Some questions about notarised translation in the Czech Republic
Thread poster: Caryl Swift

Caryl Swift  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 19:47
Polish to English
+ ...
Dec 30, 2009

Hi everyone!

I’ve come across an interesting situation for the first time and I’m wondering if any of our colleagues from the Czech Republic could enlighten me?

There’s a legal document which has been translated from Czech into English and the translation has been notarised by a Czech notary. The package contains the original document in Czech and the English translation and these have been bound together by a notary and bear the notary’s seal, signature and so on. There is no trace of the translator, in the form of e.g. a sworn/certified translator’s seal and reference number.

So what I’m wondering is exactly how the system works in the Czech Republic.

1. Is a notarised translation the same as a sworn/certified translation?
2. Does a sworn/certified translator have to make a translation which is to be notarised? Or can any translator carry out the task?
3. When a translation is notarised by a notary, is the notary also a fluent writer of the target language and something of an expert in the field the document covers? (What I mean is that it may be a contract, but if it’s a contract for building a hydro-electric power station, is the notary also fluent in hydro-electrics in the target language?).
4. If 3 above is not a prerequisite, what exactly is the notary notarising?
5. Is there a fixed fee for the translation of a document which is then to be notarised?

Forgive my ignorance, please. I’ve never come across this before and am thus interested in extending my education.

Looking forward with interest to your answers,
Caryl

To the moderators: If this isn't the most appropriate forum for the topic, please accept my apologies.


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:47
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Musings on your question Jan 1, 2010

Caryl Swift wrote:
There is no trace of the translator, in the form of e.g. a sworn/certified translator’s seal and reference number....

I’ve never come across this before and am thus interested in extending my education.


Unfortunately I have no answer to your question, because I am just as unfamiliar with the system in the Czech Republic as you are.

On the other hand, I know that in the UK until recently there were no certified or sworn translators and you would not find certified translations with the translator's seal.

Roughly, in the notarisation document the notary would confirm the identity of the translator and state that the person identified swears that the translation is as faithful to the original as possible and is done to his/her best ability. The document would bear the notary's seal and reference number, and it would be bound together with the copy* of the original and the translation.
*Copy is the pragmatic approach, and I have not met a notary who wouldn't certify a translation just because the original's copy was used. The copy can be verified if necessary, and very often the original cannot be enclosed for all sorts of reasons.

In theory the notary doesn't have to speak either of the languages in question, but I confess I only had documents notarised in the UK translated either from or into English.

What would be interesting to know, and I hope you will tell us; what does the Czech notary actually state in his notarisation document?

[Edited at 2010-01-01 18:39 GMT]


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Tomas Mosler, DipTrans IoLET MCIL MITI  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 19:47
Member (2008)
English to Czech
some info Jan 1, 2010

1. Is a notarised translation the same as a sworn/certified translation?

No, at least if I understand you correctly. Perhaps someone will correct me if I'm wrong (I'm not a sworn translator), but basically here we have nothing like that every notary would do a translation, they verify various documents (incl. translated texts). But - notarised verification of translation only verifies that a copy of the translation is in match with original translation, it is not a check against the source; see point 2. However you can take the source and the verified copy of the translation and then have it certified by a sworn translator (useful if you or the third party need to preserve the original translation for themselves as a "free" item, as the source text has to be firmly attached to the sworn translation; if you can "waste" the original, you can skip the notary verification).

Also, perhaps running a machine (Google) translation over this page (first part) could help:
http://www.tlumoceni-preklady.cz/o-prekladatelstvi/notarske-soudni-overeni-prekladu/


In the light of this information and judging from what you wrote about your "case", perhaps what you have is a notarised copy of the translation (plus the source).


2. Does a sworn/certified translator have to make a translation which is to be notarised? Or can any translator carry out the task?

Anyone can make a translation that has to be notarised, but notarisation does not guarantee (AFAIK) accuracy of the translation, only the match between original and copy of the translation.


3. + 4. See above.


5. Is there a fixed fee for the translation of a document which is then to be notarised?

Don't you rather mean if there is a fix fee for the act of notarisation or certification? (I'd assume there is for notarisation, but have no more info. Certification might perhaps be included in price of the translation itself.) The price of the translation itself would vary depeding on the volume, specialty, deadline, translator's word rate (just like for any other translation)...

[Edited at 2010-01-01 20:08 GMT]


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 19:47
English to Czech
+ ...
Agree with Tomas Jan 4, 2010

Hi Caryl,
I can only second Tomas's post. To sum it up:

1. Notarised is not the same as sworn: you can have a copy of a document notarised which means the notary confirms that a document copy matches the original.

2. Sworn translation does not have to be notarised: a sworn translation means that the text was translated by a sworn interpreter (technically, there are only sworn interpreters in the Czech Rep., no sworn "translators") named by a local Court.

So what you may have is a notarised copy of a document translated by a regular (no sworn) translator.

I hope this helps.


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Caryl Swift  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 19:47
Polish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Apologies and thanks Jan 13, 2010

Thank you all very much for your explanations and help. They were all most illuminating!

And please accept my apologies for not thanking you earlier. I'm afraid I got caught up in a tide of events. Which is no excuse for rudeness. So I apologise sincerely.

Best wishes to you all,
Caryl


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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:47
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
On notary's knowlege of the foreign language Jan 14, 2010

In Croatia I have run into the situation where a notary unfamiliar with English will not certify a COPY of a document in English. The reason is apparently because the notary stamp has a blank to write in the nature of the document (e.g. college transcript, birth certificate, etc.). Without a knowledge of the language of document, they have no way to assess what it is.

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