When Is a Sworn Translation Required in Spain?

Sworn translation is a highly requested service in Spain. It can be required in various domains, such as economic as well as administrative, law, etc. Spain is one of the most solid and well defined countries when it comes to ad hoc legislation. It is worth stressing that sworn translations can only be done by professional sworn translators appointed by the relevant Ministry, which allows those to perform official translations from and into Spanish. 

The Office of Interpretation of Languages in Spain, the highest organ of State Administration in the area of translation and interpreting, makes a list of all sworn translators available to citizens. This way, you would be able to quickly find the translators listed by language, should you need to. 

Potential scenarios

There are many kinds of situations where a sworn translation can be an indispensable requisite in Spain, such as in administrative or judicial proceedings, conferences, academic and demo presentations, notarial or public record procedures, police proceedings, and so forth. All of these possible scenarios give rise to the intervention of sworn translators, who are accredited by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, and thus are entitled to do valid and recognised translations all over the world. Those guarantee the accurate and faithful translation and assure that there will be no mistake. However, public authorities are the ones who decide if sworn translation services will be compulsory in the context of a given proceeding for a precise purpose. 

Nowadays, globalization of the private sector, diversity in a multicultural society, as well as international business development make it possible to generate documents of all sorts. There are numerous situations, procedures, and transactions where a sworn translation can be necessary, like for example, intercountry adoptions. It will be necessary to translate some documents like the birth certificate of the adoptee, among others. 

Sworn translation takes on a special importance when it comes to international commercial contracts. Given the legal nature of these types of translations, the translator must have a thorough legal and cultural knowledge. They must specifically know the laws, regulatory requirements, and policies that apply in the countries involved in the process. There are substantial differences between legal systems such as the common law or Roman law systems, so the different particularities can utterly affect the final document. 


It can also be required of the services of a sworn interpreter in a meeting where major interests of different companies are at stake. 

Physical presence of sworn interpreters in conferences, seminars, and other meetings is also quite common, including simultaneous trials and also non-judicial events. Interpreting service will be also needed in an interview with a foreigner citizen who might need authorization for a visa or resident permit. These interviews are also usually carried out by authorities that must authorize marriages. 

Sworn interpreting service is also required when a civil claimant and defendant want to assert their rights before the Spanish courts and none of them speak the native language.  

A sworn translation will be needed as well in cases where acts and contracts related to real estate goods and the incorporation of companies involve international legal transactions. For example, you will need a sworn translation from English to Spanish if you need to provide a deed written in English in Spain. On the other hand, you would need a sworn translation from French to Spanish if you needed to present a hand-written endorsement or a deed in France, for instance.

It should also be noted that a public deed is always required when there is a property transfer, e.g., purchases and sales between companies, inheritances, mortgages, housing transactions, etc.

Other possible scenarios where documentation should be translated into the destination country would be a foreign place in which to site a business, requests for an international cooperation, execution of letters rotatory, notification requests, evidence procedures, and many more. 

For all these contexts, it is usually essential that specialized translators and interpreters certify the accuracy of translations in order to avoid possible mistakes or legal problems whatsoever.