A sworn translation is a translation approved by the competent authority of each country that is requested when the official correspondence of the source text and the target text is needed. In Italy, translators must personally go to the Tribunal to attest to the translation’s conformity to the original text before a public official.
He/she has to sign and seal his/her sworn translation on a particular form, in this way he/she assumes all civil or criminal liability of his/her work. The translated document maintains the same legal value as the original one.
Typical examples when a sworn translation is required:
translation of registry office certificates (identity cards, birth/death/marital status), etc.;
recognition of educational qualifications (in this case, the sworn translation is the first step for their recognition);
certificates (certificate of pending proceedings, court records, etc.);
legal and notary documents (contracts, official declarations, self-certifications, corporate documents, proxies, financial statements and reports, etc.);
enrolment in a professional register in a foreign country (for which a sworn translation of the documents certifying the licence to work in a specific professional sector is compulsory);
medical records (whose translation can be requested for surgical interventions outside national borders).
Legalization is the step that follows authentication and is necessary when the translated documents have to be submitted to authorities in foreign countries. Legalization could be ordinary or substituted by the Apostille for those countries that have signed the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 (among which there are Italy, United Kingdom and the United States – the complete list is available at this link).