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Certified (sworn) translation in Germany

 

What does it mean?

Sometimes a simple translation is not enough; it needs to be an "official" translation that is approved and sealed by the German authority.

 

By German law, only a sworn appointed translator for the language in question may deliver a certified translation. A translator is either officially sworn-in at a local court or publicly appointed. Additionally, translators must prove relevant qualifications before they are sworn in/ publicly appointed.


 

Sworn translators in Germany are translators who have taken a oath at a local or regional court. They fulfill a duty of confidentiality under the German Code of Civil Procedure (in German: Zivilprozessordnung) as per § 189 Sec. 4, and must faithfully and dutifully translate the written text into the German language.


 

You can be sure that German authorities or courts will not reject your official document due to an improper translation.

For many official documents that need to be handed over to a local authority in Germany, translations often need to be done by a sworn translator.

According to § 142 Sec. 3 of the German Code of Civil Procedure, these certified translations have to be approved with the translator’s official stamp. The stamp must include the translator’s name, language(s) and address.

 




DATABASE SWORN TRANSLATORS



What can be done by the client to speed up the translation process?


STEP 1: Tell your translator beforehand what you will be needing from her or him (in a couple of days if possible). Give your translator as much information as possible to help them get ready and plan how to manage your project more effectively.


STEP 2: Please pdf all the documents to be translated. To make a good photo of your documents place them on a piece of white paper and then take a picture. Please make sure all the seals and stamps are legible. Otherwise unpleasant [Transl.note: illegible part of text] is hard to avoid. 


STEP 3. Provide source of as we say input documents for any texts quoted in the document you sent in for translation. Quite often the files we deal with include quotes. If there are official versions of those quotes, these should not be freely translated. If the document includes graphs or tables, it is very helpful to receive the native file. Otherwise, re-building the graphs from scratch is very time-consuming and sometimes actually impossible without the necessary data. Anyway visual style can suffer badly. 


STEP 4: If you have a glossary or list of preferred terms, or if you have related documents that the translators can use as reference material, please send them in with the main document.


STEP 5: The devil is in the details. I agree. Attention to detail is essential and cannot be overlooked because of tight deadlines. That is why it is so important to manage our time efficiently. It is also key to set priorities. Sometimes a section of a large document will be needed first, while the rest can be delivered later. Some other times a client may use an early draft of the translation, and the final, proofread version can be delivered later on.