Since living and working as a professional translator in London I came across number of people asking for a certified or a sworn translation. They were looking for a translation that would contain a stamp with the signature of a translator. This provides a guarantee to the authorities about the authenticity and the high standard of the translation. There is no such thing as a sworn translator in the UK system. However people coming from all over the world to the United Kingdom and turning it into the bubbling mixture of all the world nations that it is, do bring something form their home countries. As they still need to communicate with their homeland it may involve the already mentioned stamps and official documents and in translation it would be a certified or a sworn translation.

When looking for a genuine sworn translator (I am now specifically talking about a Slovak one), there are few things to look out for.

The translated document and the copy of the original document are stapled and bound together by a blue – red- white tricolor. The copy of the original is below the translation and the last page would be the translator’s clause. This contains the number of the translation act under which the translation is registered in his/her translation diary, his/her registration number with the signature and the translator confirms that the translation corresponds with the original with his/her signature and the round stamp. (36 mm diameter). The translator is registered in the Register of Experts, Interpreters and Translators at the Ministry of Justice of Slovak Republic and has an identification card with a specific registration number. Activity of official translators is governed by the Act no. 382/2004 Coll. on experts, interpreters and translators.

To become a sworn translator, one has to have minimum 5 years experience. He/she also needs to do a minimum 30 hours of specialized studies followed by an exam. The last obstacle would be the actual exam at the end of which he/she becomes a sworn translator.

The sworn/certified translations are used for legal purposes as already mentioned marriage certificates, birth certificates etc.

If you need the documents for UK authorities mostly it is sufficient if the translator self – certifies i.e. adds a few lines at the end of the translation stating that he/she translated the document to the best of his/her knowledge and may also add few credentials i.e. membership of a Chartered Institute of Linguists or other professional body.

If that is not sufficient there is also the Statutory declaration and the Notarisation.

Statutory declaration means that the translator appears before a solicitor or a Commissioner for Oaths and swears a special type of oath called a Statutory Declaration declaring that the translation is correct. Statutory declaration is attached to the translation.

Notarisation is suitable for documents that are to be used abroad.