5 disadvantages of electronic signatures on certified translations

As the world becomes increasingly digital, electronic signatures are a popular choice when it comes to signing and certifying documents, including translations. However, there are a number of disadvantages that should be taken into account when using electronic signatures on certified translations.

An electronic signature is a digital version of a signature that can be used to sign electronic documents. It is created using electronic means, such as a special pen, a website for web signatures or the signatory’s finger or mouse, and is frequently applied to a document by means of specialised software or platforms.

Before choosing this method, it is important to pay particular attention to the potential disadvantages of using electronic signatures on certified translations. Continuing with traditional signatures on paper may be more prudent, especially when this involves legal and financial documents or other sensitive files.

Ultimately, the decision to use electronic signatures on certified translations must be based on a careful assessment of the risks and benefits, as well as the specific requirements and regulations of the relevant legal and professional entities.

In this article, we analyse the issue and look at five disadvantages of electronic signatures digital signatures on certified translations.


1. Legal recognition

Electronic signatures are still not legally recognised as the equivalent of traditional signatures on paper in many countries.

This can cause problems when submitting certified translations to governmental or legal authorities, as these authorities may not recognise the validity of electronic signatures. Given that a traditional signature on paper may have to be obtained, this can cause delays to processes and result in additional costs.


2. Security issues

Electronic signatures are prone to fraud and identity theft. Hackers can replicate electronic signatures and misuse them for illegal purposes.

This may lead to a loss of trust in the translation and certification process and result in legal ramifications for both the translator and the client.


3. Verification difficulties

It can be difficult to verify electronic signatures, especially when this involves older documents.

As technology advances, electronic signature algorithms and verification methods change, which can make it difficult to verify authenticity in the long term. This may result in additional costs and delays in the verification and certification process.


4. Compatibility problems

This type of signature can cause compatibility problems between different software systems and programs.

Not all software systems and programs are compatible with every type of electronic signature, which can lead to difficulties opening and accessing translated and certified documents. This is particularly problematic when documents need to be shared with other people or submitted to governmental or legal authorities.


5. Cultural conventions

In certain cultures, traditional signatures on paper are still highly valued and preferred over electronic signatures. Using an electronic signature on a certified translation may be viewed as a sign of disrespect or as a violation of the client’s or recipient’s cultural standards and traditions.

This can cause friction and unnecessary misunderstandings in business and legal contexts.


In summary, while electronic signatures may appear to be a convenient option for certifying translations, there are a number of significant disadvantages that must be taken into account. These disadvantages include issues of legal recognition and security, verification difficulties, compatibility problems and cultural conventions.

Translation agencies and their clients should consider these factors carefully and decide on the option best suited to their requirements and specific circumstances.


If you need a translation certified, use a trusted partner like Traductanet – contact us now and request a quote!


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