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What is a sworn translation?

A sworn translation is a translation carried out by a professional certified by a tribunal or a court and bearing his signature and his seal as well as the date of completion. Thus, this is an official translation, which guarantees an absolute conformity to the original document, both in content and in form. The wording “true copy of the original document” must also appear in the translated text.


Unlike free translation (in other words, non-sworn translation), it allows no modifications of the content under the threat of sanctions. When a source document contains an error, for example, in title, the translator has no right to correct it, even at the request of the client. As a rule, translation is carried out from the original document, which must also bear the date of translation, seal and signature of the translator.

Certification is awarded to translators with strong experience, especially in the field of legal translation, and advanced language skills. It is valid at the national level: a sworn translation carried out abroad may be rejected by the French administration, just as a translation performed by a sworn translator in France may lose its legality in foreign countries.

What documents require a certified translation?

Not every text requires a sworn translation, it is rather required for the documents which are intended for the authorities. Therefore, the services of a sworn translator are required for such documents as notarial acts, civil status documents, legal judgements (decisions, orders, etc.), bailiff acts, etc.

Prices and deadlines for sworn translation

Taking into consideration its official value, a sworn translation is paid at a higher rate than a non-sworn translation. Timing of orders can also be longer. Therefore, the type of translation should be preliminarily checked with the corresponding administration.

How to find a sworn translator?

The administration concerned can provide a list of sworn translators in the relevant language combinations. This list is also available in the online directory of sworn translators in France, which is annually updated.

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