What does a sworn translator do?
Sworn translators have sworn oaths in the High Court of South Africa to “translate faithfully and correctly, to the best of [their] knowledge and ability”. Before a translation can be recognised as a sworn translation, the document has to bear the stamp and signature of the sworn translator on every page of the translation as well as a statement certifying that it “is a true translation of the original”. Documents that have been translated by sworn translators are the legal equivalent of the original documents for evidentiary purposes in a court of law.
When are sworn translations needed?
Sworn Translations are not generally used and are only required for certain purposes. A sworn translation can also be referred to as an official translation or a certified translation, and this kind of translation is usually required for documents that have been drawn up in a language other than English, which then have to be used in a foreign country.
The list below gives you an idea of the types of documents that sworn translators may be required to translate, and although this list is not extensive, it illustrates the variety of work of a sworn translator has to deal with:
• Birth Certificates
• Death Certificates
• Marriage Certificates
• Divorce Orders
• Educational Certificates
• Forensic Reports
• Company Articles of Association
• Medical Reports
Differences between certified, notarised and sworn translations
Certified translations are more official than translations performed by native speakers of the language because only translators who are certified can perform them. Certified translations include statements from the translators saying that a certified professional has completely and accurately translated the content of the document.
Notarised Translations do not have to be done by sworn translators; they can be done by any translator. The translator is required to appear in front of a Notary Public in order to sign an affidavit which states that it is a true representation of the original document. In most cases, notarised translations are used in education-related documents and are not valid for legal use abroad.
Sworn translations can only be performed by translators who have been sworn in by the High Court of South Africa, and they can only be sworn translators if they have taken an oath in the court of law under penalty of perjury. Much like notarised translations, sworn translations certify that the translation of the document is true and accurate, but unlike notarised translations, sworn translations do not have to be signed in front of a Notary Public because the seal of a sworn translator will suffice.
The sworn translator’s stamp and signature themselves can be apostilled at the High Court in which they were sworn in.
If you are still not sure about what kind of translation you will need for your specific uses abroad, be sure to get in touch with us so that we can point you in the right direction!