Certified Translation: what is the associated liability?
Thread poster: xxxPoveyTrans
xxxPoveyTrans

Local time: 17:00
German to English
Dec 19, 2006

I am a London, UK based translator and have been asked by a European translation house to provide a 'certified translation' of a Croatian > English contract after having proofed the text.

I understand from other forum posts that in the UK there is no official proces for certifying a translation as a 'certified translator'. The agent has asked that I provide a stamp and sign a wording that the translation is true and accurate rendering of the source text.

Aside from any general advice and experience you think that could be useful here, could you give you opinion on:

1) Is there a standard wording used by UK translators in such cases?

2) In the absence of a stamp, is it common to issue a wording, perhaps in a covering letter?

3) Most importantly, what is the liability assumed by performing this service and what is the likelihood and the legal consequences in the event of a dispute?

Many thanks for any advice or insights you may have on this issue.

Simon


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 19:00
Turkish to English
+ ...
This is what I used to do in the UK Dec 19, 2006

I was a freelancer in the UK from 2000-2002 and this is the procedure I adopted in such cases:

Prepare the following text:
AFFADAVIT OF (write your full name here)
I (write your full name here), freelance translator of (write your address here) make oath and say as follows:

I confirm that I am experienced in translation from (write the source language here) into (write the target language here) and to the best of my knowledge the document hereto annexed and marked "A" is a true translation into (write the source language here) by me of the document written in (write the source language here) and hereto annexed and marked "B".

(sign and add the date and place at the bottom)

You should then attach, usually by stapling, statements to both texts reading "This is the exhibit referred to as "A" in the Affadavit of (write your full name here) dated (write the date here) (then sign)", obviously changing "A" to "B" in the case of the source text - be careful not to mix them up because it is easily done: I know because I have done it! If the texts consist of more than one page they should actually all be stapled together along with the slip identifying the exhibit. I have also sometimes just added the note identiifying the exhibit at the foot of the document itself and have never received any complaints about this.

The above procedure is the one I was once instructed to follow by a large translation agency and I stuck to it ever since, and never received any negative feedback. You can also go to a solicitor's office and have it sworn in for a fee which I think was about twenty pounds in those days.

As to question number three, I have no idea, but would be interested to learn other people's ideas.


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Sonia Hill
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:00
Italian to English
Good question Dec 19, 2006

I have always wondered about the liability one assumes when certifying a translation.

I have signed standard statements, such as that mentioned by Tim, for agencies before, when requested. However, I have never certified a translation before a solicitor.

A client recently asked me how much it would cost to certify a translation with a solicitor. I contacted a solicitor and was told it would be £100. I'm not sure if this is usual or rather high. The client decided they did not want the translation to be certified after all.


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xxxGabi Ancarol
Italy
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
another option Dec 19, 2006

I believe what my colleague has written is more than ok!.

This, instead, is what I used to do, and never received any complaints either.

THE UNDERSIGNED (write your full name here), CERTIFIED/FREELANCE TRANSLATOR IN (write name of the country), DULY ADMITTED AND SWORN CERTIFIES THE FOREGOING TO BE A TRUE AND ACCURATE TRANSLATION OF THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT IN (write the source language) HEREUNTO ANNEXED. DONE AND SIGNED IN (write the name of your city), ON THIS SIXTH DAY OF THE MONTH OF DECEMBER OF THE YEAR 2006 (change dates).

SIGN AND SEAL

then you should add the same sentence in the other language.

By doing this, THAT IS TO SAY, BY ADDING THIS SENTENCE AT THE END OF THE TRANSLATION, we usually avoided marking "A" or "B" source and target texts. We stapled all together and then put our seal on both pages, I mean, half the seal had to be on one page, and the other half on the other....

good luck!

[Edited at 2006-12-19 12:53]

[Edited at 2006-12-19 12:53]


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:00
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Liability insurance Dec 19, 2006

If you do a lot of this work, you might consider getting professional liability insurance. In my association this is a condition for certification.

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AllegroTrans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:00
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Affidavit of translator Jan 4, 2007

Referring to Tim Drayton's reply, the wordiong for the affidavit is perfectly correct, but at the foot this must be followed by the word:
SWORN before me

at.........................................in the County of..........................

this....... day of.......... 2007

................................a solicitor/commissioner for oaths

You have to sign the affidavit in the presence of a solicitor (don't sign it beforehand). He/she then signs it at the foot and charges you an oath fee (currently £7.00 in England and Wales).
Personally I always ask the client why a certified translation is needed and which Authority needs it. I then do one of the following, according to the requirement ( I always leave the client liable for finding out exactly what is the requirement):
(1) Translator's certificate, signed by me
(2) Affiadvit of translation (as above)
(3) Translator's certificate, signed before a Notary and accompanied by a Notary's Certificate - this is sometimes needed in other jurisdictions. The Notary's fee I am usually charged is £60.00 (in England)
(4) Number (3) submitted to the Foreign and Commonwealth office in London to have an "apostille" attached (there is a fee payable, can't remember how much). This is occasionally needed in countries outside either the EU or the Commonwealth


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