Changes to procedures for preparing certified translations


As of 1 January 2015, a key change was introduced to the procedure for certified translations in Estonia. From now on, only certified translators (also referred to in Estonia as sworn translators) can prepare official translations of Estonian language documents into foreign languages. Until 2015, both notaries and certified translators could certify translations. This is the first stage of an overhaul of certified translation procedure to allow only certified translators to prepare certified translations. The final stage will enter into force in 2020, and from that point the sworn translators will also be solely responsible for the opposite translation pair, from a language other than Estonian into Estonian. Notaries will no longer be empowered to notarize the translator’s signature.

Pursuant to the Certified Translators Act, a certified translator is a professional who has passed the state professional examination and to whom the state has given the right to

  1. translate documents and certify the correctness of their translation
  2. if necessary, to certify the correctness of a copy of the document being translated and
  3. if necessary, certify the correctness of the printout of a document for translation obtained from the public online database.

Estonia has slightly more than 30 certified translators who translate from Estonian into English, Russian, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, French, Spanish, Italian and Latvian and from those languages into Estonian. In case of a need to translate an official document into a language not served by a certified translator in Estonia, the translation is prepared through a third language – in many of those cases, an Estonian document will be translated into English and then into the local language in the country in question.

But don’t be put off if the above explanation seemed arcane. Nothing will change for customers. Send us a query and we will find the best solution, placing your order with a certified translator.