Translating Haitian Birth Certificate
Thread poster: xxxSevie

Local time: 21:42
English to French
+ ...
Mar 23, 2011

I am translating an Haitian birth certificate. The original is worded in a weird manner, the punctuation does not make sense sometimes, there are typos, etc.
Do I translate exactly so the feel is similar, or do I translate so it flows and is easy to read?
Thank you

[Edited at 2011-03-23 18:08 GMT]


Tina Vonhof
Local time: 19:42
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Make it understandable Mar 23, 2011

My advice would be to translate it so that an English-speaking reader can understand it. If the spelling errors are in the names of people, places, etc., you should leave them - these should not be translated anyway. If they are in the official text that does need to be translated, substitute the proper English translation including English punctuation. At the same time try to make the document look as much as possible like the original in terms of formatting: keep approximately the same text on the same line, similar fonts, the same spacing between lines, etc.


LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:42
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Birth Certificate Mar 23, 2011

I agree with Tina.

Except that if this is for an agency, I would also send them a note along with the translation (not part of the document itself) stating the existence of these anomalies in the source text and let them decide what to do with the information. If the client is the owner of the certificate, they will not want the mistakes included. However, if the agency's client is a business or other entity, they may, depending on the purpose of the translation, find this information useful.


Local time: 21:42
English to French
+ ...
Translating Haitian Birth Certificate Mar 23, 2011

Thank you Tina and Jeff, now I know how to go forward.


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