sworn translation from a foreign language into Spanish, it may be necessary to legalise the original document by means of an apostille (those countries that are signatories to the Hague Convention of 1961) or legalisation. The client must obtain information from his consulate or embassy, or from the place where the translation is to be presented, as to whether the original document must be legalised in order to be processed in Spain. If so, the document must be legalised in its country of origin. The sworn translation is the last step and must be carried out in Spain by a sworn translator certified by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Apostilles are usually issued in notaries’ offices, courts/Ministries of Justice, Government Delegations and courts in the country of origin, depending on the type of document.
Sworn translations of foreign documents into Spanish that are to be submitted to any Spanish administrative body are already official documents exempt from legalisation (Amendment of Article 13 of the Regulations of the Language Interpretation Office. Royal Decree 79/1996 of 26 January, official State gazette B.O.E. 47 of 23.2.96). It would be illegal for a civil servant to request that a document that has been translated by a sworn Spanish translator be subsequently legalised by a Spanish body, and even more so by a foreign embassy.
The Hague Apostille (or simply apostille) is a simplified method of legalising documents in order to verify their authenticity in the field of private international law. Physically it consists of a sheet which is added (attached to the back or on an additional page) to the documents and which the competent authority stamps on a public document or a copy thereof.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR OBTAINING A SWORN TRANSLATION INTO A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
In the case of a sworn translation from Spanish into a foreign language, the original Spanish document must first be apostilled or legalised, if required in the destination country. In Spain, the authorities competent to certify the authenticity of a Spanish document by means of the apostille are established by Royal Decree 1497/2011, of 24 October. The following situations may occur:
- In the case of a notarial document, a second notary will stamp the apostille or legalisation.
- If it is a document issued by a court or the Civil Registry of Ibiza, the Regional Department of Justice (Posada del Real, 6, Palma de Mallorca) will stamp the apostille or legalisation or two notaries will have to be consulted: the first will legalise the signature of the document and the second will stamp the apostille or legalisation.
- If it is another type of document, two notaries will have to be consulted: the first will legalise the signature of the document and the second will stamp the apostille or legalisation.
- In some countries, such as Spain, the apostille can be obtained digitally (e-Apostille or e-App).
Once the original document is apostilled or legalised, the sworn translation of the document is carried out.
As it is a sworn translation into a foreign language, i.e. it is to be presented in a foreign country, our translation can also be legalised if required in the destination country. To this end, our office sends the sworn translation into a foreign language to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, based in Madrid, where it is legalised and returned to the office by registered mail for subsequent delivery to the client. The procedure takes between 7 and 10 days and is subject to an additional cost.