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Guidelines for delivering hard copies of certified translations.
Thread poster: Crystal Samples

Crystal Samples  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:01
French to English
+ ...
Dec 10, 2007

Dear all,

I've accepted a job to translate a birth certificate and some immunization documents for a woman from Peru (Spanish to English, of course). This will be my first certified translation, and I was wondering if the documents need to be on any special paper (something thicker than regular copy paper, but not quite as thick as card stock). I am not a certified translator, so I was going to include a letter attesting to the authenticity of the translation and my qualifications as a translator and then get it notarized by a friend of mine who is a notary public. However, never having composed a letter like this, I was wondering how it should be worded. Should I simply describe the document, state that I am fluent and have a degree in the source language and am therefore qualified, and the translation is a true and correct rendering into English? Should this be a formal letter addressed to the hospital, or should it be more general?

Also, since I will be personally delivering the documents to her home instead of sending them through the mail, I will not be giving her an invoice (since she will be giving me a check as soon as I arrive), but a receipt for services rendered. Is there anything wrong with this method?

I would appreciate any information or advice you could give me.

Crystal Samples

P.S. Both she and I live in the state of Alabama.

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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:01
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Get her to do some legwork Dec 11, 2007

I assume your client already knows when she was born and the details of the immunizations and doesn't need to read your translation to find this information out. She undoubtedly needs this for some government agency or other office. Have they provided her any guidance?

Typical wording states something along the lines of "I am competent, I translated this, and the translation is accurate. However, I take no responsibility for the accuracy or authenticity of the source text." This is often notarized. But every government agency has its own requirements, or so it seems.

At the agency where I work, we have our standard format and tell our clients that, if they need something else, they need to provide some written guidance from the office that needs the translation and we will comply, unless we're being asked to, say, certify that the source text is authentic.

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