José Henrique Lamensdorf
CERTIFIED PUBLIC TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH <> PORTUGUESE - JUCESP # 1086
São Paulo - SP - Brazil
It is a translation that is legally valid for presentation to Brazilian authorities, compliant to applicable federal laws. It officially mirrors in Portuguese the contents of the original document it was translated from. A Sworn Translation is different from a Certified Translation, used in many countries, because in Brazil it must be done by a Sworn Translator, someone who passed a governmental exam, and was officially appointed as such. A Certified Translation supposedly can be done by anyone, as long as they sign an affidavit before a Notary Public, taking liability for its accuracy and completeness,
A sworn translation in Brazil is issued by a professional translator licensed as a Tradutor Público e Intérprete Comercial (Public Translator and Commercial Interpreter) by the Junta Comercial (Business Registering Agency) in their state of residence, and compliant to the rules and guidelines established for such translations. This professional is often called a Tradutor Juramentado (Sworn Translator).
As the Brazilian law regulating sworn translations dates back from 1943, and has remained unamended since the era of typewriters and fountain pens, they are always always printed in hard copy, in at least two counterparts: one to be delivered to the requester, and another that will be permanently kept on file by the Public Translator.
In Brazil, the law does not provision for sworn translations by fax, e-mail, nor in any electronic storage media. However there is no restriction to scanning the printed sworn translations, as long as the electronic files so obtained are accepted by the receiving entity.
A Sworn Translation is what gives legal existence in Brazil to a document written in any language other than Portuguese.
Decree # 13,609, of 10/21/1943 states that:
Sec. 18 - No book, document, or paper of any kind, issued in a foreign language, will have any effect whatsoever at Federal, State, or local agencies, nor at any level, court or jurisdiction, or entities maintained, controlled or ruled by the public branches of government, without being accompanied by its respective translation, done in accordance with these rules.Sole paragraph - These provisions include notaries of all types, which may not record, issue certificates, nor certified copies that are, in whole or in part, written in a foreign language.
In other words, any paper written in a foreign language (i.e. other than Portuguese) has no legal validity in Brazil, unless it is attached to the corresponding sworn translation. Note the word "attached". This means that the original document (or a copy thereof) must be attached to its sworn translation. The latter does not replace the original document.
No. It doesn't give it any additional value to what it already had in its original language. The attached sworn translation only allows the original document to have whatever effect it may have - if any - before Brazilian authorities. A counterfeit document will remain equally false after the translation. The Certified Public Translator's job is limited to making it officially understandable, it is not up to him/her ascertaining the authenticity of any document being translated, and s/he is not empowered to certify it.
Likewise, the sworn translation of any document does not make it automatically effective in Brazil. If, for instance, a document entitles someone to do something (e.g. to operate a vehicle, to practice a profession requiring a specific license) within the issuing country, its sworn translation will not grant the bearer the same rights in Brazil. Such rights will be governed by the proper Brazilian laws.
In a nutshell, the sworn translation of any document does not alter its effect, just renders it acceptable by the Brazilian authorities.
Any document on paper, or anything from which a hard copy may be obtained. It might be any business agreement, the technical description of a patented product, correspondence, school records and certificates, civil records, even personal documents. If it's a web site or an e-mail message, it will have to be printed out. Actually, it could even be a note scribbled on a napkin or a piece of wrapping paper.
The main issue is whether a sworn translation of the document in a foreign (i.e. not Portuguese) language is actually needed. If it has to be submitted to any Brazilian authority, the sworn translation is a must; if it is to be entered as evidence in a lawsuit, certainly, so it can be taken as valid in court.
But it's always worth reminding that a document attached to its sworn translation will never have more intrinsic value than its original.
Assuming you need a foreign (i.e. non-Brazilian) document to be translated into Portuguese for use in Brazil, the starting point is to identify the language the document is written in. A Brazilian Public Translator is licensed for one or more specific languages. Even if s/he translates from other languages, this won't enable them to issue Sworn Translations from languages in which they haven't been specifically certified. S/he may make plain (non-sworn) translations from/into other languages, though.
The second step is to find a Public Translator licensed in the language of the original document. This information may be obtained from the Junta Comercial of any state in Brazil. For the State of São Paulo, you may download an Excel spreadsheet file from JUCESP, listing all Certified Public Translators, their respective languages, addresses, and phones. You may also run an automated search at the ATPIESP (São Paulo State Certified Public Translators' Association) web site.
If you have trouble identifying the name of language you need in Portuguese, click here for a quick glossary of them in Portuguese, English, Italian, and French.
|State||Business Registry||Instructions for|
|Associ-ation||Name / Instructions|
for the Association
Acetesp - Click on Tradutores on the top menu, and select the language.
Scroll down to the line in blue, and click on the language.
Mato Grosso do Sul
ATP-MG - The fields on the top allow to filter data by language and/or city.
Select the language on the drop-down menu.
Click on the flag representing the desired language.
ATPP - Fields on the top assist in filtering data.
Rio de Janeiro
Fields at the top filter data by Language (Idioma) and Neighborhood (Bairro).
ATP-RIO - Fields on the top assist in filtering data.
Rio Grande do Norte
This will download a PDF file with links to translator lists by language, and instructions (in Portuguese only) on the appointment of an ad-hoc translator, if the original document is in any language other than English.
They don't disclose contact info for the translator(s) licensed in English in that state, and an ad-hoc appointment may add red tape, delay, and costs to your translation.
Rio Grande do Sul
Astrajur - You will have to select the language.
ACTP - Select the language in the menu on the left.
This will download an Excel spreadsheet.
ATPIESP - You will have to select a language on the menu.
Note: I strive to keep these links up-to-date, however it is difficult to keep track of changes to so many web sites. If you find any dead links here, please be most welcome to warn me via e-mail, using the button on the left.