Certified translations

Regardless of whether it’s an expert’s report, a contract, certificate, passport or licence – documents in foreign languages are often only accepted by agencies (or other authorities) when they are translated by generally sworn and court-certified translators or interpreters.

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When is a certified translation legally effective?

A certified translation requires a seal and an attestation clause to be considered legally effective. The sworn translator hereby confirms the conformity of the translation with the original document and vouches for it.

Certified translations – Professional requirements for translators

Before an interpreter or translator can call themselves a generally sworn and court-certified interpreter or translator, they must have a university degree in translation and interpreting and two years of relevant professional experience in the respective field. Applicants without a university degree must be able to document five years of professional work in the field. Then applicants must complete a rigorous examination administered by the courts. Also, after completing their studies, generally sworn and court-certified translators translate in both directions of their language combination (e.g. German-English and English-German).

A court translator has to have both outstanding language skills and be able to apply broad specialised knowledge in a field such as law (Austrian and European law and jurisprudence), medicine, or technology.

Certified translation in other countries

A document that is a certified translation in Austria is not automatically valid in other countries. If you have to submit your document in a foreign country, then an additional authentication or apostille is required. The additional authentication confirms the authenticity of the certification. You can receive an additional authentication from the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs; an apostille, however, confirms the authenticity of the signatory’s signature and the seal of certification itself.

Regardless of which authority has requested the certified translation, it is beneficial to know whether you have to attach the original to the translation, or whether a copy of the document attached to the certified translation is sufficient.

Here are a few examples of certified translations:

  • Commercial register excerpts
  • Annual reports
  • Certificates (birth, marriage, death)
  • Credentials
  • Legal judgments
  • Contracts
  • Notarial files