What is an official translation? | Translation agency Lingo Languages

What is an official translation?

Official translations are legally valid translations, for example, of a certificate, a decree by an authority or another document to be delivered to an authority. Translations created by sworn translators are always equivalent to the original document. Official translations usually carry a stamp and they are often accompanied by a certification or a statement by a sworn translator.

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Purpose of official translations

Documents like these have many uses. They can be used as a proof of studies or degrees completed in another country and in another education system, as a certificate of non-impediment for marriage or when seeking a divorce in another country, for matters related to international company acquisitions or the company register, when drawing up contracts with parties who require them in another language or for criminal or civil proceedings.

As such, a translated document’s function is to prove a certain qualification, right or legality in matters involving more than one language or country.


Legally valid translations

Legally valid translations can only be provided by sworn translators, who must be familiar with the legal aspects related to certified translations. These are, for example, the translator’s responsibility on the assignment, professional secrecy and confidentiality, the status of the original document and aspects related to the layout and format of the translation.

We at Lingo ask the client for the purpose and the destination of the translation to find out whether an official translation and possibly an apostille are required.

Official translations are always completed as per the current regulations on sworn translators and official documents. Official translations must closely follow the original source document.


Stamp and certification of an official translation

When the translation is finished, the sworn translator stamps the completed document and certifies the translation with a statement and signature. Stamps are not mandatory in Finland but authorities in several other countries require a stamp in order to process the translation as an official document.

A sworn translator’s translation is often accepted as is. However, the approval of translations always depends on the matter at hand and the receiving authority.



Many consulates recommend attaching an apostille to translations provided by sworn translators. Apostilles are obtained from city administrative courts, they are usually given in the particular country’s official language and they are not translated.


Confidential translations

We always treat your materials as confidential and we request to see the original document. We also request that you provide us with the purpose and destination country of the translation.

We provide official translations usually in language combinations with Finnish as either the source or target language.

We also find sworn translators for other languages.

More information about sworn translations is available on the Finnish National Board of Education’s website.


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Lingo Languages Oy
developing reliable multilingual
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