Certified Translations: Apostilles, Legalization, Superlegalization and Authentication

In the context of certified translations, customers often ask us if we can arrange for apostilles or superlegalization. Let’s take a closer look at these terms and how such legalization clauses can be acquired.


It is very difficult even for experts to understand the bureaucratic world today, which is complicated even further by the fact that individual countries use different terminology and legal procedures in this domain. As we are used to communicating with authorities and giving advice to clients in need (who are often lost in this), in the coming weeks we would like to use our experience and share with you some guidance to help you get everything done the way it needs to be.


The first and most important step needs to be taken by you. This means

  • finding out what requirements the authority in question has as regards the documents in question.

The best way to do this is to make direct contact with the end recipient of the documents.

This can be, for example, a court, a public authority, an office, a ministry, a register office, a school, an employer or a private company.


You can also often find useful information on their websites. However, if this does not help, the second best option is to call or write directly to the competent authority and ask specifically what documents you need, how they need to be certified, how many copies need to be submitted, whether these need to be originals or if verified (or even simple) copies are sufficient, if copies can be sent electronically, whether a certified translation is required or if a simple translation will suffice…

No one else (including your translation company) can give you such exact information; they can only offer their opinion, often uninformed, and the requirements of individual authorities usually differ and can be very surprising.


Most often, you will be required to provide:

– a certified translation (sometimes also referred to as a sworn, court, legalized or notarized translation, or a translation with a seal, …)
– apostilles
– superlegalization
– authentication by a notary


Do you have all the information you need?
Hurray! Now you can start communicating with government authorities, offices and notaries.


Are you wondering what these documents are good for? And where to get them? And in what order it is best to collect them? All of this will be explained in the coming weeks.


Author: Michaela Vorlová



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