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Is it possible to send a sworn translation by email?
Thread poster: María Teresa Pareja García

María Teresa Pareja García  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:45
English to Spanish
Dec 27, 2012

Dear colleagues,

I would like to learn about the process of swearing translations for online outsourcers (English and Spanish texts in my case). What about checking the originals?

Thank you in advance.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not in principle Dec 27, 2012

Not usually. Perhaps you might be able to scan them in some cases, but generally sworn translations have to be performed on the original documents and sent by snail...

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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:45
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Agree Dec 27, 2012

I agree with Neilmac: they should be sent by mail. Some agencies have their own procedures, maybe they have access to a lawyer.

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María Teresa Pareja García  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:45
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Dec 27, 2012

So, I understand that in case I took some of the sworn translations posted here, I should get and send them by mail.

Thank you very much. I appreciate your help.

[Edited at 2012-12-27 18:38 GMT]


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Cedomir Pusica  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 07:45
Member (2009)
English to Serbian
+ ...
This might help Dec 27, 2012

Check out the website of the Spanish Murcia-based company Matiz startup, www.juramelo.es. They do receive documents for translation online, but send them by mail. Maybe contacting them would help you...

This, I believe is the only possible way, at least in some countries.

Regards,

Cedomir


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:45
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Are you a sworn translator? Dec 27, 2012

If you are as I presume, you must be aware of the duties and responsibilities of a sworn translator...

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Ewa Olszowa  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:45
Polish to English
+ ...
Ask the client Dec 28, 2012

Are you talking about originals with regard to the source or target document?

First of all, If I do not see originals (source document), I always write that the translation is of the "attached copy of a document". I sign this copy and attach it to the document - if I send it by mail - or scan together - if sent by email.

If the translated document can be scanned or must be sent by mail - is up to the end user - the person or institution that will be using it - do they want the original translation (and are they fine with the fact that the copy was translated - they may want to see the original of the source document to compare) - or is it enough for them to get the scanned/photopied translation.


[Edited at 2012-12-28 01:22 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-12-28 01:23 GMT]


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María Teresa Pareja García  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:45
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
I am a sworn translator Dec 28, 2012

Teresa Borges wrote:

If you are as I presume, you must be aware of the duties and responsibilities of a sworn translator...


You are right Teresa, I am a sworn translator. The fact is that I have always received clients (for sworn translations) in my office and I wanted to be sure of the process when I cannot meet the client physically.

Thanks.


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María Teresa Pareja García  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:45
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Dec 28, 2012

Ewa Olszowa wrote:

Are you talking about originals with regard to the source or target document?

First of all, If I do not see originals (source document), I always write that the translation is of the "attached copy of a document". I sign this copy and attach it to the document - if I send it by mail - or scan together - if sent by email.

If the translated document can be scanned or must be sent by mail - is up to the end user - the person or institution that will be using it - do they want the original translation (and are they fine with the fact that the copy was translated - they may want to see the original of the source document to compare) - or is it enough for them to get the scanned/photopied translation.


[Edited at 2012-12-28 01:22 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-12-28 01:23 GMT]



Thank you for the info. It's really useful.

I would like to know what do other sworn translators think about scanning sworn translations instead of sending documents by mail.

Regards.


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Nihan Pekmen  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 09:45
Member (2012)
Turkish to English
+ ...
New technology Dec 28, 2012

Well, you should sign and stamp them both in order to indicate the translation is from this particular original.

I don't know if it is available in your country but as digital technology has become part of ourlives, digital signatures or mobile signatures (signing by your mobile phone number) are used so that you don not have to rush down to the notary office to sign it.

Regards,

Nihan


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:45
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Different rules apply to different countries... Dec 28, 2012

... in Belgium, it is not possible and the same applies to Portugal [there are no sworn translators in Portugal: here to certify a translation, so that a translated document is legally valid, it is necessary to make its certification at the organisations empowered to do so (namely Notary’s Offices and Attorneys)].

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:45
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Only as a provisional solution Dec 28, 2012

Brazil - differently from most countries - has a LAW on sworn translations, passed in 1943, long before anything beyond snail-mail existed. The gist of it is explained on this page.

However sometimes there are strict deadlines, and there is no time for a document to make its way to the translator, get translated, then travel all the way to the client, and for them to submit the sworn translator.

In Brazil, sworn translations are required to indicate on the translation what kind of 'original' they translated from, i.e. the original, a notarized copy, a plain copy, a fax, an electronic file (scanned or otherwise), and to attach - duly stamped and initialed - depending on the requirements, the original, a copy or a printout thereof.

So after the sworn translation is finished, stamped, signed, etc., before mailing or otherwise delivering it, the translator may scan it, e-mail the document, and the client may provisionally forward it to wherever they have to submit it. The final destination, on goodwill, will have evidence of the likely existence of the document, and access to the contents of the translation, so the deadline will be met. Any procedure will be provisional, pending on the final physical arrival of the real thing. If it doesn't get there, the procedure will be reversed.

As the sworn translation includes some copy of the original it was based on, if the translator received the original as a scanned file, a visual comparison will be possible, if the client still has it.

In the future, digital signatures might make it possible.

[Edited at 2012-12-28 12:49 GMT]


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Paweł Hamerski
Poland
Local time: 07:45
English to Polish
+ ...
It all depends Dec 29, 2012

In Poland like in any other reasonably logical country you do what the customer wants you to do (against my free advice) - if he/she has the original document and wants its certified/legalized/sworn translation - fine, you just write on the translation the source document was in original and that's all (although unlike Brazil we don't have to attach the source document to the translation and personallly I hate the idea as often this original is unique and the customer wants to keep it for any other purpose).
If there is no original you write the source document was a copy or a legalized/certified copy (in the latter case it should clearly appear so from the document by the way).
And what if the customer has a copy and wants you to avoid mentioning this fact or worse - you write the customer's request on the translation and you are both happy. I am joking, of course, but I would like to do like this once instead of asking simply why I should falsify the document.

As regards digressions on electronic signature, scans, e-mails or snail mail, etc. they are off the mark if the customer wants to show the document was translated from the original and/or that the translation is original (please note that in Poland both the translator's signature and the seal must be original for the tramslation to be considered original).


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:45
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Some clarification Dec 30, 2012

Paweł Hamerski wrote:
(although unlike Brazil we don't have to attach the source document to the translation and personallly I hate the idea as often this original is unique and the customer wants to keep it for any other purpose).


Brazilian law on sworn translations dates back from 1943, long before computer age; in fact, when silver salts photographic processes did the job of our present copiers, scanners, and printers.

According to that law, "a document in a foreign language is acceptable by any authorities only when attached to its sworn translation compliant to that same law".

Some documents are unique and specific for the intended purpose, so their original would have to be submitted, even if it were in Portuguese, not requiring translation. A typical example would be a power of attorney. I also see many certificates (e.g. of compliance, good standing, etc.) that explicitly include "valid only if it's an original - copies are void", and these are usually valid only for a limited period of time (e.g. 3 months from the date of issue).

Other documents simply cannot be attached to the sworn translation, such as driver's licenses, passports, etc. However it makes a lot of difference if the sworn translator states that they translated from the original, made a copy (stamped and initialed) to attach to the translation, as this implies a statement that this original document was available, and not e.g. withheld in custody by the local police or traffic authorities for any reason at the time the translation was done.

And yet there are still other documents where the sworn translator works from an original (stating so), yet delivers the translation with a stamped/initialed copy, and stamps/initials the original as well. Sworn translators in Brazil are required to keep 400-page bound books with all their past sworn translations, but not originals. Of course, nowadays we keep electronic files as well. If the client later needs another sworn translation of they document, all they need to do is to request a transcript from the translator (by law, it costs half of the current translation price), and attach it to a notarized copy of the original document, which already bears that translator's stamp.

Paweł Hamerski wrote:
And what if the customer has a copy and wants you to avoid mentioning this fact or worse - you write the customer's request on the translation and you are both happy. I am joking, of course, but I would like to do like this once instead of asking simply why I should falsify the document.


I guess you mean the client only has a plain copy, and requests the translator to state they did it from the original document. That's a quite risky situation. Imagine, for instance, if the client had their driver's license apprehended and cancelled for, say, persistent DUI abuse, and used the date on the sworn translation as evidence that they still had their license when they caused an accident with several badly injured people, so the car insurance would cover it. Bardzo niebezpieczne! Insurance companies are not typically naive...



[Edited at 2012-12-30 11:38 GMT]


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Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:45
Member (2005)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Good question Dec 30, 2012

In Latvia with the introduction of the official electronic signature it should be theoretically possible. Safely signed electronic documents have the same legal force as paper documents except is some special cases like property title deeds which still require paper trail.

In practice, most clients wouldn't know what to do with e-signed document.


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