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Demanding a certificate from a non-certified translator?
Thread poster: SandraV

SandraV  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 21:40
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Aug 15, 2012

Hi, I will appreciate you help with the following:

Can an agency require me to sign and send a letterheaded certificate for a job done even if I am not a certified translator? They are claiming that the client is requiring it but this was not stated as a prerequisite on the PO, and now they are threatening me that they will withhold my payment until they receive this certificate by regular post.

Thank you.


 

Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:40
English to French
+ ...
What country? Aug 15, 2012

In what country is the agency, and what do they mean by "certified"?

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:40
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
They can ask, you can refuse Aug 15, 2012

Sandra de la Vega wrote:
Can an agency require me to sign and send a letterheaded certificate for a job done even if I am not a certified translator?


It depends on the country of the agency. What you can offer the agency is a signed declaration. Something like "I, translator, hereby declare that my [language to language] translation of [file name] is an accurate translation, to the best of my abilities." Avoid the word "certify". Then sign it.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:40
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
First of all Aug 15, 2012

They cannot require you to do anything that was not in the original order. No court would uphold their right to do that. You are on firm ground, I'm sure - even though I'm not a lawyer.

I don't think the "certificate" they are asking for is the same as the stamp added to a translation by a sworn translator. That stamp has a particular validity - the text becomes THE official document, whatever the original said in another language. Quite what the validity would be of a statement you sign, I don't know. Maybe someone here knows what the objective would be. Would it make you more liable in case of inaccuracy? Would it give the end-client some sort of extra guarantee (of what?)? Where would the agency's liability stand?

BTW: I'm not implying that I think you HAVE made any errors! Just some "what if?" thoughts.icon_smile.gif


 

SandraV  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 21:40
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
They claim that the end client is requiring it Aug 15, 2012

Sheila Wilson wrote:

They cannot require you to do anything that was not in the original order. No court would uphold their right to do that. You are on firm ground, I'm sure - even though I'm not a lawyer.

I don't think the "certificate" they are asking for is the same as the stamp added to a translation by a sworn translator. That stamp has a particular validity - the text becomes THE official document, whatever the original said in another language. Quite what the validity would be of a statement you sign, I don't know. Maybe someone here knows what the objective would be. Would it make you more liable in case of inaccuracy? Would it give the end-client some sort of extra guarantee (of what?)? Where would the agency's liability stand?

BTW: I'm not implying that I think you HAVE made any errors! Just some "what if?" thoughts.icon_smile.gif


Hi Sheila, thank you for your reply. They claim that the end client is requiring it.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:40
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
But why? Aug 15, 2012

Sandra de la Vega wrote:
They claim that the end client is requiring it.

Personally, I would want to be clear about that before adding my signature to something. It might be the end client's requirement, but it's your signature.


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:40
English to German
+ ...
headline of your thread Aug 15, 2012

Sandra de la Vega wrote:

Demanding a certificate to a non-certified translator?



It should read:

Demanding a certificate "from" a non-certified translator".

Kind regards
Bernhard


 

SandraV  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 21:40
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I appreciate it Aug 15, 2012

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

Sandra de la Vega wrote:

Demanding a certificate to a non-certified translator?



It should read:

Demanding a certificate "from" a non-certified translator".

Kind regards
Bernhard


Hi Bernhard,

Thank you very much for your correction. I noticed that right after I had sent the post, unfortunately I think no changes can be made to the headline.


 

SandraV  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 21:40
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
This is what they are requiring Aug 15, 2012

JL01 wrote:

In what country is the agency, and what do they mean by "certified"?


The agency is in England. They sent me a sample of what they want and asked me to adapt it to my language combination:
I, XXX, am a qualified translator of English to Spanish, holder of XXX Studies in Translation by XXX and a member of XXX, with membership number XXX.

I hereby certify that my translation of the XXX from English to XXX is to my best knowledge an accurate translation of the original source text.

Date ____________________

Signature ____________________


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:40
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
You are a Mexican, so... Aug 15, 2012

Sandra de la Vega wrote:
The agency is in England. They sent me a sample of what they want and asked me to adapt it to my language combination...


You are subject to Mexican laws, and if I understand correctly (from a bit of Googling), the term "certify" in relation to a translation has a special specific meaning in Mexico.

You can't legally certify the translation, am I right? So tell the agency that it is illegal for you to certify, but that you are willing to sign their form if you change the word "certify" to "declare".

I, XXX, am a qualified translator of English to Spanish, holder of XXX Studies in Translation by XXX and a member of XXX, with membership number XXX.

I hereby certify that my translation of the XXX from English to XXX is to my best knowledge an accurate translation of the original source text.

Date: ____________________

Signature: ____________________


Yep, I don't see anything here that raises any flags, except for the word "certify".


 

SandraV  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 21:40
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You're right, but the real problem is... Aug 15, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

Sandra de la Vega wrote:
The agency is in England. They sent me a sample of what they want and asked me to adapt it to my language combination...


You are subject to Mexican laws, and if I understand correctly (from a bit of Googling), the term "certify" in relation to a translation has a special specific meaning in Mexico.

You can't legally certify the translation, am I right? So tell the agency that it is illegal for you to certify, but that you are willing to sign their form if you change the word "certify" to "declare".

I, XXX, am a qualified translator of English to Spanish, holder of XXX Studies in Translation by XXX and a member of XXX, with membership number XXX.

I hereby certify that my translation of the XXX from English to XXX is to my best knowledge an accurate translation of the original source text.

Date: ____________________

Signature: ____________________


Yep, I don't see anything here that raises any flags, except for the word "certify".



Thank you Samuel, you are right and I can tell them that, but the real problem is that they are refusing to pay me for the work I already did until I send them the document by regular post. This certify thing was not stated in the original PO they sent me.


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
A bad situation Aug 15, 2012

You are in a bad situation. You are right in refusing to provide a certification. Actually, if the agency wished to do so, it could provide its own certification at the destination, which would have much more value than one from abroad. I would merely understand this as an attempt to refuse payment. You are in Mexico and they are in England, so you may not have any practical recourse for enforcement. Live and learn.

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:40
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Just before people get the wrong idea, Samuel Aug 15, 2012

Sandra is not subject to Mexican law because she's a Mexican; she's subject to Mexican law because she's a resident of Mexico.

Sorry if it appears to be nit-picking, but I can't claim to abide by UK law, because I live in Spain. I have to abide by Spanish law. You've moved recently yourself so I'm sure you understand that. There are a lot of people out there who get this aspect of law terribly wrong, so let's not mislead them.


 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:40
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
As long as you certifie that you think the translation was good Aug 15, 2012

Sandra de la Vega wrote:

JL01 wrote:

In what country is the agency, and what do they mean by "certified"?


The agency is in England. They sent me a sample of what they want and asked me to adapt it to my language combination:
I, XXX, am a qualified translator of English to Spanish, holder of XXX Studies in Translation by XXX and a member of XXX, with membership number XXX.

I hereby certify that my translation of the XXX from English to XXX is to my best knowledge an accurate translation of the original source text.

Date ____________________

Signature ____________________


You can always certify that your translation is accurate to the best of your knowledge. I presume you're confident about that.

We had this discussion before on this website, and I copied and pasted this phrase for future use. I have no formal qualifications in translation, so I prefer conversant and competent to qualified:

"I, XXX, Translator, working for YYY, hereby declare that I am fully conversant with the ENGLISH and SPANISH languages and am a competent translator thereof. I declare further that I am solely responsible for checking the translation provided and to the best of my knowledge, the completed document is a true and correct translation into SPANISH of the accompanying original document in the ENGLISH language."

Cheers,
Gerard


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:40
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I meant "Mexican" in the residential sense, yes Aug 15, 2012

Sheila Wilson wrote:
Sandra is not subject to Mexican law because she's a Mexican; she's subject to Mexican law because she's a resident of Mexico.


I meant "Mexican" in the residential sense, yes.

The point is that you have to abide by the laws of the country in which you are resident (unless your country of citizenship has additional laws in place that apply to you regardless of residence (I'm under the impression that the United States has such laws for its expats)).


[Edited at 2012-08-15 20:44 GMT]


 
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