Certified translation in Portugal… what now?

Certified translation in Portugal… what now?

Maria, Francisca and António need certified translations. In other words, they need to certify/legalise the translation of documents. We’re going to explain, in a simple way, the steps to follow.

First of all, it is important to note that certified translation can take several names: authenticated translation, legalised translation, official translation or sworn translation. In fact, these terms all mean the same thing.

António got married abroad and needs to certify the marriage documents translated into Portuguese to submit to a body in Portugal. What does he need?

  1. To have the original document (or certified copy) and its translation in Portuguese;
  2. To go to a notary (or lawyer/solicitor), who will draw up a declaration identifying the competent translator who guarantees, under oath or solemn affirmation, that the translated document is true to the original;
  3. This declaration is placed together with the original and its translation. All the pages are stamped and signed by the notary/lawyer/solicitor and by the translator.

Certified Translation = Declaration + Original Document + Translated Document.

Maria and Francisca need to submit documents obtained in Portugal abroad and have been asked to certify the translation, but before they can find out what they need to do, they first need to check whether the destination country is a signatory to the Hague Convention.

Maria’s son lives in Germany, a country that has SIGNED UP to the Hague Convention, and she wishes to translate his criminal record. What does she need to do?

  1. Have the original document (or certified copy) and its translation in Portuguese;
  2. Go to a notary (or lawyer/solicitor), who will draw up a declaration identifying the competent translator who guarantees, under oath or solemn affirmation, that the translated document is true to the original;
  3. This declaration is placed together with the original and its translation. All the pages are stamped and signed by the notary/lawyer/solicitor and by the translator;
  4. Request the Hague Apostille at the Attorney General’s Office.

Certified Translation = Declaration + Original Document + Translated Document + Hague Apostille.

Francisca is going to study in Canada, a country that has NOT SIGNED UP to the Hague Convention, and she needs an official translation of her diploma. What does she need to do?

Understand the requirements of the destination country, which may be:

  1. Certification by a Notary;
  2. Intermediate Certification by a Chamber of Commerce;
  3. Certification by the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  4. Embassy Certification; or
  5. A combination of the above.

Only when she is aware of the country’s specifications and those of the entity/bodies that requested the document will Francisca be able to understand how best to obtain the appropriate certification.