Off topic: Translating multilingual documents (passport)
Thread poster: NicolaRieg

Local time: 16:41
Spanish to German
+ ...
Oct 28, 2014

Dear translator friends,

I was asked by a friend to help him translate his passport and a Certificate of capacity to contract marriage from German to Korean. This is not a big deal, I just wondered what to do about the fact that both documents are written in several languages:

e.g. Familienname/Nom de famille/surname... etc.

is it sufficient to write a sentence on top of the translated document indicating that each line is writen in German/French/English?

Thanks for your help.


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Salam Alrawi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:41
English to Arabic
+ ...
I would Oct 28, 2014

I would.

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SylvieLH  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:41
Member (2011)
Russian to French
+ ...
I do so Oct 28, 2014

Hello !

I ofter happen to translate official identity documents written in two or three languages. I always write a sentence at the top or bottom of my translation : * This translation is made from English / Russian (I translate from English and Russian to French)

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Robin Levey
Local time: 12:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes I do, but I give additional information Oct 28, 2014

Although in official documents such as passports it is reasonable to assume the multiple languages all say and mean exactly the same thing, there may be situations where that cannot be guaranteed.

I have very occasionally translated official documents from Belgium - the official gazette, “Moniteur belge”, for example, which is bilingual French/Flemish. I am fluent in French, but my Flemish doesn't extend beyond ordering a beer on the sea-front in Oostende.

Like other contributors here, I add a note naming the source languages.

But my note also states clearly which one of those languages I have used as the source for my translation into the target language. That way, it cannot be inferred that any error in my translation could be attributed to an inadequate understanding of a language (Flemish, in this case), or to subtle semantic differences between the versions in the different source languages.

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