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Certified translation - do you translate money?
Thread poster: cloudhunter

cloudhunter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:19
Partial member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
Feb 17

Good morning dear colleagues,

I have been wondering what to do. I have received a document, which I need to proofread and certify for the USA. It is a bank statement. The original one is in EUR. The translation I received is in USD - the translator "translated" EUR in USD and changed all the sums from EUR to USD (exchange rate as of 30.12.2016).

What do I do? I have never come across anything like this, one does not "translate money"... Or have there been any changes to how we do it, which I am not aware of?

Thank you!


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Patricia Blanco Dominguez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:19
Member (2013)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Note at the bottom Feb 17

Hi Cloudhunter,

I don't think is correct to "translate" it and I don't do it. If the amount is key for some specific purpose, I include a note at the bottom of the page with the exchange rate on the date the translation was made.

Have a nice day.


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Haneder  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 15:19
German to French
+ ...
I would not do Feb 17

Hi Cloudhunter,

Imho, it is not your job as a sworn translator to certify at which exchange rate (and from where?) an amount has to be exchanged with. Even the fact that the translation is writing USD as a translation for EUR is seriously questionnable to swear as a rightful translation.

I wish you a good day too.


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Maria De Rose  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:19
Member (2016)
German to English
+ ...
Hi Feb 17

I don't think it is correct, however you can put the conversion amount in brackets with a note at the bottom of the document with date and Exchange rate.

hope this helps

Maria


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Agnes Lenkey  Identity Verified
German to Spanish
+ ...
It is NOT allowed to do this Feb 17

Hi,

I would say it is not allowed to change USD to EUR in a translation and this is definitely a stupidity (sorry for the expression). How could we do that? It is not within our competence, moreover, if doing conversions, we could be held liable for such thing and all its consequences.

I would advise the client that the previous translation is wrong and ask for the original. If I would have to proofread this bank statement (I usually translate many bank statements for lawyers, lawsuits, etc.), I would correct this conversion and use the same currency (no brackets, no footnotes, nothing, conversions are not our job) according to the original and advise the client about this error.

Best regards,

Agnes


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:19
French to English
Check with client Feb 17

It would not be the normal way to proceed. However, perhaps it was done at the request of the client. I think the only way to clear this up is to ask the client if this was expected of the translator of the original.
If the client wishes you to keep the USD amounts, then all you can do is make clear that you cannot certify the veracity of the conversion, after all, supplied by your client.


[Edited at 2017-02-17 09:18 GMT]


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cloudhunter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:19
Partial member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Feb 17

The translation I had to proofread was done by the client but I decided to change all the amounts to the original ones in EUR. The footer of the certification states that the translation is complete and correct, so I don't feel right confirming any conversion rates (the rate of 31.12.2016 but no source, nothing, so how am I supposed to know it is correct?).

Thank you all for your contributions!

Have all a great Friday.


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:19
German to English
Crazy Feb 17

No way. This has to be retranslated with the original amounts and currency. Send it back...

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Bryan Crumpler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:19
Dutch to English
+ ...
Disregard all of the previous comments Feb 17

Not to rain on anyone's parade, but the advice that has previously been given is inexpert and wrecklessly false.

There may be specific business/accounting reasons as to why the currency requires translation, and it can be a very tedious process that requires investigating historical conversion rates on specific transaction dates, resumming values, and/or averaging the fluctuation of exchange rates between a set of dates. Taking the mean is not a good way to do it, but it can be useful for obtaining a general conversion value that you can apply uniformly across a large N of aggregated/consolidated data. Simply using any old conversion rate from the date of translation and noting it in a footnote is not only an inaccurate method of currency translation, it's rather lazy.

Of course, if the client is not paying you by the hour for this feat, I wouldn't so much as bother changing the decimal/comma separators, much less convert any numbers.

Historical Exchange Rates can be retrieved in table format from OFX:
https://www.ofx.com/en-au/forex-news/historical-exchange-rates

It is also wise to look into these translation guidelines (refer to Chapter 5):
https://www.pwc.com/us/en/cfodirect/assets/pdf/accounting-guides/pwc-guide-foreign-currency-2014.pdf

The translation process that PWC describes in detail is generally what has been required of me any time I have translated financial records, bank statements, financial reports etc. I am not surprised they have a whole guidance document about it.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Don't be wsilly Feb 17

Bryan Crumpler wrote:

Not to rain on anyone's parade, but the advice that has previously been given is inexpert and wrecklessly false.


No it isn't.

If the end customer wants to convert currencies they can do it themselves. It's not our job.


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Bryan Crumpler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:19
Dutch to English
+ ...
Pffft Feb 17

Chris S wrote:

Bryan Crumpler wrote:

Not to rain on anyone's parade, but the advice that has previously been given is inexpert and wrecklessly false.


No it isn't.

If the end customer wants to convert currencies they can do it themselves. It's not our job.


And you call yourself an expert? Hahahaha.
What kind of person advocates for a client to alter a translation after it has been certified?


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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:19
German to English
Cloudhunter is supposed to certify the translation. Feb 17

As Nikki said, it doesn't seem to make much sense, but you never know.

I suppose that's actually what you also said ("There may be ...") after calling the advice of your colleagues "inexpert and wrecklessly false" and actually writing "Hahahaha."

Cloudhunter should tell the client that the conversion seems strange in the given context and ask the client if there are extenuating circumstances that make it appropriate in this particular case.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Even wsillier Feb 17

Bryan Crumpler wrote:

And you call yourself an expert? Hahahaha.



Yes I do. And I am.

It is standard practice to leave amounts in financial documents in foreign currency. End of.


What kind of person advocates for a client to alter a translation after it has been certified?



I didn't advocate that. But what the client does with a translation is their business. Logically they can be expected to convert currencies in their heads at least. But that is up to them.


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Vanda Nissen  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 00:19
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
No Feb 18

The currency should be left as is. You are not a financial consultant - as a sworn translator you need to translate what is says in the original document.

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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
translation vs. localization Feb 18

In my country one is expected to use SI units (in->cm, mile->km, pound->kg) only and the domestic currency (at least as a remark to the corresponding NBU rate), BUT it really depends on the very document and the client. For instance, if it's not about Ukraine, then hryvnas, dollars, and euros stay as they are in the original.

Actually, such a conversion doesn't stand for its net amount because of exchange %% and so on.


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