Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
How to certify a translation
Thread poster: Jenya Meltser-Rakevich

Jenya Meltser-Rakevich
Local time: 06:02
English to Russian
+ ...
Nov 30, 2007

Dear fellow translators,

a client of mine asked me to translate a letter and certify it so that it would be acceptable in courts. Does anyone know how this can be done? Maybe I can write a letter, saying that I am an experienced translator and this translation has been done to the best of my knowledge, and get it notarized? Would this be enough?

Thank you very much for your help,

Jenya


 

Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:02
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Ask your client what specific instructions s/he has received Nov 30, 2007

Different courts have different requirements, so the most appropriate step to take is to ask your client what that particular court wants. I've seen a whole range of requirements, from a simple letter of attestation as to my expertise, to notarization of that my letter and translations, to a requirement that I provide my ATA membership number along with the translation, to demonstrate that I'm certified to translate in that particular pair. And I'm sure I haven't seen it all.

Yolanda Broad


 

Karen Runchel
Local time: 04:02
English to Spanish
certified translations Nov 30, 2007

Hi Jenya.
I am a notary public and a translation project manager. we provide certified translations on a very frequent basis and are even referred to those needing such by the Secretary of State's Office in our state.

What we do is have an office of our corporation sign an affidavit that includes a descriptive name of the document (birth certificate of XXX XXXX, born XX/XX/XXXX in Madrid, Spain) and the languge combination and direction (from Spanish to English). That officer signs the affidavit and I notarize his signature with my notary signature and stamp and expiration date.

One additional thing we do is to place my stamp on the notary affidavit page, as well as the subsequent pages, so that portions of the stamp appear on each page, but NOT the original. In this way, much doubt can be immediately removed as to whether the translation matches the original. In the U.S. we would never alter an original document such as a birth certificate, but I understand this may not be the case in other countries.

Hope that helps. If you need further explanation, please go to our web site and contact me directly. (www.TranslationLinks.com).

Best of luck
Karen Runchel
TranslationLinks
Jenya Meltser-Rakevich wrote:

Dear fellow translators,

a client of mine asked me to translate a letter and certify it so that it would be acceptable in courts. Does anyone know how this can be done? Maybe I can write a letter, saying that I am an experienced translator and this translation has been done to the best of my knowledge, and get it notarized? Would this be enough?

Thank you very much for your help,

Jenya


 

Luis Zepeda
United States
Local time: 03:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
How to certify my translation Nov 30, 2007

Jenya:

The explanation given by Yolanda is the most widely accepted in the United States. That is exactly the process I use. In fact, for Immigration and some courts, only your certification is sufficient.

It is my personal opinion that if you provide your ATA membership number it adds weight to your work, and a means for the client to verify that you are a qualified translator.


 

Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 03:02
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
No ATA certification needed in the US Dec 1, 2007

Jenya,

Just a little note. Certified translations in the US have nothing to do with ATA certification, and you don't need to be certified by the ATA to be able to provide a certified translation. Generally speaking, your own suggested procedure should at least be enough for immigration purposes, if not for most courts.

However, Yolanda is right in that the safest option out there is to ask.


 

Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:02
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Be careful Dec 1, 2007

Luis Zepeda wrote:



It is my personal opinion that if you provide your ATA membership number it adds weight to your work, and a means for the client to verify that you are a qualified translator.


I believe that an ATA membership number and an e-mail address are sufficient to modify your records with ATA. I therefore don't recommend giving your ATA membership number out.


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Nothing Defined Dec 1, 2007

There is nothing formally defined in the US. The suggestions given by others including a notarized statement that it is a true and correct translation to the best of your knowledge and ability and that you know the languages involved is normally sufficient. In many cases even notarization is not required. Government certifications are not required because they are not available except for Spanish (my case) and not much else, and others like ATA lack official status.

Since my case is Spanish and I am certified by the US Courts, I use that because it lends great credibility. For educational and immigration documents I normally just sign a statement with no notarization and no one has ever come back saying they needed more. For documents to be presented in court or abroad I have the statement notarized.

Please bear in mind, however, that in US courts nothing has to be accepted at face value no matter how official it may look. It may be challenged by any party and you could be called into court to clarify or answer for your translation, and the judgment of the court on that basis would be definitive.

I think such cases are fairly rare, and indeed in 36 years I have only gone to court once to testify on a translation, which amounted to a confession in a murder case. And in that case it was apparent that there was no issue on the translation itself, they only wanted to cover all the bases due to the gravity of the case.

So in summary, there is no set rule.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:02
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Acceptable in courts WHERE? Dec 1, 2007

Jenya,

You failed to mention that, and maybe your client didn't tell you. If it's about courts in the US, our colleagues' answers here will do. But if the "courts" are in other countries, local laws will prevail.

For instance, in Brazil, and AFAIK Spain too, only translations made by locally certified translators are acceptable. More info on Brazil at http://ww.lamensdorf.com.br/tpicen.html .

However there is yet another important issue, especially when the document grants power of attorney, or is a last will and testament. In these cases, as it might become too late to undo any harm if the documents were fake, most countries require consular authentication of the document, and this should be done before the document is translated.


 

Gennady Lapardin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:02
Italian to Russian
+ ...
All that has been said above apply to Russia as well Dec 1, 2007

Except that, from my experience, the linguistic higher school diploma with translator's specializiation in this given pair had to be shown to the notary public, whom you work with for the first time, and the rest as is said above: you state that your translation is accurate, full and true, the notary public certifies that the statement has been signed by such and such, his/her identity verified. Moscow- Russia

As Russian courts concerns, they hardly will rely upon translation or notarization made abroad. Once in 1998, an affidavit written in Canada in Russian language and certified by a legal attorney and in Russian consulate, has been rejected by the court as not appropriately made. Reason: they should come here and make the statement here (in Moscow).

[Edited at 2007-12-01 19:41]


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 17:02
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
The Thai language Dec 2, 2007

For the Thai language, certification is mandatory if EN is the source text:
1. Notary of the Minister of Foreign Affairs if used for administrative registration. BUT
2. Certification of translaters registered with Ministry of Justice for documents submitted to courts.
In fact, I certified tons of Thai documents translated from Japanese, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese due to lack of facility of the government to verify good/bad translation from those language.
In the Supreme Court judgment: Anybody may certify and submit documents for court trial. It is not monopolized by certain translation agencies or certain translators or certain government offices.
The Japanese Embassy in Bangkok and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provide template for translators to use for marriage certificates, residential certificates etc. The translations will be certified by the translator.
Regards,
Soonthon L.


 

Carmen Saenz  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Certification of Documents in the State of Florida to be used abroad Dec 2, 2007

I am both a notary in the State of Florida and a translator. When a client requests that a translation be certified, I always ask if this is to be used abroad (mostly in the case of translations into Spanish).

If a document is only for use in the U.S., I attach a cover sheet to the translation which includes my experience as a translator in the language pair, a description of the document and how many pages. I sign this "certification" and have my signature notarized by another notary.

However, if a document is for use abroad, the norm in the State of Florida is to follow the above procedure, but it is additionally required that the original translation and notarized certification be submitted to the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, along with a $10.00 check, specifying the country where the translation will be sent. Each country has different requirements. The Dept. of State then issues an "Apostille", a one-page document on blue background, wherein the State of Florida certifies that the commission of the notary who notarized the certification is valid and in good standing. Only then would some countries acknowledge validity of the translation of wills, death certificates, etc. (as a result of The Convention de La Haye du 5 octobre 1961).

Hope this helps.


 

Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 03:02
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Carmen brings up a very good point Dec 2, 2007

Carmen Saenz wrote:
The Dept. of State then issues an "Apostille", a one-page document on blue background, wherein the State of Florida certifies that the commission of the notary who notarized the certification is valid and in good standing. Only then would some countries acknowledge validity of the translation of wills, death certificates, etc. (as a result of The Convention de La Haye du 5 octobre 1961).


While I immediately assumed that Jenya's question referred to translations for use in the US, these last few posts are very useful not only now, but also for future reference (not to mention that I could have been wrong in the first place). Carmen brings up a good point that many people are unaware of (ok, ok - of which many people are unaware) - certifications notarized in the US are worth zilch in other countries (and vice versa). There might be exceptions that I'm not aware of (agggh, again - of which I'm...), but this is extremely important information for translators who deal extensively with documents that require notarized certifications.


 

Gennady Lapardin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:02
Italian to Russian
+ ...
Templates for translators, it's a good practice ! Dec 2, 2007

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.) wrote:

The Japanese Embassy in Bangkok and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provide template for translators to use for marriage certificates, residential certificates etc. The translations will be certified by the translator.
Regards,
Soonthon L.

...


 

Nizamettin Yigit  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 13:02
Dutch to Turkish
+ ...
Certification-Notarization-Appostille Dec 2, 2007

Every country may have different rule,

If you are only translator:
1- Translate the document
2- Go to a notary of public and sign the document. If you are a translator and notary at the same time, you can not translate and notarize the same document. As you can not notraize your own contracts, documnents etc. So you need to have it translated or have it notarized by another party.
3- Take the document to Secretary of State (if you are in the state capital or take it to county offices etc... Ask for apostillization of the document. (there is a fee per document). You must inform in whic land this document is to be used.
4- Take this apostill document to embassy or consulate of the country that this document is meant for, to confirm it is produced according to guidelines. This step is not needed all the times. If I may give an example; if someone is bidding on a tender that is announced by Turkish government, all the documents should be produced and have stamp and signature of consulate or embassy staff. For common documents it is not needed.

For use in states, a sworn translator or notarized document may be enough.

Regards,

Nizam


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apostille and Notary Dec 2, 2007

Good advice.

I would also mention that we as translators do not need to get involved in the Apostille process where pertinent. It is sufficient to provide the notarized certification statement and let the client handle that because our job has already been completed.

I have seen translations done by people who are also notaries (very poor at both) who have notarized their own translations, which is improper. It should never be done.


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

How to certify a translation

Advanced search







CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search