Birth certificates - is there a standard way of writing dates and times in full?
Thread poster: RUTH ELIZABETH BARTLETT

RUTH ELIZABETH BARTLETT  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:56
Member (2009)
French to English
Aug 19, 2009

Good evening,
I am in the process of translating my first birth certificate. The French text has all dates and times written in letters in full. I have looked at a British birth certificate and this is not the case. My question is two-fold: should I write out the dates and times in this way in English (my instinct is that i should) and if so is there a standard way of writing times and dates in this kind of document? How would I say 23.15 in full letters in English, for example?
I'm afraid i don't have any reference books at my disposal and can't find the answer on the internet. Any useful web sites would be gratefully received.
Thanks
Ruth


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:56
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Write in full Aug 19, 2009

I think it is always wise to write dates and times out in full, but particularly if that's the way it is in your source text. As I see it, your task as a translator is to reproduce the French document, not to produce a British document.

23:15 would be' twenty three hours and fifteen minutes'. In Dutch birth certificates, especially older ones, the time is usually written out in letters as well.



[Edited at 2009-08-19 21:29 GMT]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Like the Original Aug 19, 2009

In Spanish (my language), dates are also frequently written out and sometimes by using both the numbers as well as writing them out. So I just follow the original and put, for example, the 23rd (twenty-third) day of June, 1964 (nineteen hundred sixty-four), or however it is in the original. (They often use "day of" too, and sometimes "of the year" but I do not know if such is the case in French.)

I don't know how to render 23.15 because there are only 12 months in the year, but if I saw 23/6/64 then I would put 6/23/64 to give it the correct order for English, at least as used in the USA.

Don't try to make it look like a birth certificate from your country, that just will not work. It must be clearly understandable, but stick close to the literal.

Of course, if it is 23:15 (with a, then that is time, eleven-fifteen PM, again USA usage.

[Editado a las 2009-08-19 18:08 GMT]


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RUTH ELIZABETH BARTLETT  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:56
Member (2009)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Aug 19, 2009

Thanks for such a quick and helpful reply. I was wondering whether I should be using the twenty four hour clock or not. Your answer has cleared that up.
Thanks


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RUTH ELIZABETH BARTLETT  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:56
Member (2009)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks again Aug 19, 2009

And thanks to Henry. I think I know what I'm doing now.

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Carla Selyer  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:56
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Always maintain the original format Aug 19, 2009

If the date is written in full, eg. 'nineteen ninety-nine', then it should be reflected in the same manner in the target text. If you start using dates in numbers when they are written in words, the client may come back and ask you to correct it. Also with certificates it is good practice to always be as close to the original as possible.

All the best

Carla


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:56
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some ideas Aug 20, 2009

RUTH ELIZABETH BARTLETT wrote:
The French text has all dates and times written in letters in full. I have looked at a British birth certificate and this is not the case. ... Should I write out the dates and times in this way in English (my instinct is that i should)...


Well, it depends on how the end-client's end-recipient would want it. Isn't there a stardard way that certified documents should look like in Britain? I was under the impression that a certified translation (certainly of an official document such as a birthh certificate) should follow the form of the original. I'd be interested to hear if this is the case in Britain.

Are you allowed to write comments in the translation? I mean, if you have to write an American date for a British client -- are you allowed to put a comment in the document saying that the numbers means this or that?


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