This article was originally published on our blog in Spanish. You can find the original article here.
Today, we want to inform you about those complicated procedures that have to be carried out to present signed and sealed translations. Without further delay, here are five things you should know about sworn translations.
What to do when you need an official translated document
Sometimes you may encounter a call for scholarships or a request for a place in a particular university that requires documents translated officially. This usually happens when you want to study abroad, and you find that our diplomas or qualifications are in Castilian, Galician, Catalan, or Basque while the institution requests them in English, French, and German. In this situation it is normal that certain doubts are bound to arise, here we will try to clarify quickly, thus avoiding dislikes or losing money foolishly.
When are they necessary?
As we have mentioned earlier, usually official translations are necessary when we want to study, work, or apply for a scholarship that implies mobility to a country with a different official language. These translations are very crucial; you are at risk of missing out on these opportunities if it is not done correctly.
It is for this reason that there are official translators endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or, in the case of co-official languages, other official translators endorsed by the corresponding autonomous administrations. The first thing that we must always look for when doing an official translation is to ensure that it is made by an official translator recognized by the government one who has a seal that accredits it. This seal will appear in your documents and will be the guarantee that a professional has translated them being faithful to the originals.
IMPORTANT: Make sure the translation you have requested is an official translation. It should also be a called sworn or certified translation. There are times when the body only requires a translation made by the applicant himself, accompanied by the original. If in doubt, make inquiries to make sure that it is correctly done.
What are my options?
Usually, there are two options for an official translation: First is having direct contact with a translator of the language you need or use a company specialized in all types of official translations. There is no better or worse option. A company usually has more options and gives you more facilities in exchange for a higher price. An individual translator can take longer or can work only in one language, but it is also usually cheaper and with a more personal treatment. The decision should suit your situation. If you have enough time, you should consider contacting different translators, comparing rates and deciding which one suits you best. On the other hand, if it’s needed urgently, there are companies that could have the work done in 24 hours, sometimes charging twice as much as an individual translator. It’s all up to you.
Another critical factor when making your decision will be the number of pages – some companies make discounts for long documents – and also the number of languages involved in the translation. The most common situation is if you need a translation from Spanish to English, you would need a Spanish-English translator, of course. However, if you need another translation, for example from Catalan to English, you would also need a translator endorsed by the Generalitat. If the number of different translations accumulates, it may be more convenient to use a company, avoiding having to look for different translators and different rates.
How much is it going to cost me?
This is a complicated question. As we have already anticipated, the fee will depend very much on whether you turn to an official translator who works for free (many graduates in translation practice as freelancers) or if you turn to a company that receives your order and organizes who translates it. I don’t think this has helped you much, so I’m going to give you an approximate figure – albeit variable – so that you have foresighted what you can expect. As a preliminary warning, the translation is different in each document; the translators are professionals with a career and are also responsible for each translation they make, until the last full stop. That is why the prices are much higher than you expected.
As a general reference, an individual translator can charge you between € 20 and € 30 for a standard (A4) page. This varies depending on the type of document you send and how complicated it is to translate. It also varies depending on the language. Translating from Spanish into English has a lot of supply and demand, but if you need a translation from Catalan to Czech, it is possible that the price will skyrocket and you will find yourself with few options to choose from. If you use a company, despite the comforts that this entails, you can expect it to be between 50 and 60 € per page translated. If you think it exaggerated, here is the official website of a translation company, with a calculator of price and deadline. As you will see, official translations are expensive.
How long will it take?
One good thing about the high price pay is that official translations do not usually take longer to arrive. If you choose an individual translator from the list that we offer in the following section you must negotiate with him or her; they usually have reasonable delivery dates between 24 hours and up to 2-3 days, depending on how long and complicated the document is.
If you use a company, the delivery time is often shortened, and you can even pay an extra for making it an urgent translation. That being said, everything will depend on how quick you need it delivered to you and in what format you need it; whether you need it printed or in PDF. As a general rule, you can wait 48 hours in regular order and can even go down to 24 hours in an urgent request, also imply a price increase to even 60 € per page.
How do I find the translator I need?
To find a translation company you just have to search Google for ‘sworn translations’ or ‘official translations.’ If you think that the idea of a freelance translator is the best, here is the updated list of translators authorized by the ministry. You only have to look at the language that interests you and contact them personally, by mail or going in person if they live in your city.
Finally, it is adviced that when you are negotiating with the translator, it is essential to make clear what you want to translate, what language, deadline, final price (including mailing if necessary) and also make sure that if you made a mistake, it is corrected without surcharge. Needless to say, especially if you choose a company, you have to make sure that the translated document will be sealed by an authorized translator.
We hope this has resolved all your doubts. If not, leave a comment on this post, and we will try to give you a personalized help and guide you in everything that we can. Of course, for free because that’s the idea that moves us in EDUopinions. If you want to make contributions in return, you can do that by giving us an opinion about your university in the main page of EDUopinions, giving us a like on Facebook and sharing our posts if you have been useful. Thank you very much; we can only grow with your help.