Sworn Interpreting

Sworn Interpreter is an interpreter who, authorised by way of an official nomination from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs which gives them the relevant legal authority, interprets and translates from one language to another language certifying its content and acting in the capacity of a certifying officer.

The title of interpreter includes, therefore, translation and interpreting, even though when we refer to the sworn translation of documents, we allude to a sworn or official translatorand when we talk about interpreting services that must be carried out by an official interpreter, we use the term sworn interpreter. This may only be the case for the specific language combination for which the interpreter received their nomination.

Therefore, sworn interpreters, as well as being officially authorised to certify translations, have a license which displays the language and date of their nomination which they must take with them to any and all interpretations in which they participate.

What kind of interpreting services do they carry out?

sworn interpreter may participate in any interpreting service, however there are a certain amount of interpreting services that require the services of a sworn interpreter nominated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

  • Appearances in court. In these cases, the sworn interpreter must appear before a court or tribunal in which oral translation is required for the accused or for a witness, attesting to the truthfulness communicated in the courtroom. Their presence is crucial in any proceedings of this kind and the interpreter must be aware of the responsibility they hold.
  • Appearances in notarial acts. This type of function includes the issuing of deeds, powers of attorney, judicial proceedings, sworn declarations, the conclusion of contracts, etc. By necessity, all of these must be co-signed by a notary officer and an equivalent power in the other language, in other words the sworn interpreter, who acts in the capacity of a notary or certifying officer in the other language.

In light of this, it can be seen that sworn interpreting does not only involve an extensive knowledge of the working language, rather a broad command of the legal systems of any given socio-cultural environment.