A mini guide to official translations in Spain - guest article

Getting your document translated correctly

Spanish Law Tuesday, May 17, 2016
A mini guide to official translations in Spain

Ever wondered what an official translation is? Can just anybody produce official translations? In David Ruiz’s mini guide he includes his advice for hiring an official translator.

An official translation is an accurate and legal translation of a document completed by an official translator. Official translations can be requested for many purposes and legal procedures. For instance, Spanish authorities may request an official translation of your birth certificate for numerous reasons. In this case you’d need an official translation of it.

This is just an example of the innumerable situations where authorities can require official translations. What’s most important to note is that your official translation must be done by an official translator.

The official translator

The official translator is the person in charge of generating your official translation. In Spain, official translators are fully qualified by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They must have the proper licence issued by this ministry to have the authority to translate a document in the official format.

As you can imagine, official translators are not people who spent a few summers and one university degree in an English-speaking country (or any other language), and now are translating documents using Google translate. Official translators are qualified and licensed professionals with a legal degree of responsibility for their work.

When you might need one

Certificates are some of the most common official documents needing an official translation. These include:

  • Marriage/birth/divorce/death certificates
  • School and university certificates
  • Local, regional or national certificates
  • Medical certificates

However, the list goes on and also includes:

  • Simple and in-depth medical reports
  • Business documentation
  • Visa application requirements
  • Technical manuals

Four points to note

  • In Spain, official translators must be authorised by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Don’t go for the cheapest translator, go for the best. Get recommendations and check their websites. The difference can be a few euros and can mean the difference between either an outstanding or mediocre final product (translation + formatting).
  • Unless you know you are dealing with real and reputed professional translators, don’t offer your translation to people outside your area. It will always be easier to chase someone local if something happens.
  • Get your translations done by somebody who will respond quickly if there are any issues.

If you would like to find out more about official translations read David’s article: Ultimate Guide on Official Translations         

David Ruiz is the owner of Torrevieja Translation and Official Translators, where he helps people from all nationalities solve their every day Spanish problems such as hospitals, doctors, police reports, official translations, notaries, and driving licences.

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