May 12, 2021
Maria Joaquina Marques

A certified translation is something very common, but the act of certifying is not something straightforward in Portugal for several reasons. In the Portuguese legal context, there is no such thing as the sworn translator, therefore, these translations must be done by translators, who guarantee the fidelity of the translation, or by agencies that are certified to ISO 17100. Translations can be sworn and/or certified by notaries, chambers of commerce and industry, lawyers or solicitors, and they include the document to be translated and the translation thereof. A draft signed by a lawyer with all the data on the certified translation and the proof of registration with the Bar Association are also added.

The certification of a translation is different from the legalization of the translation, the latter being intended to give public form to a document, giving its translation the value of an original document in the country of destination. The legalization of the translation is done by means of an apostille, a process through which a country signatory to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 recognizes the legal effectiveness of a public document issued in another country also signatory to the Convention. The apostille will serve to certify the authenticity of the documents, overriding the requirement for diplomatic and consular legalization of the documents and allowing them to be recognized in any country of the Convention. For countries that are not signatories to the Convention, it is necessary to find out what form of legalization is accepted in the country of destination.

It is important that companies, translators and agencies know which documents and processes will be necessary, since each one has its cost and this will have to be included in the budgets. In addition, delivery times will also have to be flexible since these translations are always dependent on the availability of third parties and, with the pandemic situation, there is the need to schedule an appointment and, consequently, the process takes longer.