How much does a sworn translation cost?

    Danilo Coviello

    Updated Date:

    Sworn translation is an important legal function and requires the skills of a qualified, certified translator. Espresso Translations provides various services including sworn translations at competitive prices and with a rapid turnaround. We will explain what a sworn translation is, how much it costs and what factors influence the price that you pay.

    How much does a sworn translation typically cost?

    There are several factors which influence the price of a sworn translation. One of the primary cost factors is the word count or length of the document as the amount of text to be translated will impact how long it takes. 

    The document content also has a bearing on the price as it may be either very straightforward or contain complex, technical language. The latter will take longer to ensure an accurate translation that still has the same tone and level of formality as the original text. 

    Other considerations include formatting, translating seals and stamps, and of course, the language pair. If they are both common languages, such as English and French, the translation can be done quite rapidly as many sworn translators can do this. However, if one or both of the languages are rare e.g. Basque, it may take longer to find a certified translator who can carry out this kind of translation. 

    Translation of documents is not the end of the story for a sworn translation. It has to be accompanied by a sworn statement which involves the certified translator swearing an oath in front of a court attesting to the accuracy of the translation. It is this procedure that renders the translation ‘sworn’ but a fee is payable for this service which adds to the sworn translation cost. 

    Documents requiring a sworn translation are typically needed for official use abroad. This is because the UK authorities do not ask for sworn translations and most public bodies and government departments in the United Kingdom accept certified translations. 

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    When you are asked for a sworn translation it may be for one of the following documents:

    • Birth certificate
    • Criminal records
    • Academic transcripts
    • Marriage certificates
    • Divorce papers
    • Death certificate
    • Legal rulings
    • Driver’s licence
    • Passport
    • Business contracts 

    Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, there are other identity documents, legal papers, educational diplomas and corporate reports which may need a sworn translation. 

    Each of these types of document will have different formats, lengths, complexity and language pairs so costs will vary accordingly. 

    It should also be noted that a sworn translator bears both civil and ciminal responsibility for the content of the translation, its accuracy and faithfulness to the source document. This increased level of responsibility and accountability is why the fee is higher for a sworn translation than for other official, certified translations. 

    Espresso Translations offers fixed-rate and transparent pricing as well as a free, detailed quote for your specific translation.

    Cost of translation in uk

    Pricing models and fee structures

    The following is a table with examples of fees for certified translations of ordinary, non-technical texts. Of course, the price may vary if the text to be translated is written in a different source language from Italian. In that case, as required by all Italian courts, a double translation is necessary: first into Italian and then into the target language.

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    LanguagesPrice per wordPrice per folderProcedure of AuthenticationApostille
    IT<>EN-FR-ESFrom £0,12From £25From £60From £60
    IT<>DE-PTFrom £0,13From £30From £80From £60
    IT<>RU-ROFrom £0,14From £32From £80From £60
    IT<>ARFrom £0,18From £40From £80From £60

    What is a sworn translation?

    What is sworn translation

    A sworn translation is an official translation produced by a sworn translator with the required accreditation. It is accompanied by a sworn statement from the translator that it is a true and accurate representation of the original document.  

    The official translator swears an oath in front of a court or public official attesting to the authenticity and veracity of the translated document in relation to the source document. When the original text, translation and sworn statement are fixed together to form a single document the translation is considered a legal translation. 

    Certified sworn translations are deemed to have the same legal validity as the original document and are accepted for official purposes in many European countries. 

    Only officially recognised sworn translators can produce a valid sworn translation and many countries have an official  directory of sworn translators. This registration requirement varies from country to country. 

    Express Translations offers a comprehensive and reliable sworn translation service with qualified professionals who can work in over 150 languages.

    Also read: What is the meaning of a sworn translation?

    What factors influence the cost of sworn translations?

    There are several important factors which influence the cost of a sworn translation but not all will apply to every translation. 

    An important cost factor is the language pair. While common source and target languages can be translated quite quickly an unusual combination may result in a more protracted turnaround. Finding a sworn translator to work in unique language pairs may be harder and can increase the cost. 

    • The word count or length of the document will affect how much you pay for a sworn translation as lengthy texts take longer to translate. Other parts of the document such as stamps or seals will also need to be faithfully translated. 
    • Specialised language, technical terminology or complex vocabulary can all increase the amount of work that needs to be done thus increasing the time spent getting it right. A sworn translation carries a lot of legal weight so the translator must be accurate and faithful to the original document.  This attention to detail will add to the price but it means that the translation is accurate and true. 
    • The format of a document also contributes to the cost of a translation. Editable formats such as DOC, PPT, XLS  and HTML among others allow complex documents to be processed. However, if a document is handwritten or is an uneditable scan then it takes longer to format, adding to the cost. 

    Unlike other certified translation services, a sworn translation requires the translator to swear an oath before a public official. Depending on the country, this process can take place in a court of justice or in front of a notary public. With this oath taking, the translation incurs the same legal validity of the source document. 

    A sworn translation also incurs a fee for the oath swearing which is added to the overall cost. The amount of the fee will depend on the country in question but this process is necessary for the translation to be recognised and accepted as a sworn translation. 

    Other costs that may be applied to a sworn translation include an expedited service, postage fees for a hard copy and stamp duty which is payable in some countries.  Given the variations of fees from one country to another, having a fixed price list is impossible. This is why Espresso Translations offers a free, itemised quote, delivered in 24 hours which will detail exactly what you will pay for your sworn translation.

    Factors influencing sworn translation

    How much does translation cost per 1,000 words in UK?

    In the UK, it is usual for a translation agency to charge between £0.10 and £0.16 per word. Therefore, the price of the translation of 1,000 words will typically be between £100 and £160. Some translators or translation agencies will charge per page. The translation industry usually defines a page as 250 words therefore a page may cost between £25-£40. 

    However, prices also depend on the language pair, the type of document being translated, formatting and how complex the text is, among other things. This is why it is important to request a free quote so you know exactly what you will be paying. 

    The cost of a sworn translation from Espresso Translations starts from £50 plus VAT and we can send you a detailed quote within 24 hours.


    How to become a sworn translator?

    The requirements for becoming a sworn translator vary from country to country but all individuals must have a high level of specific skills and qualifications. Candidates will need a languages degree or a degree in translation and be able to demonstrate the highest level of proficiency in their working languages.

    To translate legal or technical documents, certified translators also need to master the terminology and jargon. Sworn translators must be accredited in the country they work in and many jurisdictions require this accreditation to be renewed periodically to keep translators up to date with changes in terminology and laws. Many countries have a list or directory of approved sworn translators that are officially recognised.

    How do you get a document officially translated?

    The process for getting a document officially translated in a civil law country such as Italy or Spain is quite involved. If you have a document that you need to submit to the Spanish authorities, such as a medical translation, you will need to have it processed by someone with sworn translator status.

    They will complete the document translation, proofread it and then make an appointment with the appropriate public official in their jurisdiction. Taking the source document, translation and sworn statement the sworn translator will swear an oath in front of the official attesting that the document is a true and accurate translation. All three documents are then fixed together to make one single legal document which will be officially recognised. If any part of the document is removed or lost then the sworn translation loses its legal validity. 

    How long does sworn translation take?

    Many translations can be completed in 24-48 hours but how long a sworn translation takes will depend on the length and complexity of the document. For example, translating a birth certificate will takes less time than a long, technical translation with specialised language. The availability of a judge or public official to oversee the oath taking process may also affect the turnaround time of a sworn translation. A fee is payable for the oath swearing and the processing time for this payment needs to be taken into account.

    Espresso Translations offer a rapid turnaround time for all our professional translations and will always consider the urgency of the request. 

    Who offers sworn translation services?

    Only qualified sworn translators can provide sworn translation services. Documents translated by a translator who is not officially recognised or registered as sworn by the jurisdiction where the translation is submitted will not be accepted. Countries such as the United States, UK, Canada and Australia do not require sworn translations for official documents and a certified translation is sufficient.

    Espresso Translations has extensive experience in providing high quality sworn translation services from our offices in London and our team of professional translators around the world.

    Is the cost of sworn translation different from regular translation?

    There are some costs associated with a sworn translation that do not apply to a certified translation. The translator fee can be higher due to the level of accountability that they assume as a sworn translator. A non-sworn translator is not held legally responsible for the accuracy of the translation. An administrative fee is payable for the oath swearing process and this is not required when translations are accompanied by certification rather than a sworn statement.