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Certified translation and interpreting in Spanish

Certified translation and interpreting in Spanish

Certified translation and interpreting in Spanish

Regulatory changes in the area of certified translation and interpreting

Translations and interpretations of a foreign language into Spanish and vice versa will only be considered official if they have been carried out by those that hold the Certified Translator/Interpreter qualification awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC). Access to this qualification has been restricted since 2009 to the passing of exams organised by the Ministry or to the approval of equivalent qualifications obtained in other European countries. In the case of co-official languages, the autonomous governments are responsible for regulating the applicable standards for certified translation and interpreting from and into those languages.

Certified translators/interpreters are therefore able to certify the faithfulness and accuracy of their work with their signature and stamp. Nevertheless, the task of certified translators/interpreters is solely limited to translation; they cannot cross check documents as they do not have the authority to decide on the falsity or authenticity of the originals.

Recently, via Order AEC/2125/2014 of 6 November, the MAEC introduced regulatory changes in the area of certified translation and interpreting from and into Spanish.

The changes include, among other items, the new format for the certified translator/interpreter accreditation card and the new stamp model, although previous models will continue to be valid, in the case of the card until November 2019 and of the stamp until November 2016. The new stamp must only contain, in Spanish and without including any other reference or symbol, the name of the certified translator/interpreter, the language or languages for which they have been certified to translate or interpret by the MAEC and the certified translator/interpreter number.

Certified translator ID

New card model



New stamp model


Due to the fact that certified translations must include the original stamp and signature of the certified translator/interpreter, they can only be delivered in paper format. The new regulations also require that a copy of the original document be attached, stamped and dated on all of its pages.
The certification text that is added to the certified translation has also been modified and must appear as follows:


New certification text

However, next to this certification, it is possible to add a translation of this text in the relevant language, provided that said translation is a faithful representation of the original in Spanish.
Many entities, whether public or private, often require a certified translation of a document or a certified interpretation of a court appearance. The entity to whom the certified translation will be delivered or for whom the certified interpretation will be done, will decide whether or not they accept the translation or interpretation. It is therefore essential to always rely on a qualified professional who is approved by the MAEC to carry out the profession of certified translator/interpreter, thus guaranteeing a high quality of work that complies with the new regulations.


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