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Agency asks me to sign Translator's certificate
Thread poster: Sonja Tomaskovic
Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:40
English to German
+ ...
Sep 8, 2003

Hi there,

I did a proofreading job for a translation agency last month. Now they asked me to sign a Translator's certificate.

I am a bit worried since the certificate says:
"I, XXX , Translator, working for YYY, hereby declare that I am fully conversant with the ENGLISH and ZZZ languages and am a competent linguist thereof. I declare further that I am solely responsible for checking the translations provided and to the best of my knowledge, the completed document is a true and correct translation of the ENGLISH original."

To sign or not to sign is the question.

What would you do?

Thanks and regards,

Sonja


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Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 03:40
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Is this a UK agency? Sep 8, 2003

Sonja Tomaskovic wrote:

Hi there,

I did a proofreading job for a translation agency last month. Now they asked me to sign a Translator's certificate.

I am a bit worried since the certificate says:
"I, XXX , Translator, working for YYY, hereby declare that I am fully conversant with the ENGLISH and ZZZ languages and am a competent linguist thereof. I declare further that I am solely responsible for checking the translations provided and to the best of my knowledge, the completed document is a true and correct translation of the ENGLISH original."

To sign or not to sign is the question.

What would you do?

Thanks and regards,

Sonja


I've been asked in the past by UK agencies to sign similar certificates for translations that I have either translated myself or proofed for the agency. I believe that this is the UK equivalent method for a "beglaubigte Übersetzung".

My qualm in this particular case is the word "translationS". If it is only one translation, then this should be singular, if they mean the translations to which this certificate applies then the wording of the certificate should be changed accordingly.

HTH

Alison


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:40
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your comments. Sep 8, 2003

Thanks to both of you, Alison and Tayfun.

Yes, it is a UK agency.
Actually, I remember that there were two files that I had to proofread, so I believe translationS refer to these two files. But thanks for pointing that out, Alison.

And, don't worry, Tayfun, I proofread into my mother tongue.

I was just a bit worried that signing such a certificate could hold me liable for indemnification or anything.

Thanks again.

Sonja


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Terry Thatcher Waltz, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:40
Chinese to English
+ ...
I'd make sure it listed specifics Sep 8, 2003

When I sign this kind of certification, I make sure it lists specifics, such as (in the case of documents) some identifying number, or at least a pretty specific description of the job. So, instead of "the translation" I would write something like "the attached original Chinese birth certificate number 12345" or "the attached original Spanish contract between ZYX Corporation and Mr. BBB dated 0/0/0000".

Here in Taiwan, where everyone uses "chops" (personal and corporate stamps) it's even better -- you sign the certification, and then the chop is applied on the edge of the all the pages, fanned out, including the certification, so that each page gets a bit of the image. That's to prevent anyone adding or taking anything away afterwards. Of course chops are supposedly forge-proof, which I doubt in this computer age, but that's how it's done here.


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protolmach  Identity Verified
United States
English to Russian
+ ...
Totally agree with Terry .... Sep 8, 2003

Very good point. I always do the same, lising all the documents I translated and / or proofread and accept liability for the linguistic part (accurate, full and complete translation).

Elana


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Pat Jenner
Local time: 02:40
German to English
+ ...
'solely' Sep 8, 2003

I'm a bit concerned about the 'solely responsible' bit. Surely there is some onus on the agency to give the text some sort of proofreading before sending it off to the client? None of us are perfect, after all.

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invguy  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 04:40
English to Bulgarian
I guess 'solely responsible' is OK Sep 10, 2003

AFAIU, it means that you assume the full responsibility about the evaluation(s) you provide. For instance, in the case of controversy, your having asked (and eventually having been misled by) the renowned expert XYZ cannot be an excuse. The responsibility for the expert's judgement is yours, because you are the one who has chosen the expert - and this is fair, methinks.

Heck, even a KudoZ answer with 100 'agrees' can't be an excuse...)


I'd sign this one, Sonja; however, I'd take into account Terry's remarks which are spot-on, indeed.


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