Signatures in a translation
Thread poster: inesventu
Sep 28, 2011

Hi,
I'm translating my first legal documents. What is the correct way of dealing with signatures in a translation? Do I type in place "signature"? I would apreciate any advice.
Thank you


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Paul Greer  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 03:23
Member
Swedish to English
[My] Best Practise Sep 29, 2011

Hi there,

for what it's worth, my own Best Practice is to keep it simple, thus;



End of text.

Signed

[Mr. Bean] - or, infrequently - [Illegible]

Date and place


Square brackets used to indicate the transcription or interpretation of a physical signature, using said "illegible" if required.

I do a fair amount of translation of contracts, sometimes with a handful of signatories and I've not had anything thrown back at me because of that.

I hope this helps you. Good luck!

// Paul


[Edited at 2011-09-29 00:21 GMT]


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Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:23
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
details Sep 29, 2011

Paul Greer wrote:
Signed
[Mr. Bean] - or, infrequently - [Illegible]
.....
Square brackets used to indicate the transcription or interpretation of a physical signature, using said "illegible" if required.
I do a fair amount of translation of contracts, sometimes with a handful of signatories and I've not had anything thrown back at me because of that.


Hi Ines,

My experience is similar to Paul's; I've been translating legal documents (contracts, personal & academic records, etc.) for 18 years without quality complaints, following just a few simple rules:
1. never leave anything out;
2. never make guesses;
3. for illegible text, type [Illegible];
4. for notes and signatories, type [Handwritten note], [Signature], [Initials], etc.;
5. always indicate transcription or translator's note;
6. before each delivery, physically compare the source text and your final translation, in print.

About 3, 4 and 5: I have used the same method all these years; using square brackets + a font different from the rest of the text (I can't demonstrate it here) + Italics. E.g.:

[Signature]
..............................
Chairman of the Board

I've heard of colleagues actually using [Illegible signature] but I find that redundant (has anyone ever seen a legible signature...?) ; )

About 6: This is always recommended, even if you are 100% confident that you did a perfect job. The mind is a funny instrument. We tend to see what we want to see...

About 1: Of course, it is always important to produce accurate translation with utmost attention to detail, but precision can be crucial when it comes to legal translation (as opposed to, say, song lyrics or movie subtitles).
The only time a job was returned to me for missing text was because I did not include the text written on the rubber stamp of a company, i.e. "Makers LLC, 123 Long Road, Big City"... So, although I didn't have to translate that part (being a proper name and address), I still had to type it up and it looked like this:

[Stamp: Makers LLC, 123 Long Road, Big City]

The same applies to letterheads and seals.
Lately, I have encountered clients that ask for this sort of "minor" detail to be copied and pasted in from the original, which a) makes the translation look more like the original, b) saves money for the client (since these bits are not included in the word count) and c) saves us time.

Hope this helps.
Ildikó


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
Illegible signature Sep 29, 2011

I've heard of colleagues actually using [Illegible signature] but I find that redundant (has anyone ever seen a legible signature...?)

Yes, I'm one of those. And yes, now and then I actually do see a legible signature. If it's legible then I put the name. Example: "S/ John Jones".


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
See also Sep 29, 2011

inesventu wrote:
I'm translating my first legal documents.


See also: http://www.proz.com/forum/translation_theory_and_practice/208639.html


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inesventu
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Sep 29, 2011

Thanks you guys are great this is very helpful!!!

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reply Oct 2, 2011

Thanks for this great help..............


-----------------------------------------

Professional Translation Services


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inesventu
TOPIC STARTER
What to do about a black blob? and other things. Oct 5, 2011

So, I'm doing very well with my translations, thank you for your help so far. Now I've encountered something new to me.

Question 1: In a hand filled-out marriage certificate the word Salem sits right next to a previous word that the person crossed out completely, so now it's a black blob, what do I do about that? [illegible black blob] ha, ha, seriously not sure what to do?

Question 2: What do I do when something is partially legible, you know you can make out half of it, wether it's a signature or a stamp or anything?

[Edited at 2011-10-05 17:33 GMT]


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