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Translation of documents that need an Apostille in the UK
Thread poster: Cecilia Coopman, M.A. in Translation

Cecilia Coopman, M.A. in Translation  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 8, 2005

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to know how to deal with this type of situation properly. I have been asked by a client to translate the documents and to provide a certificate of accuracy regarding the translation. Until here, everything is clear... but what happens next?

Is the following correct?
To go to a Public Notary so that he/she certifies my signature on the certificate of accuracy and then the Public Notary sends the translation plus the source document to the Government department that deals with that. I know it costs £12 and it is normally dealt within a day. But I have a big question here. If the Public Notary certifies my signature, the Apostille will be for the same reason..... but this does not have so much sense.... because the Apostille was created to legalise the authenticity of the original document. Am I right?

Basically I don't understand why I have to go to the Public Notary then..... Could someome advise me please.... I am confused on this issue...

Thanks in advance for your help.

Cecilia Coopman
Centos Translations


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:36
Dutch to English
+ ...
Apostilles Jan 8, 2005

It is rather strange but the way I see it is that the Notary Public just verifies who you are (i.e. matching your signature to the one in your passport). Based on this, you or the Notary Public sends the documents (original, translation and verification of your identity) to the The Legalisation Office
at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. This office adds the apostille which again authenticates the signature of the Notary Public. In other words, whether you have the necessary competence to translate is never verified. It is all based on trust.

More details can be found on the following website:
http://www.ukincorp.co.uk/s-4G-apostille-certification.html


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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:36
Member (2004)
German to English
Yes, you are right Jan 9, 2005

- it makes no sense at all! The translator translates the documents and the notary confirms that the signature is from the person it is supposed to be from. Nobody is certifying that the translation is correct. Crazy system, right? But in the UK we know no other. So there is no guarantee that the translation is correct. So why do it? It only tends to get done for people living in other countries so I tell them to find a certified translator in that country. As to the price - when I had to do it it cost me nearer £60 at the notary. You have to find a local one - yellow pages - and make an appointment. Take your passport and he will check that the signatures match and that you are who you say you are. I don't have any experience with the second part - Apostille.

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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:36
Dutch to English
+ ...
Apostille (more information) Jan 9, 2005

Just a note on the apostille Cecilia. I am a sworn/certified translator in the Netherlands (Dutch/Spanish) where the system is different. You get vetted by a court and you have to present yourself at the court to swear/promise you will translate correctly after your diplomas and certificate of good conduct (issued by your local council to ensure you do not have a criminal record) have been approved. When I do this kind of translation (i.e. Dutch/Spanish and Spanish/Dutch), I only have to send the original, translation and my declaration to the court that certified me (and pay the same fee: £ 12.00). This court will then issue the apostille (just a small piece of paper saying that court xxx views translator xxx as a court approved translator which is stuck onto your translation). I have also certified documents in the UK (through a Notary Public) and the apostille issued by the Legalisation Office is exactly the same as the one issued by the Dutch court.

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Cecilia Coopman, M.A. in Translation  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jan 11, 2005

Thanks to both of you for sharing your experiences. The UK system can really be crazy..... This means that even a poor translation can be legalised by Apostilled. What a crazy world!

Thank you again.

Regards,

Cecilia


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