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This article contains a review of 5 key requirements a translation must meet for certification purposes.


In our article Legal translation v. Certified translation: What’s the difference between them? we explained what the difference between a legal translation and a certified translation is. It is important to understand that a certified translation may not necessarily be a legal translation and a legal translation may not necessarily be a certified translation.

A certified translation is the translation of a document from a foreign language into a native language, from a native language into a foreign language, or from a foreign language into another foreign language, bearing the signature and seal of a translator who has been duly licensed in compliance with the formal requirements set out by the relevant official certifying body.

Particularly, a certified translation in the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina, must satisfy a number of formal requirements as established by the Buenos Aires Translators Association (Colegio de Traductores Públicos de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires or CTPCBA) in its Certification Rules (Reglamento de Legalizaciones). Thus, it is highly likely that the applicable requirements vary depending on the jurisdiction where a translation is to be certified.

The CTPCBA refers indistinctly to a translator’s signature certification and/or authentication. For the Buenos Aires Translators Association to certify or authenticate a translator’s signature, he or she must be registered with the association and their license must be effective.

In other words, the CTPCBA does not certify translations made by a translator who has earned a certified translator (traductor público) diploma but has not registered with it. In certifying a translation, the professional in charge compares the signature and seal of the translator with the specimen signature and seal kept on file in its offices. He or she then verifies that the document submitted for certification contains the original or source text, along with the relevant translation attached, and that the signature, seal and opening and closing formula requirements have been complied with. No attestation to the accuracy of the translation is made; only the fact that no formal errors have been found is certified.

  1. How a Certified Translation is Required to Start.

A certified translation must be preceded by the source text, either the original document or a copy thereof, and headed by the phrase “TRADUCCIÓN PÚBLICA” in Spanish. The translation of such wording into the target language may also be included, although this is not a requirement.

  1. Format.

In the past, a special type of paper (romaní) and special margins were required. But today, no such requirements exist. Copies were even printed in lined paper! Can you imagine that?

The translation must contain no blanks. However, this requirement may be avoided for the sake of keeping the source text layout, including tables, graphs, charts or images.

  1. Closing Formula.

A closing formula must be inserted at the end of the translation which must specify the language of the source document, the language into which it was translated, and the place and date of the translation. In the case of translations into a foreign language, the closing formula must be added in both languages: First, in the foreign language, and then in Spanish. In all cases, the Spanish closing formula must be included at the very end. After the closing formula in the foreign language, a note that the Spanish formula is inserted for certification purposes only may be included.

Pre-printed or stamped formulas are not allowed. The closing formula must be drafted by the translator at the end of the translation.

It should be noted that the closing formula must be inserted in the same page as the translation text. There must be at least a line of the translation followed by the formula; it cannot be included in the next page alone. This requirement may only be avoided if the translation pages are numbered and the closing formula specifies the total number of pages of the translation.

  1. One-Sided or Two-Sided Printing.

In the case of one-sided printing, the back of the sheets must be invalidated by drawing a diagonal line across them or the pages must be numbered and the closing formula must specify the total number of pages of the translation. The translator’s signature and seal must be attached immediately after the closing formula, with no overlapping or blanks between the closing formula and the signature and seal.

Besides, all the pages of the translation and the original document, as well as the last page of the original document and the first page of the translation, must be “fanned” to overlap each page, and the overlying edges must be stamped. There are some exceptions though. For instance, in the case of bound documents one page of the original document and the first page of the translation are stamped.

  1. Seal Format.

A certified translator’s seal must include the following information:

a) the full name of the certified translator;
b) the language/s for which the translator has been licensed;
c) the license number (volume and page); and
d) the number of registration with the Buenos Aires Translators Association.



The TR Company S.A. is a translation company with more than 20 years of experience in the sector, with a consolidated and skilled team ready to give efficient solutions to language needs, meeting any required deadline.

We offer translations into Spanish, English, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, and Russian. All these languages are generally combined with Spanish, although they may also be paired with English.

Our areas of expertise include: Legal, Energy and Natural Gas, Oil and Mining, Financial Services, Media & Entertainment, Healthcare, Medicine and Pharmacy, Technology and Telecommunications, Hospitality, Traveling and Tourism, Transport and Logistics.

We specialize in the translation of treaties, laws, decrees, resolutions, claims, witness statements, economic reports, press releases, user manuals, bidding terms and conditions, engineering plans, and medical papers and articles.

If you have any questions, please visit the section or write to

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