Can you certify my translation? April 27, 2009Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Translation Sites.
Certified translations are probably the most misunderstood concept in translation. Many countries in Europe have certified translators who have to take an exam in order to be able to certify their translations with a personalized stamp. In Germany they are called “staatlich geprüfte Übersetzer.” There is no such thing in the United States. To quote Denzel Dyer, “In general, a certified translation (in the US) is one to which the translator has added a statement that the translation is true, accurate, and correct “to the best of my knowledge and ability.” The statement may be made under oath, or “under penalty of perjury,” and may be notarized to confirm the identity of the person signing the statement.”
You do not need to be certified by the American Translators Association in order to certify a translation. In my case, I include my M.A. with my name and indicate that I am an active member of the ATA. You are merely certifying that the translation has been translated “to the best of [your] knowledge and ability.” Any translator can produce a translation which is correct to the best of his or her knowledge and belief.
Many times an individual will contact me and need a certified copy of a birth certificate for immigration or legal purposes. Just the other day I translated a birth certificate and vaccination booklet entries for a private individual. Another client frequently asks me to certify my translation of medical reports for a clinical trial. Depending on what the client needs, I add a cover sheet with my declaration that I have translated it “to the best of my knowledge and ability” and take it to a notary public, who also signs it and stamps it. Note that this declaration must be attached to the translation, with individual pages of the translation initialed. That requires delivery of the actual paper, so I usually mail it to the client. I charge a fee for the time I spend driving to and from the notary, the notary’s fee, and printing and postage costs.
Here are some possible formulations you could use:
I, [insert name here], a translator of proven expertise in translating German to English and an active member of the American Translators Association, do hereby certify that the foregoing is, to the best of my knowledge and ability, a true and correct English translation of the original German documents.
In Solon, Ohio, USA, this ___________ day of ______________________________.
STATE OF OHIO
I, the undersigned Notary Public, do hereby certify that [Jill R. Sommer] appeared before me and acknowledged that she is an active member of the American Translators Association and that she executed this document of her own free act and deed.
In witness whereof, I have set my hand and seal, this ___________ day of ______________________________.
I, [insert name here], a translator of proven expertise in translating German to English and an active member of the American Translators Association, do hereby certify that this document, which I have translated on behalf of [client name], is, to the best of my knowledge and ability, a true and correct English translation of the German document:
I, ________, declare under penalty of perjury that I understand the German language and the English language; that I am certified by the American Translators Association for translation from German to English; and that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, the statements in the English language in the attached translation of ___________, consisting of ____ pages which I have initialed, have the same meanings as the statements in the German language in the original document, a copy of which I have examined.
Does anyone have any other formulations they would like to share? Everyone probably does. Feel free to add them in the comments. I sometimes feel the comments are the best part of a blog post, because I learn so much from you guys.