A guide to sworn translation in Italy

How, where and when you need to certify a translation. We have gathered all the information and frequently asked questions here.

If the document to be translated is an official document to be submitted to an Italian or foreign authority, an official, sworn translation is required. In Italy, translators may swear an oath before a Court officer or a Notary. Through this procedure, the translator attests that the translation is a accurate, complete and a true representation of the original document. The certified translation thus takes on the same legal value as the original. Our translations are certified at the Court of Udine, or, in special cases, before a Notary.

Abroad procedures are different: in many countries translators are entered in a professional register and can sign and stamp their translation. In Italy this is not a valid procedure for certifying a translation.

The whole process involves several public offices, so the timeframe is a couple of working days. Note that not all the steps depend on the translator: read on to find out how it works.

1 – How do I submit documents to be translated and certified?

The original or a certified copy of the document must be submitted. In Italy, you can request a certified copy of the document from a Notary or a town hall. An Italian document for use abroad must be legalised or apostilled.

A foreign document to be submitted in Italy must be legalised or apostilled in the country of origin: the authorities that provide the legalisation/Apostille vary from country to country.


2 – What does a sworn translation look like?

A certified translation is a bound paper booklet consisting of the original document, including legalisation, followed by the translation, a statement of truth and, if the document is intended for use abroad, by an additional legalisation or Apostille of the translation.

The whole will form a single document to be submitted to the requesting authority. It is not possible to separate the various sections, for example, to submit the translation only or to keep the original document. This would invalidate the entire process.

A sworn translation involves a few extra steps when compared to a simple translation. It must reproduce as faithfully as possible the layout of the original document and report everything that appears on it: stamps, signatures, administrative stamps, images and logos. If any substantial parts of the document are irrelevant to its recipients, these can be omitted from the translation by marking them explicitly.

In Italy, the documents must be translated from or into Italian. It is not possible to certify translations from one foreign language into another: if this is specifically required, an intermediate translation into Italian must be added.

3 – What’s the reason for duty stamps?

One 16 euro duty stamp is required by law for every 100 lines of translated text, or every 4 sheets.

4 – What does swearing an oath consist of?

The statement of truth is signed before the Court officer. It specifies the details of the person taking the oath, the language combination of the translation, and the name of the person or company requesting the translation. The Court officer affixes the necessary stamps and accepts the oath by signing the statement of truth. The oath is recorded in the proper Court register.

The translator becomes liable for what they have translated.

5 – What then?

At this point the document, if it is intended for use abroad, is filed with the Public Prosecutor’s Office to be legalised or apostilled. This last step is also the responsibility of the translator. Once this last stage is completed, the certified document is ready to be delivered to the customer, who will submit it to the authority concerned.

6 – How much does a sworn translation cost?

The fees charged by a certification process can be broken down as follows:

  1. The translation cost, which depends on the length of the text and the format (Word, PDF, hard copy, handwritten copy…)
  2. The cost of certification, which covers the time needed to prepare the file, materials and swearing the oath at the Court
  3. The cost of legalising the document at the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which covers the time spent on this step
  4. The cost of the duty stamps, which depends on the length of the document.

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