Yesterday I received an email from someone who needed an urgent legal translation and I jumped at the chance to be able to help him, but before I got too excited I remembered to ask if what he needed was a ‘Traductor Jurado’, meaning a translator who has undergone the gruelling Spanish examinations which qualify you to have your own legal stamp which you are able to use on legal documents you translate. This stamp is needed when you want to translate any official or legal documents, such as birth certificates, marriage papers etc. Unfortunately I am not yet a ‘Traductora Jurada’ but I am working on it! For me it involves getting all my degree and Masters qualifications validated in Spain (which I am told is a lengthy process and may involve me going back to uni for a while (!) despite all my hard work at Durham university), taking a Catalan exam to level B (even though I do not plan to ever translate Catalan), studying law to a certain level, and then sitting a gruelling written exam and an intimidating oral exam in front of a board of judges! The good news for translators is that once you have passed this ordeal you can more or less sit back and watch the work come in, as there are not that many of these highly qualified individuals around, and as one, you can charge astronomical prices for translations that people really need, just because you can add your stamp on the bottom.
At the moment I do not have the time or the money to prepare for the exam, but I have put it to myself to begin moving towards it. I will take it one step at a time; the first step being to try and tackle convalidating my qualification. Having to get it acknowledged by Spain as a valid BA and Masters degree makes me question why the European Union doesn’t get together and discuss how European qualifications should be treated in each of its member countries. Surely this system in Spain is not in keeping with the common market and equal opportunities all Europeans are entitled to across the community?
For those who may come across my blog and are looking for a legal translation with an official stamp, here is the latest list of Traductores Jurados for you.