A client asks me to proofread his translation and stamp it as "official translation"
Thread poster: Maria Castro

Maria Castro  Identity Verified
Portugal
Member (2008)
English to Portuguese
+ ...

MODERATOR
Sep 29, 2008

Hello,

Probably this is not the right forum for my question but I will make it here.
I would like to get some advice on this issue, please: a potential client asked me if I could proofread a translation and stamp/sign it, because "the university requires an official translation".
How would I do it? Would I have to sign a document? Of what kind?
What would I be certifying?

Thanks in advance for your help

Maria


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-09-29 16:35]


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 03:56
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Official translator Sep 29, 2008

Hi Maria,

That would be a job for an Official Translator (sworn translator, traductor público, traductor jurado).


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:56
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Depends on the country Sep 29, 2008

Maria Castro wrote:
A potential client asked me if I could proofread a translation and stamp/sign it, because "the university requires an official translation".


Proofreading someone else's translation and then certifying it is legal/acceptable in my own country, but whether it is in your country or your client's country, I don't know. You could say "if the client says it is, then it is okay" or "as long as I warn the client about it, and he accepts it, it is okay". Will the client allow you to make changes to the translation that you've proofread?

You don't have an official translator's stamp, so you can't stamp it. You can sign it, and I think you'd have to write some declaration on it too, such as "I, Maria Castro, have reviewed this translation and hereby declare it to be a true translation" or something like that. Don't declare something that is untrue. Don't use the word "certify" unless you're sure it's legal for you to use it.

Odds are you'll have to deliver the translation in paper form with your signature on it, but I have had clients ask me to simply fax a signed form, so perhaps that would be okay as well. It depends on the intended recipient.

Prepare yourself for doing the job several times, as the client may come back with additional requests such as "they want it in a different format" or "they want a full signature, please sign it again" or "they decided that they want you to use a blue pen" or "please write that you're the translator" (no!) or whatever.

What would I be certifying?


Essentially that the translation is true and accurate. In my own country you'd also be certifying that you have held the original (or a certified copy of it) in your own hands and have visually compared the translation against it.


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Mónica Algazi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 03:56
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
Are you a sworn translator? Sep 29, 2008

Hi Maria,

If you are a sworn translator, then you have to do the job, not your potential client. At least in our country only sworn translators are familiar with certain formal requirements that have to be complied with.

I don't know about Portugal in particular, but, in principle, I would say official translations should be done by duly qualified sworn translators.

My two cents.

All the best,

Mónica

Montevideo, Uruguay


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:56
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I usually don't agree to it Sep 29, 2008

You have to be a sworn/certified translator. I usually don't agree to it, because invariably the translation is not up to my standards and/or not formatted properly, so I have to do it over again anyway. I might make an exception to my own rule if the document is very long and looks really good, so that all I have to do is a little bit of editing.

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DavidHardy
Local time: 07:56
Portuguese to English
We swear by our translations not our translators Sep 30, 2008

Maria,
Olá!
There is no "official translator" status in Portugal.
You can however have a translation legally "verified".
Go to a notário (or a lawyer will also do) and say you want to "verify" a translation, taking your ID card (the usual personal information details) and the original text and translation. Essentially they produce a statement which you sign swearing that the translation is a faithful copy of the original. It should be done on the spot for you.
That is it - it is not checked. It is a statement of professional honesty if you like.
There is a fee for this of course. And your time to do this.

The client needs the translation within Portugal - that is enough.

The client needs the translation internationally:

You need to get a postilha from the Procurador da República (Rua Escola Politécnica - Rato, Lisbon) - do not know what happens outside Lisbon.
Take the document you got from the notary (don't go until you have it) and tell them you want a postilha to authenticate a translation. It will take a couple of days. No charge.
Basically you get a pretty piece of paper to go at the front of the others.

At no time will there be any linguistic checking.
Rather than "sworn translators" we have "sworn translations"!
Boa sorte!
David
PS To do e.g. a translation of a secondary school certificate, cost that, and the trip to the notary, and the notary fee (and the TWO visits to the PGR)... watch the client go pale!


[Editada em 2008-09-30 00:27]

[Editada em 2008-09-30 00:30]


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Maria Castro  Identity Verified
Portugal
Member (2008)
English to Portuguese
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Sep 30, 2008

Hello, everybody

Thank you all. Your explanations have been very helpful.

The client needs the translation internationally so David is right: the client will go pale!

Maria


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:56
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Quite amazing! Sep 30, 2008

DavidHardy wrote:
At no time will there be any linguistic checking.
Rather than "sworn translators" we have "sworn translations"!
Boa sorte!


This explains an interesting point.

In spite of several differences (see http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/1675/ ) Brazil and Portugal share a common language, with spelling to be officially unified by the end of this year (in Brazil).

However Brazilian laws follow the same lines adopted in Spain: no document in a foreign language is officially acceptable unless attached to a translation by a national Tradutor Público e Intérprete Comercial (TPIC for short, aka tradutor juramentado, or a sworn translator).

Some explanation on how it works here at:
http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/tpicen.html in English, or
http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/tpic.html in Portuguese.

The point is that both Brazilian and Portuguese constitutions state that the national language is Portuguese, without any comment on variants, hence it is assumed as one and the same language.

Now and then a request comes up for a sworn translation from PT-PT into PT-BR, which is impossible. Every TPIC is implicitly certified in Portuguese - the national language - and at least one foreign (in Brazil) language. There is no TPIC certified for PT-PT, as it is assumed to be the same as PT-BR.

Therefore while an original document issued in PT-PT would be officially acceptable in Brazil, a document in another language with an official translation done in Portugal into Portuguese would not.


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