What a certified document translation looks like? | Keith Elliott

What a certified document translation looks like?

A certified document translation can look many different ways.
It may look like the original. It may not.

Each translator has his or her own own way of formatting the work and following the process.

Despite this, its is essential that nothing be added nor omitted during the process of a certified document translation. However, because some official acts, deeds instruments or documents contain stamps, seals, logos, etc. a certified translator may wish to submit all that information in a reprogrammed fashion, systematically disclosing all the relevant information from the source into the target language, on a line to line basis, or grid like basis without paying particular attention to the visual arrangement of the document from which he is conducting his translation.

In a word he simplifies the information, disregarding fonts, colours, shapes and positioning on the page. By transposing the original to the translated version, he hopes to eliminate extraneous elements. The visual result is a standard document, containing all the original information now converted into a new language, without any material resemblance to the original source document.

Other translators make a point a maintaining a high visual similarity of representation. These are sometimes known as optic-facsimile translations. Inasmuch as this may be within his technical capacity, he or she may try to make the one look like the other. Use of screenshots may thus enhance the certified translation, via logos, coats of arms, insignia and symbols. Colour and fonts will also be adapted to sustain an affinity with the source document.

Bearing in mind that this is more time-consuming, the process is not based on merely aesthetic satisfaction, but on closeness of authenticity. Like a handwriting expert who looks at all features on the page he is analysing, here the translator is trying to capture a maximum of signs and distinguishing marks.

Both of the above ways of producing certified translations will be accredited by administrative departments and organisations, once it has been observed that they bear the stamp and signature of a court designated sworn translator who has sworn “to contribute and lend his assistance to Justice, to fulfill his mission, to make his report, and to give his opinion upon his honor and conscience”.
It may be that a certified translation lack a certain amount of information present in the source document.
An example would be a bank statement bearing an advertisement on insurance products and taking up half the page. It is the sole responsibility of the certified translator to choose to eliminate redundancy or irrelevance where he sees it. In that case he will mention that the translation is synoptic; namely a summary of the source document, entered as a footnote to his translation bearing all the usual statutory disclosures concerning the Court of Appeals, his name, the date, a number and so on.

A page has two sides. If you do scan a back-to-back document to a certified translator, do mention to him that it has that particular format, and that it is not two separate pages of print. The certified translator will prefer to respect that original data arrangement of the source document, legalizing both sides of the same singe sheet of translation, in unison with the source document which he will then certify in an equivalent way. This does not mean, however, that his fee will be for a single page.

The appearance and colour of the seal and stamp applied to the source document and to its certified translation are left to the discretion of the sworn translator. However these have to contain mention of his or her qualification as an official translator and of the Court of Appeals to which he or she has been currently assigned. Certified translated documents from the United States of America often bear a Notary Public’s seal.
That seal discloses the date his or her commission expires. An added security for a certified translator may be to apply an ‘invisible’ embossed stamp as well as his ink rubber stamp. For the efficient running of all judicial and administrative agencies and institutions, the certified translator’s mission is to ascertain not only that his assignment has been faithfully executed, but that his work has not been nor will be, counterfeited.

Keep learning more about Certified translations in France.

Certified translator, English / French, Charente

Keith Elliott ©2019
Certified translator, English / French, Charente