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Your Italian Journey Blog
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Part of getting your italian dual citizenship is getting your documents translated. Let’s answer some common FAQs.
When it’s time to have your documents officially translated, you have multiple options. Let’s see the pros and cons of each.
When to do this. You can do those if you have excellent knowledge of Italian.
Pros: If done well, you’ll save money because you will need to buy only revision, not translation.
Cons: if not done well, a translator may choose to charge you a full translation fee, thus nullifying your savings. Also, many translators don’t like to review and certify translations they have not done themselves, so it may be difficult to find a provider.
Finally, you cannot certify the translations for yourself, it’d be a conflict of interest.
2. Hire a local translator/translation company.
When to do this. When you can’t/don’t want to do the translations yourself and you’re applying through a consulate in your own country.
Pros: you don’t need to ship documents abroad, so you’ll save on mailing costs. Also, apostilles don’t need to be translated in many countries, which could help you save money. Stamp duties are also often not required, which is another plus.
Cons: translations done outside of the target country are often inaccurate/very literal. If problems arise with your application and you decide to apply in Italy, you’ll need to have the translations reviewed and certified again by an Italian translator.
3. Hire an Italian official translator.
When to do this: When you can’t/don’t want to do the translations yourself and you’re applying in Italy.
Pros: the translations will perfectly suit the standards of the receiving authorities. On top of that, you can have help to talk to the various offices you’ll need to go to.
Cons: international mailing costs, time zone-related problems which may slow down communications (though if you use WhatsApp you can make an international call for free, or send a voice message, like I do with my clients).
As you see, you should consider your particular situation and what’s best for you. Sometimes it’s a combination of both, as you can read from this testimonial from one of my clients (whom you can contact for recommendation):
Over six months after submitting his paperwork for Italian citizenship, with translations of all required documents certified by a translator in the United States, my husband learned that the translations we had could not be accepted because they were not done by a certified Italian translator in Italy. We were both dismayed as visa deadlines which would force me to leave Italy were fast approaching.
That’s when we found Natalia Bertelli. She responded to our first call, understood our situation immediately, and volunteered to work directly with the local official responsible for processing the paperwork to ensure that there would be no further issues. Within two days, she had reviewed the translations of all eleven documents, found a few errors that our US translation service had missed, certified the documents, and had them back in the hands of the commune official. Before the week was out, my husband got his official Italian citizenship. All we had to do was supply Natalia with electronic copies of the originals and the translations.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me! I’ll provide an honest answer to your situation ;)
I'm Natalia Bertelli, an English/Spanish to Italian legal translator. Since 2008 I have been working on contracts, judicial deeds, certificates, corporate translations for foreign clients who want to do business in Italy, get a dual citizenship or simply settle in my beautiful country.