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Portuguese Certified Translators

Portuguese Certified Translators

Portuguese is spoken by approximately 240 million people worldwide, making it at least the ninth most spoken language in the world. Some sources place it as high as the sixth. While Portuguese is most commonly associated with Portugal and Brazil, it is also an official language in seven other countries. The nine Portuguese-speaking countries are the member states of the organisation called the “Community of Portuguese Language Countries”. The members of this community are Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe.

What is a Portuguese certified translator?

A Portuguese certified (or sworn) translator is an official translator authorised by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (MAEC) to produce legally valid translations. By signing and putting their seal on any translated document, Portuguese certified translators certify that the translation is an exact reproduction of the original text and verify its contents.

What is a certified translation?

Portuguese certified translatorFor a translation to be legally recognised, it must be signed and sealed a translator certified by the MAEC. This process makes the translation a certified (or sworn) translation.

A certified translator faithfully reproduces the text of the original document, and their signature and seal certify the translation.

The certified translation produced is valid and recognised in the country in which the document is presented.

When do I need a Portuguese certified translation?

Whenever you need to submit a document in a foreign language to a government agency or public body, you will be required to provide this documentation in their language, in this case Portuguese.

In Portugal, there is no such thing as a certified translator, so the translation will need to be certified by a notary, a lawyer or the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Prior to certification, the translator must state their identity and guarantee that they have faithfully reproduced the original text.

The role of the certified translator does exist in Brazil. The process is similar to the process in Spain: the Brazilian Board of Trade certifies that the translator has the capacity to produce certified translations, and the translator becomes a certified translator and a part of the registry of certified translators in Brazil.

Which documents require certified translations?

The most common documents at Acantho are: Certificates, diplomas and academic transcripts, birth certificates, marriage certificates, police records, identity documents, passports and family record books, court rulings, medical certificates, residence permits, driving licenses, deeds or powers of attorney, calls for tender, contracts, patents etc.

Certified translation requirements

For a certified translation to be legally valid, it must include the following text, issued by the MAEC, as well as the certified translator’s signature and seal:

(Mr/Mrs/Ms) ……………………………… (name and surnames), Traductor/a-Intérprete Jurado/a de (Certified Translator/Interpreter of) …………………………… (language) nombrado/a por el Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación, certifica que la que antecede es traducción fiel y completa al (appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, hereby certifies that the above is a true and complete translation into) ……………………….……………………….  (target language) de un documento redactado en (of a document written in) ………………… (source language).

(In) …….. (place), a (on) …………… (date).


How to request a certified translation

We provide certified translations of documents in any digital format. To request a sworn translation, you can send us an email with scanned copies of the documents attached. All the information must be legible, and scanned photographs must have a good resolution. Alternatively, you can come down to our office, and we’ll scan your documents for you.

How long does a certified translation take?

The most requested documents, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, police records and academic qualifications, usually take two to three days.

Our team of Portuguese certified translators will do their best to reduce the turnaround time if your certified translation is urgent, provided that the original document is within a certain word count.

How much does a certified translation cost?

The certified translator will give you a quote based on the text’s complexity, the word count and the urgency of the translation, among other factors.

The minimum cost of a Spanish to Portuguese or Portuguese to Spanish certified translation is €43.50 + VAT.

Legalised certified translations

Portuguese certified translationsThe certified translator’s signature and seal certify that the sworn translation is complete and accurate, but they don’t guarantee the authenticity of the original document. Translations need to be legalised to be valid in the institution where they are submitted. This is a process that involves verifying the authenticity of the original document and legalising the signatures on the original document or on the certified translation. 

Our clients often ask us what steps they should take to get their certified translation legalised. If you have any questions about this process, our project managers will guide and assist you through the steps, which vary depending on the country issuing the document, the type of document and the recipient country.

The certified translation legalisation process

Translations by translators certified by the MAEC do not normally require legalisation before being presented to a Spanish public body unless the original document was issued in a different country.

To submit a certified translation in the country where the document will be valid, you will generally need to get the original document legalised before getting it translated. You should then contact the receiving administration in the other country to ask if the certified Spanish translation needs to be legalised.

There are two types of document legalisation, depending on the issuing country and the receiving country:

  1. If the issuing and/or receiving country is a signatory of the Hague Convention: You will need to request an Apostille in the country in which the document was issued.
  2. If the issuing and/or receiving country is not a signatory of the Hague Convention: You will need to request diplomatic or consular legalisation for the original documents and then have the certified translation legalised at the MAEC.

When do you need the Hague Apostille?

In 1961, several countries signed a convention that simplified the document legislation process by recognising an official seal: the Hague Apostille. This seal authenticates original public documents issued in any of the 118 countries that have signed the agreement, including Spain, Brazil and Portugal.

The Hague Apostille is always issued in the country of origin of the original document. It is usually placed at the end or on the back of the document, and it summarises the basic information about the original document.

You should always apostille the original document before getting a certified translation.

To request the Hague Apostille in Lisbon, you’ll need to go to Campus de Justiça, Av. D. João II, 1.08.01, Edifício E. For all other Portuguese cities, we recommend visiting the following link:

To request the Hague Apostille in Brazil, you will need to go to the Conselho Nacional de Justiça, the Corregedorias Gerais de Justiça or the Juízes Diretores do Foro.

This is the current list of countries that have signed the Convention.

Where to request the Hague Apostille in Spain

The three authorised Spanish bodies for requesting the Hague Apostille are the Notary Association, the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Court of Justice.

Which one you need to go to will depend on the document.

Does the Hague Apostille need translating?

The Hague Apostille is normally translated into English, French and Spanish. If the certified translation is in one of these three languages, the Apostille does not need to be translated. If the sworn translation is in Portuguese, Portuguese certified translators will translate the Apostille.

Diplomatic legalisation and consular legalisation.

Before submitting the certified translation to any government agency or public body outside of Spain, you will need to get the original document legalised at the issuing country’s embassy or consulate, and the sworn translation will need to be legalised at the MAEC. If you need any help with the document legalisation process, we’ll be more than happy to help.

Why choose Acantho for your certified translations?

We are a translation company based in Madrid, Barcelona and Zaragoza. We have the largest staff of professional in-house project managers, translators and DTP professionals in Zaragoza and now in our Madrid office as well, which means that we can deliver more value to our clients that your average agency (intermediaries).

We are a team of multilingual, versatile and multi-talented professionals. We are fully committed to our work. We are a close-knit team, passionate about translation and about getting things right first time. Speed and professionalism are two of our trademarks.

We have certified translators who work in the following languages:

  • Certified German translator
  • Certified Arabic translator
  • Certified Belarusian translator
  • Certified Bulgarian translator
  • Certified Catalan translator
  • Certified Chinese translator
  • Certified Czech translator
  • Certified Ukrainian translator
  • Certified Danish translator
  • Certified Slovenian translator
  • Certified Spanish translator
  • Certified Basque translator
  • Certified Finnish translator
  • Certified French Translator
  • Certified Galician translator
  • Certified Greek translator
  • Certified Hindi translator
  • Certified English translator
  • Certified Italian translator
  • Certified Japanese translator
  • Certified Dutch translator
  • Certified Norwegian translator
  • Certified Polish translator
  • Certified Portuguese translator
  • Certified Romanian translator
  • Certified Russian translator
  • Certified Swedish translator
  • Please ask about other languages

If you have any questions or need more information, please call us on (+34) 976 910 302, or send an email to, and we will be more than happy to assist you.