How to translate a civil registry form with two source languages
Thread poster: Richard Lardi

Richard Lardi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:17
Member (2013)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jul 29, 2013

Hello everybody,

I am translating a civil registry form from Barcelona Spain into English for US Immigration purposes. It is a very easy translation, however I am not sure what the correct "rule" would be for this scenario: Most of the source doc is in Spanish. However a few random expressions and the signature paragraph at the bottom "Certifico que la presente..........." are in Spanish and again in Catalan. I don't speak Catalan but the few places where the Catalan is present it is quite self explanatory what it says. Therefore, do I translate both languages into English? Do I leave out the Catalan completely and include a Translator's Note at the bottom with an explanation? I would appreciate any suggestions. Perhaps one of you have already translated a similar doc from Barcelona?

Thank you!

Rich


 

Charlotte Farrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:17
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Translate everything once Jul 29, 2013

I've translated a couple of multilingual documents and if the same sentence/phrase appears in both languages, then I just translate it once. If the Catalan says something different to the Spanish, I would translate both. This is what I have done for Swiss documents in French and German, for example.

 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends on what the Catalan says Jul 29, 2013

Typically the Catalan just repeats the Spanish text, in those cases we just translate the Spanish and leave the Catalan out of the finished document. If it says anything different, I personally would include the source text and a translator's note with the translation (it helps to have a friend that speaks Catalan in these cases).

 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:17
Hebrew to English
Translate it once Jul 29, 2013

I get this with official forms quite a lot where the same information is listed in Hebrew and Arabic.

Just translate it once, if you feel that the client will question it (i.e "why the hell isn't this sentence translated?") then add a translator's note to pre-emptively shut them upicon_biggrin.gif

I also wouldn't risk translating something which isn't my source language (even if it seems self-explanatory what it says). My Arabic sucks, so it would be misrepresentation for me to "translate" the Arabic on an official form when I don't know for sure what it says (even when it's pretty obvious it's a direct translation of the Hebrew). Liability-wise, I can't make that assumption.

If the client insists on a translation of the Catalan parts then it's up to them to get them translated by a suitable Catalan-English translator, it simply isn't part of your remit.

[Edited at 2013-07-29 18:08 GMT]


 

Richard Lardi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:17
Member (2013)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I WILL TRANSLATE JUST ONCE Jul 29, 2013

Thank you Jedi Masters Ty, Triston and Charlotte.
The force is strong in you!

I will not translate the Catalan, just the Spanish. Since this will slightly change the format, I will include a translator's note.

Tks!

Rich


 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:17
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I disagree Jul 29, 2013

I would never omit anything that's in an official document. I would just find a trusted colleague who knows the other language to translate the sentence and do the following on the translation:

[Translation from Spanish]: ''...''
[Translation from Catalan]: ''...''

similar to the way we ''translate'' the signatures and seals.

Just my 2c.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 04:17
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
That is quite common in Belgium Jul 29, 2013

due to the 3 official languages (French, Flemish and German). What I use to do is start the translation by the sentence:

Sworn translation from (whatever language) to European Portuguese...

[Edited at 2013-07-29 20:23 GMT]


 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
I like this one =D Jul 29, 2013

Richard Lardi wrote:

Thank you Jedi Masters Ty, Triston and Charlotte.
The force is strong in you!

I will not translate the Catalan, just the Spanish. Since this will slightly change the format, I will include a translator's note.

Tks!

Rich


@ Diana, normally I would completely agree with you, but as the text is the same, only in two different languages (which is usually what we find with the Spanish/Catalan documents), it's redundant to have the same text appear twice on the form and nothing is omitted. If the text says anything different, or if it has no Spanish counterpart, you will of course want to make sure that it is properly represented. Teresa's suggestion is a great option too.

Of course, when in doubt, ask the client.


 


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