Ethical question: asked to swear to transliteration I know to be wrong
Thread poster: Jack Doughty

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:26
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Apr 19, 2010

I was sent a marriage certificate to translate from Russian into English. The man’s patronymic was Евгеньевич, which could be Yevgenyevich or Yevgyenyevich. The client kept returning it to the agency saying the spelling was wrong. I finally realized that what they wanted was Yeygyenyevich (originally I hadn’t noticed that the third letter was a y, not a v). They may have had some reason for this, maybe someone did an incorrect translation of this person’s passport and they wanted conformity with it, I don’t know. If this had just been a straight translation I might have gone along with it, while pointing out that it was incorrect. But for this, I was required to swear an affidavit in the presence of a solicitor that my translation was correct. They wanted me to swear to the incorrect version, saying I could add a caveat about it. But I refused to do it. I would sooner lose the fee for this job than swear on oath that something is correct when I know it isn’t. What would you have done?

 

liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:26
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
You did the right thing Apr 19, 2010

Hello Jack

I agree with you, if you don't believe something is correct, then don't sign the oath.

Liz


 

Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:26
English to Dutch
+ ...
Of course you refused Apr 19, 2010

Swearing to something wrong would defy the whole idea behind sworn translations, wouldn't it?

 

Carol Gullidge  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:26
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
You definitely did the right thing Apr 19, 2010

for more reasons than one, but mainly for the sake of your conscience.

 

Cetacea  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 18:26
English to German
+ ...
The same as you Apr 19, 2010

Anything else is out of the question.

 

Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 11:26
Spanish to English
Quite right Apr 20, 2010

There are a lot easier ways of solving a problem about the same person with more than one official name.

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:26
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Well done! Apr 20, 2010

You certainly did the right thing. If it was wrong, it was wrong! You cannot swear a wrong document.

 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:26
French to German
+ ...
Indeed Apr 20, 2010

Jan Willem van Dormolen wrote:

Swearing to something wrong would defy the whole idea behind sworn translations, wouldn't it?


and cast a doubt about their (legal) value...


 

Mohamed Mehenoun  Identity Verified
Algeria
Local time: 17:26
English to French
+ ...
You did the right thing Apr 20, 2010

Hello,

I believe that you did the right thing...Actually I praise your professionalism !

MoH


 

Monika Elisabeth Sieger  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:26
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
You did the right thing! Apr 20, 2010

Anything else would have been utterly wrong!

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 18:26
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
And on a marriage certificate too... Apr 20, 2010

My father had a case like that many years ago. He refused to perform a marriage ceremony until the papers were in order... and got into quite a lot of trouble about it. However, it turned out that the groom was trying to commit bigamy, and then suddenly everyone could see that my father had been right all along.

Principles are principles.


 


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Ethical question: asked to swear to transliteration I know to be wrong

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