Letterhead and seals how to translate?
Thread poster: inesventu
Sep 28, 2011

Hi,
I'm translating a letter from a university for a client to the spanish embassy. What do I do about the logo of the university on the letterhead and a seal at the bottom of the letter. What is the proper formatting or way to include this in the letter and do I need to translate both those things?
Thank you I would really apreciate any help with this issue,
Thanks!


 

Francisco Pavez (X)  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Square brackets to the rescue Sep 28, 2011

In Canada, I have always done

[Logo: The logo of the University of Blah, blah, blah], and

[Seal: The seal of the university of Blah, blah, blah with the words: Lorem Ipsum]

Has worked fine mainly because they are not the part of the document that transmits any actual information.

Hope it helps,

-Francisco


 

Marian Popa (X)  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:37
Romanian to English
+ ...
Not necessary to translate Sep 29, 2011

Usually you do not need to translate the logo and the seal, treat as Nominal names. There are exceptions of course, and you need to pay special attention to the seal, which depending on the situation might require translation, case in which you can follow a previous answer

 

Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:37
Member (2009)
French to English
Agreed Sep 29, 2011

Francisco Pavez wrote:

In Canada, I have always done

[Logo: The logo of the University of Blah, blah, blah], and

[Seal: The seal of the university of Blah, blah, blah with the words: Lorem Ipsum]

Has worked fine mainly because they are not the part of the document that transmits any actual information.

Hope it helps,

-Francisco


This is generally my procedure as well. You can also check with the client to see if they have a preference.

Tip: Wikipedia and/or Google are very helpful for decrypting partially illegible city names.


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Marian Sep 29, 2011

I find it a bit difficult to follow all you are saying, but to state that it is not necessary to translate something is flat wrong. As a professional you must translate EVERYTHING, no exceptions.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:37
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
What I do Sep 29, 2011

inesventu wrote:
I'm translating a letter from a university for a client to the Spanish embassy. What do I do about the logo of the university on the letterhead and a seal at the bottom of the letter. What is the proper formatting or way to include this in the letter and do I need to translate both those things?


There is a small chance that the Spanish immigration web site would have the answer somewhere on it -- or possibly the Spanish embassy's web site. Have a look.

I'm not a sworn translator in my native country, so I do these types of jobs only if a sworn translation isn't required.

When I translate such official documents, my approach is:

* If the text in the source text is legible but forms part of a logo, I include it in the description of the logo, e.g. [coat of arms with motto "Lorum Ipsum"]. If the motto or slogan is in the source language, I also provide a translation, e.g. [coat of arms with motto "Ons glo", which means "We believe"]. I do not provide translation for Latin mottos. For an illegible seal I write [large round seal] or similar. For a signature I write [signature, illegible] even if I can read the signature.

* If the text is legible in the source text, then it must be retyped into the target text -- either as-is or as a translation, depending on circumstances. If the stationery provider put a tiny little paper code at the top or bottom of the page, then that goes into the translation too. Or if someone had made a handwritten comment anywhere on the page (e.g. a page number or a check mark), then that goes into the translation too.

* I translate the translatable parts of university names. In other words, if the university name is "Universiteit van Koekenaap" in the source text, I translate it as "University of Koekenaap", even if I know for a fact that the university's name does not exist in the target language.

* My source texts' date format is often different from that of the intended reader, so what I do with dates is to type the original numbers and then add a wordy version in brackets next to it, e.g. 80/01/05 [which, if a date, means 5 January 1980]. I don't simply change 80/01/05 to 01/05/80 because some readers (e.g. embassy staff) might query it as a possible typing error.

I format the translation so that the elements are roughly on the same place on the page as in the source text. I also try to get fonts that look similar to the font of the source text (but only broadly so, e.g. a serif font for a serif font, an italic font for an italic font, a blackletter font for a blackletter font, and Courier New for any typewriter text, although handwritten text is transcribed in a normal font, not a "handwriting"-lookalike font).

What I do is I first type the source text completely in Notepad, then I take a screenshot of the source text and use it as a background in an MS Word file, so that I can reorder the typed source text on top of it in the appropriate places, and then I remove the background again. Only then do I translate the file (with my CAT tool). And of course I then provide both MS Word and PDF versions to the client.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:37
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
See also Sep 29, 2011

inesventu wrote:
I'm translating a letter from a university for a client to the Spanish embassy.


See also: http://www.proz.com/forum/translation_theory_and_practice/208642.html


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 13:37
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I keep it short Sep 29, 2011

Often logos and seals are very small and should not take up much more space in the translation than they do in the original. Also, I often put the heading information in a table (with invisible grid) in order to get everything in the right position on the page. Therefore I keep it short, for example:

Seal (underlined):
Department
of Justice

In the next or previous column of the table there may be other information that needs to be more or less on the same line.

I do translate the text of the seal or logo unless it cannot be translated - in that case I provide a translator's note at the bottom.


 

inesventu
TOPIC STARTER
I'm so grateful Sep 29, 2011

Hey,
I'm very grateful for all your advice I'll be working on these translations this weekend and I feel a lot more confident. Thank you,


 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:37
German to English
+ ...
+1 on what Francisco, Henry & Samuel said Sep 30, 2011

One difference is that for signatures I simply write [handwritten signature], but I do use [illegible] for other handwritten notations, numbers I can't read, smudged seals, etc.

 


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Letterhead and seals how to translate?

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