Last updated on 13/05/24

No, they are not.

Sworn translation concerns how a translation is performed, while legal translation concerns what the document to be translated is about.

A sworn translation (traducción jurada, in Spanish) is the one performed by a sworn translator (traductor jurado) and complies with a series of official requirements including certification. The content of the document to be translated has nothing to do with a translation being sworn or not.

A legal translation concerns translating a document of legal nature, irrespective of how the translation is performed.


Performed by
Type of document
Sworn translation
Sworn translator (required)
Any type (including legal)
Yes (required)
Legal translation
Any translator
Legal document
Possible but not needed

Some takeaways from the table above:

  • A sworn translation must be performed by a sworn translator, while legal translation can be performed by any translator. Therefore, a sworn translator can do both sworn and legal translation, while non-sworn translators cannot do sworn translations.
  • The translation of a legal document is legal translation, irrespective of whether the translation is sworn or not.
  • As sworn translation can be performed on any type of document, a sworn translation will also be a legal translation, when performed on a legal document.
  • A legal translation will also be sworn, when done by a sworn translator according to the official sworn translation requirements.

Examples of sworn legal translation projects:
A will to be translated by a sworn translator as part of a cross-border inheritance matter.
A decree to be translated by a sworn translator as part of an international divorce case.

Examples of sworn non-legal translation projects
A bachelor’s degree certificate to be translated by a sworn translator to apply for a master’s programme abroad.
A medical certificate to be translated by a sworn translator in order to apply for benefits.

Examples of non-sworn legal translation projects
A simple (non-certified) translation of a contract for internal purposes only.
The translation of a company’s privacy policy to be published on their website.
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The information included in this article is correct at the time of publication/last update. This article is for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. ICR Translations will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from loss of data or profits as a result of, or in connection with, the use of this website.

Irene Corchado Resmella, a Spanish translator based in Edinburgh. English-Spanish sworn translator appointed by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chartered Linguist and member of the CIOL. As a legal translator, I focus on Private Client law, specialising in Wills and Succession across three jurisdictions (England & Wales, Spain, and Scotland). Affiliate member of STEP. ICR Translations is registered with the ICO and has professional indemnity insurance.

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