How to properly translate a document that has 2 languages.
Thread poster: Tanya Blinova

Tanya Blinova
Canada
Jul 7, 2016

hello,

I've received an order for a translation from Russian > English. But the original document (diploma) contains 2 languages Kazakh and Russian. One line in Kazakh and another below in Russian.

Can you please advise how should translation look like? i.e. do I keep Kazakh terms in the translation or just add some notice and what kind of?

Thank you!


 

Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:31
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
What I usually do Jul 8, 2016

Hello, Tanya.

When I'm in this situation I insert this:

[text in Kazakh]

An I warn the customer (agency or not) that they probably need to seek another translator for these words in Kazakh.

Hope this helps!


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:31
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Do they say the same thing? Jul 8, 2016

Tanya Blinova wrote:
I've received an order for a translation from Russian > English. But the original document (diploma) contains 2 languages Kazakh and Russian. One line in Kazakh and another below in Russian.

Can you please advise how should translation look like? i.e. do I keep Kazakh terms in the translation or just add some notice and what kind of?

It sounds as though it might be a bilingual document. In which case you just need the translation - of one or other of the languages, but not both as you'd just be repeating yourself. Your translation is supposed to be a stand-alone document that makes no reference to the original language. The reader doesn't need to know that it was in Russian, Kazakh, or both.

Unless your client has other views on the requirements. He or she certainly needs to be consulted, even if only for information.


 

B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:31
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Check with client Jul 8, 2016

You need to make the client aware that, as you would be translating only the Russian and not the Kazakh version, they need to decide which of the source languages needs to be treated as dominant, from the point of view of any possible discrepancies between the Russian and Kazakh versions, and that language should be used as the exclusive source text for translation into English. (If they decide on Kazakh, you will be out of a job.)

Your translation, if it is for official purposes, should bear a note saying that it has been translated from Russian. It should be a separate document, not English as an extra line added below each line of the source document.

[Edited at 2016-07-08 10:14 GMT]


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:31
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
What I used to do Jul 8, 2016

I was a sworn translator in Belgium for many years and I used to have a lot of those as Belgium has 3 official languages. In these cases, I always started the translation by saying (Sworn translation from X to Y), X being the language I was translating from (French, as I don’t translate from Dutch or German, the other two official languages) and Y my native language (Portuguese).

 

philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Do you have different rates for Russian and Kazakh? Jul 8, 2016

If so, I would translate the more expensive languageicon_smile.gif

 

Tanya Blinova
Canada
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for help Jul 8, 2016

Thanks all for your comments. As I'm not familiar with Kazakh I can't tell for sure, but common sense tells me that those versions are identical and it's simply a bilingual document.

I usually add to all my translations [Official translation from Russian to English] at the beginning of the document and also clarify in the affidavit what language it was translated from and to. In this case, I also planned to add the line at the end: The original document is issued in Russian and Kazakh

I will consult with the client on the preferred option if she'd like to have [text in Kazakh] inserted or not and that she might also need to look for a Kazakh translator to cover that part.

From the other hand reading Sheila's Wilson comment that the translation is a stand-alone document without reference to the original it probably doesn't make sense to insert the [text in Kazakh] every time I see it. As I mentioned this is diploma and on the page with all the disciplines every discipline is written twice in Kazakh and Russian, so the translation might look too crowded and be hard to read.


 

Tanya Blinova
Canada
TOPIC STARTER
What do you mean? Jul 8, 2016

B D Finch wrote:

Your translation, if it is for official purposes, should bear a note saying that it has been translated from Russian. It should be a separate document, not English as an extra line added below each line of the source document.

[Edited at 2016-07-08 10:14 GMT]


I'm not sure I follow what you mean here. Maybe you can help me with an example or elaborate?


 

Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 07:31
English to Russian
Because you were instructed to translate from Russian into English, Jul 10, 2016

you should make an English text as translated from Russian (as if there are no languages other than Russian in the original).
Just add a phrase "Translation from Russian" at the top of your translation. This exempts you from any questions about other source languages (if any).

Since you do not work with the Kazakh language, formally you cannot even state that it is issued in Kazakh. How do you know that it is Kazakh but not Latvian...

[Edited at 2016-07-10 21:44 GMT]


 

Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:31
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Context is everything, dear Stepan Jul 11, 2016

Stepan Konev wrote:

How do you know that it is Kazakh but not Latvian...


I imagine the diploma is probably issued by some university in Kazakhstan...icon_smile.gif


 

Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 07:31
English to Russian
Wherever it is issued Jul 11, 2016

If you are not formally a Language translator, you cannot identify it. Even if sworn on Bible by your client or if you feel/believe/guess/suspect/automatically identify by Google. Imagine that your native language is Swahili and you translate from Chinese. You do not see the difference between English and French. You see Canada as an issuing country. You can read from Internet that Canadians use English and French, but we remember that you cannot differ between the two languages... So, issuing authority is not a good context clue to undertake such responsibility. _Formally_icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2016-07-11 12:14 GMT]


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:31
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Sworn/Certified? Jul 11, 2016

I am a sworn translator, licensed for English as such by the Brazilian government. Yes, unlike most countries, we DO have a law on this, and such sworn translations are required in Brazil for ANY official purpose. (Of course, any such translator is licensed by default in Portuguese - the national language.)

Okay, while I am an officially accredited as a competent translator into/from English, I also speak Italian, French and Spanish... however for my personal use. Many years ago I made a decision that I would not translate these three languages professionally, grounded on the awareness that I should study each of them a few more years before attempting to do so.

As I did not take the exam for a sworn translator in any of these three languages, I am not officially recognized as being aware of them.

So if I receive a bi- or multilingual document, I only acknowledge EN and PT. I mention the presence of text in ANY other language as "other language", regardless of whether it's IT/FR/ES that I can readily identify, and could even translate, though not officially... or a completely unknown language.

The point is that I am not officially licensed to recognize any of these three, so I refrain from doing it. Of course, I can tell the client that there are parts of the document in some other language and tell them what language it is, but this will be rather a personal tip than professional advice.

To illustrate further, my extremely basic knowledge of PL lets me differentiate PL from CZ, but I can't translate anything from either. However I cannot identify a text in Kazakh, Uzbek, whatever. Likewise, I'm unable to differentiate ideograms in JP, CH, KO, etc. Can't read Greek nor Cyrillic chars.

So I don't open that door, ever!


 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 10:01
English to Hindi
+ ...
You could check with the end client Jul 13, 2016

I think Sheila is right, it could be a bilingual document. I often translate diplomas and degrees issued by Indian universities. Most of these are bilingual in Hindi and English, with identical text in each language in the same document. The only things that require translation is the name of the person, courses taken, name of college, and such personalized information.

When I translate such documents into English, I only reproduce such text once in English.

You could easily confirm if the Kazakh text is the same as the Russian text by asking the end client (the person whose diploma certificate you are translating). He would know at least enough Kazakh to tell whether the document is bilingual or not. If so, you can translate only the Russian part. If you are working through an agency, you could ask the agency to check with their client about this.

May be, you could leave a note at the end of the translation that the original is bilingual in Kazakh and Russian (if that is indeed the case).


 


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