For official authorities, such as municipalities or courts, a standard translation does not suffice. The translation has to be authenticated, legalized or even fitted with an apostille . What those terms mean and what the formal directives are for these procedures are, is set out for you hereinafter.
Linguix delivers both normal and sworn translations to its clients. But what exactly is a sworn translation? A sworn translation is a legally binding translation that is certified by a sworn translator. Official documents cannot just be translated by any translator. Documents you want to provide to the municipality or in a legal procedure, must be translated by a sworn translator. A sworn translator is a translator who took an oath before the court of first instance. With this oath the translator swears to translate all documents in all conscience and not to deviate from the contents of the source document. This is also called ne varietur . After the oath, the translator is incorporated into the National Register of Sworn Interpreters and Translators and he or she is competent to translate certain official documents. The translations with the signature and statement of a sworn translator are called sworn translations.
Apart from sworn translation, Linguix also takes care of all authentication procedures of your translated documents. An authentication means that the competent authorities of the country confirm that your translation is real and valid. For official procedures in Belgium, such as the celebration of a wedding or a trial, the authority mostly asks for an authenticated translation of your documents. An authenticated translation is a sworn translation with a seal of the court of first instance. That seal authenticates the whole translation. With the authentication of the court of first instance your translation is a valid document in the whole of Belgium.
When you want to use your documents abroad, they must be ‘further’ authenticated. Your documents will then first receive a seal from the court of first instance, by which your document is a valid document in Belgium. Afterwards your document goes on to the Ministry of Justice, where the signature of the sworn translator is verified and confirmed. Afterwards your translation, accompanied by the original documents, goes to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where there are two possible procedures. Your translation gets either a further authentication in the form of an apostille or another authentication whereafter your document still has to be authenticated by the consulate or the embassy of the country of destination.
When your document is authenticated with an apostille, this means that the country of destination belongs to the Apostille Convention of 1961. An apostille is a certificate that is attached to a document to confirm its formal accuracy. The apostille replaces the former authentication. After obtaining the apostille, the authentication procedure is finished. Your document is now ready for use in the country where you are going to.
Does the country of destination not belong to the Apostille Convention? In that case, after the authentication at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the completely authenticated translation and the original documents, you will have to go to the embassy or the consulate of the country in question. There the translation will be authenticated for use in the country of destination. The procedure at the consular post varies from country to country.