Name translation issue in a Macedonian birth certificate
Thread poster: Sanja Gjurova

Sanja Gjurova
Local time: 22:24
English to Macedonian
+ ...
Feb 20, 2016

Dear All,

I hope someone can help with this delicate matter.

I have a client for whom I am about to do a translation of a birth certificate.

However, there seems to be a problem with the given name.

When the client came to Australia, around 30 years ago, the name was transliterated incorrectly (whatever the reason

for that), and all of his documents, like driver licence, Australian citizenship certificate are in that name.

It is a one letter difference, but it is a different name nevertheless.

Now, he wants to translate the Macedonian birth certificate for the purpose of obtaining a new Australian passport.

The problem is, if I do a correct transliteration of the name he won't be able to get a passport.

Please, if you have any suggestions as to how to solve this I will be more that happy to hear them.





Kemal Mustajbegovic  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:24
English to Croatian
+ ...
Not a translator's problem Feb 20, 2016

Hi Sanja,

I understand the dilemma you're facing, been there myself a few times. You should translate the original document as it is and suggest your client to go to the relevant Government authority in your State to sort this out. We as the translators do not alter documents in any way. I know it can be difficult to explain that to your client, they used to say "but it's only one letter", but if you want to stick to the rules you should be persistent.

Good luck!



Patricia Will  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:24
Member (2004)
German to English
Not really your problem Feb 20, 2016

It is not really the translator's job to point out any discrepancies like this. That is something for the passport authority to investigate. But you could simply add a footnote or a comment in brackets (name is also transliterated/spelled xxx). It is up to your client to show all the other documents showing the alternative spelling of his name.


Vanda Nissen  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:24
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
A footnote Feb 20, 2016

I agree with Patricia, the best way to deal with this situation is to translate as is and make a footnote explaining how it should be transliterated in accordance with the rules.

I had a similiar problem a couple of weeks ago. Client's marriage certificate was issued in Australia and, as you know, Australian marriage certificates have parents' surnames. The client father's surname was written with an ending we only use for females, i.e. Putin, and his wife is Putina, so her father's surname was written as Putina. It is an obvious typo however, I kept the female ending and made a footnote.


Local time: 22:24
Italian to English
+ ...
Assumption Feb 20, 2016

Your assumption is he won't be able to get a passport if you correctly translate his birth certificate, which will be different to his Australian documents.

My brother's Australian birth certificate incorrectly records his surname with one letter missing. My name also is incorrect by one letter. (I suspect this has happened to thousands of migrants to Australia.)

My brother's Australian passport records the correct surname, as does mine. So your assumption about future problems may be incorrect.


Sanja Gjurova
Local time: 22:24
English to Macedonian
+ ...
Thanks for the comments Feb 21, 2016


Thanks to all for your comments, I really appreciate them.

I'm sorry I wasn't clear enough in my explanation. I have no doubt as to what is the right thing to do.

Many thanks to Mag013 who was right about what I was thinking. Your examples are great.

Many thanks!

I was asking myself whether it's still possible to get the passport even though the birth certificate has a different given name.

And, it doesn't seem right to me that he doesn't, considering he has an Australian Citizenship Certificate with the correct name, and all other supporting documents.

Thanks and regards



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