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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton December 11, 2017

Sworn translators in the legal context: A field of confluence between translation and interpreting

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As one of the most touristic areas in Spain, the Costa del Sol has a considerable percentage of foreign residents, both temporary and permanent. This leads to a demand for translation and interpretation services, especially with respects to tourism. Permanent residents of Malaga often require linguistic or cultural mediation. Depending on the nature of the situation, these services may be provided by either translators or interpreters or, in some instances, such as medical appointments and other daily activities, a non-professional translation or interpretation is often the adopted solution. However, in the legal field circumstances are different due to the fact that some written documents require a specific type of translation for administrative procedures. In this case, a professional figure known as the ‘sworn translator’ (traductor-intérprete jurado) necessarily comes into play. The official name of this professional has recently been changed (2009) from intérprete jurado (literally “sworn interpreter”) to traductor-intérprete jurado (literally “sworn translator and interpreter”). Before this legal modification solely the interpreting activity was mentioned while, paradoxically, the tasks performed were mainly related to translation, especially in the legal field. Although academia seems to separate translation and interpreting into two different professions, this paper aims to explore the figure of the sworn translator and interpreter, in line with the new name established in the legal decree, as a field of confluence between these two activities which, as we will see, are not always mutually exclusive.


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Received: 2016-12-12
Accepted: 2017-3-27
Published Online: 2017-12-11
Published in Print: 2017-12-20

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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