Certified translation of a certificate in 2 languages
Thread poster: Rebecca Hendry

Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:49
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 24, 2014

Hello all,

I've been asked to do a certified Spanish>English translation of a degree certificate from a university in Galicia. So far so good! However, the certificate is bilingual, with Galician in one column and Spanish in the other. I can't translate (and I certainly cannot certify my translation of) the Galician, but what's the approach here? Should I simply add a note in square brackets, something along the lines of "[text in a language other than Spanish]"? Or is there another method that is usually used?

This must crop up quite often so hopefully someone has experience and advice! I searched the forums but couldn't find anything about the topic.

Cheers,

Becky.


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 01:49
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Client/agency Jun 24, 2014

Have you asked your client or agency?

 

Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:49
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Private individual Jun 24, 2014

Lincoln Hui wrote:

Have you asked your client or agency?


Hi Lincoln,

Thanks for your reply. This is a private client and he has simply stated that only the Spanish needs to be translated. He has no links to the translation industry so presumably won't know the approaches used in certified translations.

Best wishes,

Becky.


 

Tom Gale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:49
French to English
+ ...
Should be fine to certify, no? Jun 24, 2014

I came across these on countless occasions in a former PM job. As an agency, we just certified the translation as normal in the language combination we translated. So in the case of a Spanish/Galician bilingual document, we would certify a translation from Spanish to English. So long as there was no text that appeared only in Galician, we ignored it. If the client requested, we would write a note on the declaration confirming that the original was completely bilingual, but this easier for us as we certified translations with a signature from the PM, not the translator. Maybe you could still write on your declaration that the translation is from Spanish to English and that the document holder has confirmed that it is bilingual?

As has been said in a similar thread, a translation is only really a "certified translation" in the UK if it is accepted as one. If your client is using the translation as part of a university application, it would be logical to assume that the university has come across this before.


 

Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:49
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Ignore it? Jun 24, 2014

Tom Gale wrote:

So long as there was no text that appeared only in Galician, we ignored it.



Hi Tom,

Many thanks for your detailed answer, that's really helpful.

My concern isn't really about the self-certification aspect, that's fairly straightforward. I'm really interested in the layout of the translation itself. My certified translations usually replicate the format of the original, and in this case there are large chunks which wouldn't be translated. Can you really just ignore them completely? Wouldn't that be misleading/confusing? I feel that some sort of reference to the Galician text needs to be included.

Thanks,

Becky.


 

Tom Gale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:49
French to English
+ ...
Avoid confusing the recipient Jun 24, 2014

Rebecca Hendry wrote:

Tom Gale wrote:

So long as there was no text that appeared only in Galician, we ignored it.



Hi Tom,

Many thanks for your detailed answer, that's really helpful.

My concern isn't really about the self-certification aspect, that's fairly straightforward. I'm really interested in the layout of the translation itself. My certified translations usually replicate the format of the original, and in this case there are large chunks which wouldn't be translated. Can you really just ignore them completely? Wouldn't that be misleading/confusing? I feel that some sort of reference to the Galician text needs to be included.

Thanks,

Becky.


Now that I think about it, "ignore" was probably not the best choice of words, as that sounds a bit slap dash/unprofessional, but we didn't reference it in the translation. Since the text is the same, either you're going to have to repeat the translation each time (which you could do, although that would technically be a translation from Galician to English, which I suspect you are not willing to claim you are qualified to carry out...), or you're going to have [Galician text] written all over your translation. It can then be easily inferred that the text is not the same but rather something different, to which the end recipient is going to ask: "Well, what does all this Galician text mean?"

I hope that makes sense!icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2014-06-24 19:17 GMT]


 

Mariano Saab
Argentina
Local time: 14:49
Member (2013)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I would include a reference Jun 24, 2014

In my country, it is obligatory to make a reference in the translation if there is a foreign language text. In your case we would write something like this: [There is a text in a foreign language]. It is also imperative not to say which language it is, whether you speak it or not.

 

Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:49
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Text in foreign language Jun 24, 2014

Mariano Saab wrote:

In my country, it is obligatory to make a reference in the translation if there is a foreign language text. In your case we would write something like this: [There is a text in a foreign language]. It is also imperative not to say which language it is, whether you speak it or not.


Hi Mariano,

Yes, I was thinking that I'd probably need something along those lines. I'd be interested to hear what other into-English translators use in these cases.

What is the reasoning behind not saying which language it is?

Best wishes,

Becky.


 

Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:49
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
About not confusing the recipient Jun 24, 2014

Hi again Tom,

I see your point but I'd be worried about confusing the recipient by not making a reference to the Galician text. Surely it's just as confusing if they look at the original and the translation and realise that the latter contains only half the information provided on the former?

Or perhaps I'm just overthinking it!


 

Vladimir Morozov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 19:49
Member
English to Russian
+ ...
Both texts of the original are foreign Jun 25, 2014

Mariano Saab wrote:

In my country, it is obligatory to make a reference in the translation if there is a foreign language text. In your case we would write something like this: [There is a text in a foreign language]. It is also imperative not to say which language it is, whether you speak it or not.


Wouldn't it be still more confusing to write "in a foreign language" in square brackets, given BOTH languages of the orignal document are foreign?icon_smile.gif I'd rather stick to Rebecca's initial formula [text in a language other than Spanish].


 

Tom Gale  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:49
French to English
+ ...
Make it as simple as you can Jun 25, 2014

Rebecca Hendry wrote:

Hi again Tom,

I see your point but I'd be worried about confusing the recipient by not making a reference to the Galician text. Surely it's just as confusing if they look at the original and the translation and realise that the latter contains only half the information provided on the former?

Or perhaps I'm just overthinking it!



Hi Rebecca,

Overthinking is very much a part of certified translations where niggling problems like this crop up fairly regularly. One of the aims of the company where I worked was to make it as simple as possible for the end reader to understand, which is why we only added translators notes to the translation where absolutely necessary (misspellings on original documents, for example). I think as long as you state in the certification that the document is bilingual then you will be fine. Your contact details and qualifications will be on the certification so you can always be contacted in case of any confusion.

Out of interest, did your client make any remarks about whether s/he would prefer to have a note on the translation itself?


 

Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:49
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Contact details Jun 25, 2014

Tom Gale wrote:

I think as long as you state in the certification that the document is bilingual then you will be fine. Your contact details and qualifications will be on the certification so you can always be contacted in case of any confusion.


Yes, this is right - I'll certainly make reference to it when I certify the translation.

Tom Gale wrote:

Out of interest, did your client make any remarks about whether s/he would prefer to have a note on the translation itself?


No, nothing at all. Up to me!


 

Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 12:49
German to English
+ ...
I add a note of some kind Jun 25, 2014

I have translated documents that have items in two languages, and are official papers of some kind. I try to keep to the formatting as much as possible, and where the other language occurs I will write something like [text in Turkish: not translated]. Another or additional thing is if you have a certifying letter, that you might write "Please note that as this is a French to English translation, text in other languages has not been translated." - or something similar.

 


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