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Is certifying someone else's translation illegal?
Thread poster: Stéphanie Denton (X)

Stéphanie Denton (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:03
French to English
+ ...
Mar 19, 2011

Dear all

I hope that this post finds you well.

I'm a little confused, I am translating a "Power of Attorney" from French-English, and I have scrolled down to the bottom and found this:

"Traduction certifiée conforme d’un document établi en langue française.
Bruxelles, le 18 mars 2011

Certified translation of a document established in French.
Brussels, March the 18th, 2011

Le traducteur juré devant le Tribunal de Première Instance de Bruxelles : NAME OF TRANSLATOR
Sworn translator before the Court of First Instance in Brussels: NAME OF TRANSLATOR"

THIS IS NOT WHAT I'VE TRANSLATED! It was already there.

Now, quite evidently, my name is not NAME OF TRANSLATOR. Is what he is doing illegal?

What should I do?

I have half an hour to get this project to him, so swift replies would be much appreciated.

Many thanks

Stéphanie

[Edited at 2011-03-19 18:55 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-03-19 19:56 GMT]


 

Elvira Daraban  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:03
French to Romanian
+ ...
possible answer Mar 19, 2011

Is it possible for the translation to be certified in Belgium? In this case, I guess it's solely the Belgian translator's responsibility... I mean he's the one to sign for it, not you.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:03
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Finding me well Mar 19, 2011

Stéphanie Denton wrote:
I hope that this post finds you well.


On a thread hijacking note:

A certain number of clients (from the US, mostly) recently began to start their e-mails to me by saying "I hope this e-mail finds you well". What on earth is that supposed to mean? Where does this expression come from?

Is it actually good practice somewhere in the world when writing business letters to say something similar at the start of the letter (Dear Customer, we hope this letter finds you well)? Or when you get visits (Hello, Neighbour, I hope my visit finds you well)?

And on a more serious, on-topic note:

I'm a little confused, I am translating a "Power of Attorney" from French-English, and I have scrolled down to the bottom and found this...


What do you normally do when you make the declaration on a sworn translation -- do you have a special kind of stamp that says all of this? If so, then you're covered, because your own name will only be on the stamp, and not in the text. Also, can't you add [sic] to the translation?


 

Stéphanie Denton (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:03
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Are you well? Mar 19, 2011

Samuel Murray wrote:


Stéphanie Denton wrote:
I hope that this post finds you well.


On a thread hijacking note:

A certain number of clients (from the US, mostly) recently began to start their e-mails to me by saying "I hope this e-mail finds you well". What on earth is that supposed to mean? Where does this expression come from?


I don't know, it just seems polite, I do hope that it finds you well though!!


And on a more serious, on-topic note:

I'm a little confused, I am translating a "Power of Attorney" from French-English, and I have scrolled down to the bottom and found this...


What do you normally do when you make the declaration on a sworn translation -- do you have a special kind of stamp that says all of this? If so, then you're covered, because your own name will only be on the stamp, and not in the text. Also, can't you add [sic] to the translation?



This is the first time that I have translated a legal document of this type. I'm not in Belgium so am not going to swear anything in myself...


 

Stéphanie Denton (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:03
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Belgian Translator Mar 19, 2011

Elvira Daraban wrote:

Is it possible for the translation to be certified in Belgium? In this case, I guess it's solely the Belgian translator's responsibility... I mean he's the one to sign for it, not you.


I was under the impression that this guy didn't speak English. I'm merely translating the text for him. But he's put HIS name on the final document even though he hasn't done the translating, I have!


 

Izabela Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:03
English to Polish
+ ...
Originally French, but... Mar 19, 2011

Is there a possibility that this PoA has already been translated to and fro a couple of times?
I see it done sometimes in my pair when the principal takes a draft PoA in his native language, gets it translated into the language understood by a notary in his country of residence and then gets a certified back-translation for legalisation in his native country. If you were next in line (back-translating the back-translation), you'd find just this sort of note, it seems.
The fact that it would be much easier to find the already existing FR version than get a back-back-translation is a different story...

[Edited at 2011-03-19 19:52 GMT]


 

Stéphanie Denton (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:03
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Back translation Mar 19, 2011

Iza Szczypka wrote:

Is there a possibility that this PoA has already been translated to and fro a couple of times?


No, there isn't I'm afraid.

I think someone has taken on more work than they can handle if I'm honest...


 

mediamatrix (X)
Local time: 23:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
I see no legal problem Mar 19, 2011

I don't doubt that certified translations are outsourced quite often, and certified as 'OK' by a sworn translator other than the one who produced the translation. In effect, it's a sworn proof-read, not a sworn translation, but to the court that makes little or no difference.

From what I can recall on first reading the OP (which, as I write this, is hidden pending editing by Stéphanie), the declaration bearing the outsourcer's name/signature is to the effect that he certifies that the translation is a good one. He is not claiming the work as his own, but he is assuming the liability if it turns out to be incorrect.

The outsourcer's CV strongly suggests that he has credentials as a sworn translator at the Belgian Court (although the wording is somewhat obscure, so that might not be the case); and that he is native in French and Russian and 'fluent' in English. However, his CV, which is in English, clearly demonstrates a poor Englsh writing ability, so it's to his credit that he has obtained the services of a competent colleague to do this job. He would, nonetheless, have been well-advised to add his certification only after receiving the finished job from Stépanie.

So, I see no legal problem here - just a bad case of bad manners. And if there is a legal problem, it's the outsourcer's problem, not Stéphanie's.

MediaMatrix

Disclaimer: I am neither a lawyer nor a sworn translator.


 

Stéphanie Denton (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:03
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Mar 19, 2011

mediamatrix wrote:

I don't doubt that certified translations are outsourced quite often, and certified as 'OK' by a sworn translator other than the one who produced the translation. In effect, it's a sworn proof-read, not a sworn translation, but to the court that makes little or no difference.

From what I can recall on first reading the OP (which, as I write this, is hidden pending editing by Stéphanie), the declaration bearing the outsourcer's name/signature is to the effect that he certifies that the translation is a good one. He is not claiming the work as his own, but he is assuming the liability if it turns out to be incorrect.

The outsourcer's CV strongly suggests that he has credentials as a sworn translator at the Belgian Court (although the wording is somewhat obscure, so that might not be the case); and that he is native in French and Russian and 'fluent' in English. However, his CV, which is in English, clearly demonstrates a poor Englsh writing ability, so it's to his credit that he has obtained the services of a competent colleague to do this job. He would, nonetheless, have been well-advised to add his certification only after receiving the finished job from Stépanie.

So, I see no legal problem here - just a bad case of bad manners. And if there is a legal problem, it's the outsourcer's problem, not Stéphanie's.

MediaMatrix

Disclaimer: I am neither a lawyer nor a sworn translator.



Exactly what I wanted - and needed - to hear. Thank you.


 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:03
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Samuel - it's a stock phrase in U.S. letter writing Mar 19, 2011

Samuel Murray wrote:

A certain number of clients (from the US, mostly) recently began to start their e-mails to me by saying "I hope this e-mail finds you well". What on earth is that supposed to mean? Where does this expression come from?


It's a stock phrase. It's been around as long as I can remember (and I'm in my 40s). It means "I hope you are well" or "I hope things are going well for you."

[Edited at 2011-03-19 20:31 GMT]


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:03
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Many of my clients certify my translations Mar 19, 2011

by claiming the translation is done by them. I see nothing wrong with it. Even if it is illegal, it won't do me any harm.

My logic is just in direct opposition to yours: I won't do it if someone asks me to certify a translation that is not mine, unless he pays me to review the content. But if someone wants to certify my translation, I will be more than happy to allow him to do it.


 

Izabela Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:03
English to Polish
+ ...
Yes, but not this way Mar 19, 2011

jyuan_us wrote:
by claiming the translation is done by them. I see nothing wrong with it. Even if it is illegal, it won't do me any harm.

I am sworn for Poland and all sworn translators are allowed / encouraged to certify translations performed by others. The action is included in the scope of sworn translator's services as set forth in law.
BUT expressly stating in the certification that you personally performed such translation (rather than proof-read it) constitutes a wilful misrepresentation and may be prosecuted as such.
AND in Poland any person convicted for a wilful offence gets disqualified from the role of sworn translator for life...

[Edited at 2011-03-19 22:03 GMT]


 

Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:33
English to Tamil
+ ...
I am in the well, hope you too are Mar 20, 2011

Sorry for the off-topic post. In our school curriculum, there is a lesson on letter writing.

One phrase that often came up was: "I am well, and I hope to hear the same from you"

This was twisted by one student as, "I am in the well, hope you too are in the well".

Regards,
N. Raghavan

Steven Capsuto wrote:

Samuel Murray wrote:

A certain number of clients (from the US, mostly) recently began to start their e-mails to me by saying "I hope this e-mail finds you well". What on earth is that supposed to mean? Where does this expression come from?


It's a stock phrase. It's been around as long as I can remember (and I'm in my 40s). It means "I hope you are well" or "I hope things are going well for you."

[Edited at 2011-03-19 20:31 GMT]


 

Valerie35 (X)
Local time: 04:03
German to English
Stock spammer phrase Mar 20, 2011

Steven Capsuto wrote:

It's a stock phrase. It's been around as long as I can remember (and I'm in my 40s). It means "I hope you are well" or "I hope things are going well for you."

[Edited at 2011-03-19 20:31 GMT]


I've only heard the phrase to any great degree from spammers who want to give me millions and millions (and are probably not native English speakers).

Otherwise, it kind of comes across as unnecessarily pretentious.

[Edited at 2011-03-20 08:21 GMT]


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:03
French to German
+ ...
It would be a problem in France... Mar 20, 2011

as sworn translators can only certify their own translations. There is no such thing as "notarisation".

 
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