Cryptographic hashes and digital signatures on the translation target paper.
Thread poster: morten44

morten44
Local time: 20:54
German to English
+ ...
Dec 25, 2009

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA256

Dear Translators and legal Experts!

I have a question regarding Translation of legal papers, e.g Diplomas, for immigrant purposes.
I have seen some papers like legal documents, with the added title and appended page number:
===
Translation:
Translation of Source paper title:

/***text in target language*******/

True translation certified,

name of Translator.

page 8 of 8

date of translation

signature of translator.
Seal of translator.

===

Is this correct? What is the translator supposed to append or remove? Is it sufficient to add the invoice from Translator Company? will this hold for any personal documents. Or for credit transfers, job applications e.g... Police reports?

Please search the web for:
certified translations
Legal translation
Sworn translation

Certified translation is according to google:

Any official document from a government/organisation or company that will be used in a legal context:

It is:

* Signed and has the official stamp (registration number) of that certified translator.
* Accompanied with a letter, stating it is a 'true translation' of the Legal document.
* Recognised by the UK courts/UK Government.


Sworn Translation differs from Certified Translation, but none offers any kind of digital signatures or integrity protection. I feel my target language is English and I need a certified translation into English from a Diploma in Norwegian.

For this purpose I feel: nothing additionally [sic!] from the source legal paper should be appended or retracted. To ensure this I feel the cryptographic hash or a digital signature for integrity protection should be deployed.

What is common practice? in the IT Industry and in the Financial ecommerce and eBay transaction there are different ways. The seller requests anonymity and secrecy. Not because it is stolen goods, but because the seller wants no spam and no harassments.

How do you append your translators notes to the translated document? How can you verify that nothing has been changed or modified? A client in a prosecuting position might be interested in using and modifying my translation to fit the purpose. And the defence lawyer might not be able to detect it.


Sincerely yours,

Morten Gulbrandsen

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_____________________________________________________________________
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Please consider the environment before printing this msg!
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (SunOS)
Comment: For keyID and its URL see the OpenPGP message header

iEYEAREIAAYFAks2LggACgkQ9ymv2YGAKVRGHACg3nUnaqP4XJdO99dmob5eObM4
tf4An29Fv/1H6uudukLVEZzjdnPftRkd
=X7pz
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----


[Edited at 2009-12-26 15:41 GMT]


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:54
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Question? Dec 26, 2009

I don't quite understand your question. You send the client a hard copy of the stamped and signed documents. I don't see how anyone can tamper with your signature. An electronic version is not legally valid.

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morten44
Local time: 20:54
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
my translations has been modified! Dec 26, 2009

I never send my partner any hard copy printed paper.
I have seen that my translations has been modified.

My translations is copied and proofread by other translators
and the customer decides which part of the translation will
get his final approval.


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:54
French to English
+ ...
In plain English... Dec 26, 2009

Just to translate into plain English the original poster's point, because probably many of those who aren't programmers won't really understand it.

The poster's point is that the practice of stamping and signing the translation doesn't protect against tampering scenari such as the following:

- person A asks translator T to provide a certified translation, TX, of document X; they then send document X and translation TX to person B; however, during delivery, naughty postman P tampers with the translation (e.g. by adding an extra sentence in a blank part of the page) to produce translation TX2, and person B actually receives documents X and TX2 and believes that TX2 is a certified translation of document X;
- person A asks translator T to provide a certified translation, TX1, of document X1; A then doctors document X1 slightly to produce document X2, and submits to the relevant authority documents X2 and TX1, pretending that TX1 is a certified translation of document X2, when in fact it was originally a translation of X1.

In other words, the issue that the poster is highlighting is that there's nothing in the translator's stamp/signature that actually says what precise content was translated into what precise content, so that between the point of translating and submitting the document + translation to the relevant authority, either document (or indeed both) could potentially be doctored without the receiving authority being able to detect that the document and/or translation they're receiving weren't the original ones dealt with by the translator.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:54
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
That's why notarized hard copies are required Dec 27, 2009

Hard copies can be forged, too, but the likelihood of success is a lot less than with electronic copies. The relevant regulations differ country by country, but usually the translation needs to be certified by the translator, and sometimes the translator's signature must be notarized as well (by a public notary).
I have seen agencies that did the certification themselves, after having the translation reviewed by another translator. Whoever puts their final signature and/or stamp on the paper, is responsible for ensuring that the translation is accurate.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:54
French to German
+ ...
I just wonder... Dec 27, 2009

what the probability of such a scenario could be.

Plus I think the OP forgets about some elements:

- the original (and authentic) translation, still in possession of the translator who did the job;
- the data coming along with an electronic copy (file properties);
- the possibility of forbidding modifications in original files;
- the use of encryption software or specific file formats;
- and some others I certainly do not think about (like: always checking - even superficially - the documents one receives or sending the documents out as a parcel through a courier service).

In other words, there are (or should be) at least 2 or even 3 existing copies of such a translation. A simple comparison between these is generally sufficient to determine whether significant changes have been made or not, should the need for such a verification arise.

And as Katalin rightly wrote it: Whoever puts their final signature and/or stamp on the paper, is responsible for ensuring that the translation is accurate.

[Edited at 2009-12-27 07:48 GMT]


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 20:54
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
what about a PDF file? Jan 2, 2010

a digitally signed PDF file is as good as it gets. Even if it is not/may not be valid in court, it's a strong proof of due dilligence at the very least.

regards

Vito
PS: and vwith your PGP signature and public hash (see above), its easy to prove tempering

PPS: until further notice, notarized documents are of course the usual and safest way


[Edited at 2010-01-02 19:48 GMT]


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:54
French to German
+ ...
Some formats Jan 2, 2010

Vito Smolej wrote:

a digitally signed PDF file is as good as it gets. Even if it is not/may not be valid in court, it's a strong proof of due dilligence at the very least.

regards

Vito


Yes among others and probably one of the safest ways of sending translations...


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