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

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:26
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?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:26
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


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:26
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?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Carol Gullidge  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:26
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.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Cetacea  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 13:26
English to German
+ ...
The same as you Apr 19, 2010

Anything else is out of the question.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:26
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.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:26
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.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:26
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...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mohamed Mehenoun  Identity Verified
Algeria
Local time: 12:26
Member (2008)
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


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Monika Elisabeth Sieger  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:26
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
You did the right thing! Apr 20, 2010

Anything else would have been utterly wrong!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 13:26
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.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

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

Advanced search







TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search