What exactly is a sworn translation?
We should first explain that there is no specific official register for professional translators in Italy.
The chamber of commerce gives all professionals with proven training and professional skills the possibility of registering with the Official Roll of Experts, divided up into categories and sub-categories according to the various professions. This registration is a necessary preliminary requirement to be able to be included on the Official Register of Court Expert Witnesses and Experts local to the translator’s place of residence.
It is important not to confuse the titles, because our legal system has no provision for, nor indeed does it acknowledge, the figure of the “sworn translator”, while it does recognise the existence of translators specialised in sworn translations.
More specifically, a sworn translation is the procedure that involves the certification and formalisation, by means of an oath sworn before a Public Official of the Court applied to, of the file containing both the translation and the original document.
The oath sworn by the translator guarantees the authenticity and truthfulness of the translation of the original document. Through this procedure, the translator accepts full legal civil and criminal liability.
The term “sworn translation” is used to refer to three different types of legal certification of a translation:
• SWORN TRANSLATION
• LEGALISED TRANSLATION
This article only covers the first point; the second two will be discussed in greater detail further on.
By swearing the translation at the court, an oath is given to the effect that all the documents translated from a foreign language into Italian and all the documents translated into a foreign language and intended for foreign countries that have adhered to the Hague Convention of 05 October 1961, are true and exact.
The translator can choose to go to an ordinary court or before the Justice of the Peace to swear the oath.
A file needs to be submitted, which includes:
2. Report of oath;
3. Document showing the original (a photocopy is permitted).
Each court has its own system, in this case we can refer to that used in the Court of Taranto.
The file needs to have stamp duty paid with one €16.00 revenue stamp attached for every four pages of translation, including the oath, one €3.87 revenue stamp attached to the report and one €0.68 revenue stamp attached to each “original figure” attached (i.e. each design or photograph, etc.).
In signing the report, the translator accepts full civil and criminal liability in declaring that the translation is a true translation of the original.
The Public Official in charge of the oath, applies the court stamp to the revenue stamps, signatures and marks the overlaps of the pages of the file, thereby certifying the translation to all intents and purposes.