Foreigners involved in personal or business transactions, or administrative or court proceedings in Spain are often asked to produce a document from their home country translated into Spanish. Such translations can sometimes be unofficial and prepared by anyone. However, in the majority of cases, where the recipient needs to be certain that the translation is accurate and not misleading in any way, they will require that you obtain an ‘Official Translation’ of the document in question.
To ensure quality and consistency with official translations, they may only be prepared by an Official Translator registered and authorised to translate into Spanish by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Spain. Whilst there are other ‘regular’ translators, only those accredited in the official government list can offer ‘official translations’ that are acceptable to government departments, notaries, courts, banks etc etc.
The cost of Official Translations varies widely, depending on the seniority of the translator, their location and overheads, plus obviously the time it will take to translate the document in question. Some translators charge per word, whilst others will quote per page, depending on the circumstances. Sometimes they will charge a premium for particularly complex documents containing complicated scientific or legal jargon.
So what types of documents require official Translations? Below is a list of the most common types of documents, but it is strongly recommended that you contact the person requesting the translation beforehand, just in case they might accept a non-official translation, which is invariably available at a cheaper price than an Official Translation.
- Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates
- Grants of Probate / Foreign Wills
- Criminal Records Certificates
- Notarised documents
- Diplomas and transcripts
- Medical Reports and Certificates
- Residence Permits
- Adoption Proceedings
- Certificates from the Mercantile Registry and Treasury Department
- Deeds of Incorporation and Articles of Association
- Powers of Attorney
- Contracts and Reports
- Annual Reports and Financial Statements
- Court Orders
For a full list of all official Translators authorised by the Spanish government to translate documents into Spanish, click HERE (scroll down until you see a link entitled “LISTADO ACTUALIZADO A…… [date]…..PDF” which will be the most up to date list available).
For non-official translations, a Google search will typically bring up numerous available translators in your area.
In addition to Official Translations, you will be requested to ‘legalise’ (apostille) many of the above mentioned documents, in addition to translating them. An Apostille is a legal stamp/certificate issued by the foreign ministry in the country where the document originated. The purpose of the ‘apostille’ is to certify that the document in question is an authentic document in that originating country and can therefore be relied upon without question in other countries (e.g. in Spain).
To request the legalisation of a UK document, click HERE
To request the legalisation of an Irish document, click HERE
For other Tenerife articles of interest, check our our full list of articles HERE