Is electronic original document good enough?
Thread poster: Peng Liu

Peng Liu
Australia
Local time: 04:10
Chinese to English
+ ...
Jul 11, 2012

In recent years, scanned or other electronic form documents have become more and more popular. My question is - is this good enough when it comes to legal document, certificate, licence translation ,and etc?
With the help of PS and other graphic software, forging an E document is much easier than forging on paper, and in most cases, there is no trace of forging.
Foreign driving licence, academic certificate, and other legal docs can be forged, emailed to translator and then become "certified" document. I call this process "document laundering".
Is there anyone sharing my concern? Hands up if you have any solution.


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 11:10
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes Jul 11, 2012

I can only speak for North America but I use electronic documents attached to my certified translations all the time. It is up to the client to show or submit the original upon request to the end client (government agency, university etc.). I can't be expected to be able to tell if a document is forged, that is also the responsibility of the client and it is the end client's responsibility to compare it with, and verify, the original. Some important documents have hidden text, background patterns or colors that will show up under special lights or on a photocopier. I have never come across any case where I suspected the document to be forged but I suppose it's possible.

 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:10
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
How do you certify such documents? Jul 11, 2012

emailed to translator and then become "certified" document


How would they become "certified documents"? Are you using the right process?
Katalin


 

Peng Liu
Australia
Local time: 04:10
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Certified translation doen by NAATI certifited translator Jul 11, 2012

In Australia, only NAATI certified translator can do translations for legal purposes. It is called "certified translation", which can be accepted by government, court and virtually any organizations in Australia. Translations done in other coutries, in most cases, are not recognized especially by immigration department and court.

 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:10
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Rules for "certification"? Jul 13, 2012

Peng Liu wrote:

In Australia, only NAATI certified translator can do translations for legal purposes. It is called "certified translation", which can be accepted by government, court and virtually any organizations in Australia. Translations done in other coutries, in most cases, are not recognized especially by immigration department and court.


I am sure NAATI has rules on how to certify a translation, doesn't it?
What I am getting at is that you are only certifying the translation of the document you received, which is a copy (not the original), and I assume in the certification text you are explicitly saying "I make no representation regarding the authenticity of the document presented for translation" or something like that, which means the original does not become certified.

Katalin


 

QUOI  Identity Verified

Chinese to English
+ ...
In general... Jul 13, 2012

With Katalin.

You certify your translation to be true and correct but give no warrant as to the authenticity or otherwise of the document(s) submitted for translation. You may further add to your disclaimer words to the effect of “this is a true and correct translation of the document(s) shown and reported to me as the original (or whatever is applicable to the situation)”.

[Edited at 2012-07-13 05:30 GMT]


 

Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:10
English to Russian
+ ...
digital signing Jul 13, 2012

... Hands up if you have any solution.


of the documents is widely used all over the world

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_signature


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:10
Russian to English
+ ...
Certifying documents in the US Jul 13, 2012

A translator is not supposed to translate documents from their copies, e-mailed copies, faxed, etc., only from original documents. Then he or she certifies the translation by executing a Certificate of Accuracy signed by the translator before a Notary Public. It has nothing to do with any associations and certificates, in the United States. This is the standard procedure. It is different in many other countries. In Canada you have to be a certified translator to translate certain types of documents.

 

Peng Liu
Australia
Local time: 04:10
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
JP(Justice of Peace) is the one to certify authenticity in Australia Jul 19, 2012

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:

Peng Liu wrote:

In Australia, only NAATI certified translator can do translations for legal purposes. It is called "certified translation", which can be accepted by government, court and virtually any organizations in Australia. Translations done in other coutries, in most cases, are not recognized especially by immigration department and court.


I am sure NAATI has rules on how to certify a translation, doesn't it?
What I am getting at is that you are only certifying the translation of the document you received, which is a copy (not the original), and I assume in the certification text you are explicitly saying "I make no representation regarding the authenticity of the document presented for translation" or something like that, which means the original does not become certified.

Katalin


In Australia, JP and some other professionals such as solicitor, teacher, police can certify the authenticity, but they don't care about the content, as long as you can prove the copy if from the original. So, I think the best way is for translator to do a JP certified copy.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:10
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Certified translation, not certified document Jul 19, 2012

Peng Liu wrote:
In Australia, only NAATI certified translator can do translations for legal purposes. It is called "certified translation", which can be accepted by government, court and virtually any organizations in Australia. Translations done in other coutries, in most cases, are not recognized especially by immigration department and court.


Brazil is one of the few countries that has a federal law on translations for official/legal purposes, the gist of the setup being explained here.

I was in contact with a Brazilian colleague living in Australia, who is certified by the NAATI. After rummaging through the Australian government web pages, to our surprise we discovered that they recommend using NAATI-certified translators for the official use of foreign documents, however it is not an absolute requirement. This explains why they always accepted my Brazilian sworn translations into English. Perhaps they wouldn't accept the US-style ones, where any translation by a John Doe attached to his affidavit that he is fully bilingual in the concerned languages will usually do.

Anyway, the Brazilian government has certified me as a translator between English and Portuguese, however it has not asserted that I am any kind of a document expert. I prefer to envision the situation as if I were either translating a legitimate document for its rightful purposes or an obvious forgery as evidence for a lawsuit, however ascertaining the difference being completely out of my scope.

Though the law on certified/sworn translation - where there is any - states the criteria for a translation to be deemed acceptable, it obviously doesn't cover the authenticity of the original document; this is up to the receiving authority. So if the receiving authority would accept a document drawn in the national language as an electronic file, a certified translation from such a file should be okay. Supposedly they have the need and the means to ascertain whether it's legit or not.


 

QUOI  Identity Verified

Chinese to English
+ ...
Justice of the Peace Jul 19, 2012

Your understanding is not entirely correct. The laws regarding JP administration and oath in NSW can be found here: http://www.jp.nsw.gov.au/jp/forjps/performing_your_role_as_jp/frequently_asked_questions.html


Peng Liu wrote:

In Australia, JP and some other professionals such as solicitor, teacher, police can certify the authenticity, but they don't care about the content, as long as you can prove the copy if from the original. So, I think the best way is for translator to do a JP certified copy.


[Edited at 2012-07-19 11:27 GMT]


 


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