What is meant by sworn translator?

If you have been educated in English or any other language, and looking for the answer to the question what is sworn translator or have proficiency in a language that would enable you to translate texts, and are looking for ways to become a sworn translator, this article is just what you need!

Translation as a profession has survived through the ages since ancient times, changing shape and form in accordance with the times, being one of the oldest professions in the world. Translation has been in demand for as long as humanity existed. An ancient profession dating back centuries ago, translation as a profession has inevitably evolved, compartmentalized into different specialties like sworn translation, simultaneous interpreting, consecutive interpreting etc.


Currently, only public notaries are allowed to confer the title of sworn translator in Türkiye.  Sworn translators prove their command of the language they translate from/into with various documentation and are held accountable for the accuracy of the texts they translate.  At this point, it should be noted that there are a few requirements for becoming a sworn translator. And the first and foremost among these is Turkish citizenship. And secondly, a spotless criminal record. If you fulfill both criteria, all you need to do is go to a public notary and prove your proficiency in languages you wish to translate from/into. In terms of documentation to prove that, you will need language certificates from language schools, a degree in Translation Studies, or its equivalent acquired from an international university, or other certificates, if any, obtained from international organizations.  Since sworn translation or sworn translators are mostly required for managing correspondences between official government agencies, organizations etc., the applicant must convince the notary that he/she will not abuse his/her role as a sworn translator. So, it is essential that you are employed by a translation agency and are available for potential tasks/assignments if you wish to earn your place in this trade. One final requirement would be for candidates with the required credentials to prove to the notary they have applied to earn the title of a sworn translator that they are a local resident and not just some foreign visitor by way of a certificate of residence. If you intend to pursue the calling of a sworn translator and fulfill the required eligibility criteria, you are free to apply to more than one notary to prove your language proficiency, which would allow you to work with more than one public notary.


If you find that you fulfill all these requirements, all you need to do is apply to a notary with the required documentation. Once the public notary decides that you are fully eligible to practice the role of sworn translator, the applicant is required to read out the following oath, “I do solemnly swear in the presence of the public notary, upon my honor, and all the convictions and beliefs that I hold dear that I shall carry out all translation work I have been assigned truthfully and accurately in accordance with the provided information, documentation and requirements; that I shall not divulge any secret/confidential information I may become privy to and that I shall not be manipulated by other in any manner whatsoever.”

Since the Code of Judicial Procedure stipulates that all oaths taken must be set down in writing in the form of an official protocol, the notary issues a Certificate of Oath or a Translator’s Affidavit for the applicant.  The said document contains information such as name, surname, date of birth, level of education, home and work address of the translator and the languages he/she speaks. Afterwards, the document, of which two copies are made, is signed by the translator and the notary. You are all set and done once you are past all these stages of verification and attestation. One copy of the Certificate is given to the translator and one copy to the translation agency where the translator works. And one copy is kept in the Notary’s archives.

As with all other professions, sworn translators are held up to the highest standards of ethics and rules of conduct. As a sworn translator, when working on a text, you will be expected to translate accurately and thoroughly numbers, dates, sums etc. into the target language and held responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the information translated into the target language. Also, if you are specializing in a specific field of specialty like medicine or law, you must pay extra attention to the correct usage of terminology and producing a text that sounds natural and genuine. Once you have finished translating a text and put your stamp on it and signed it, you are assuming full responsibility for the text.

Individuals and organizations operating in areas like health, real estate, property, education, politics, tourism etc. often heavily rely on sworn translation services. Documents required by official institutions/agenices; passports, student certificates, transcripts etc. requested from students wishing to study abroad must be translated and certified by certified translators. In this article, we have tried to give you the nitty-gritty of what it takes to be a sworn translator.  Always remember that Transistent is at your service for your sworn translator/sworn translation requirements; only a phone call or an e-mail away.

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