FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is a sworn/certified translation?
Sworn translation (also called a public, legal, official, or certified translation) of a document is endorsed by the signature and Seal of a Sworn Translator who is authorized by the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Justice to translate official documents. These translations are regarded as having formal status by the authorities. Sworn/Certified translation means that the translated document (into the target language – target text) is a true, accurate and complete language version of the document issued in another foreign language (source language – source text).
2. Who is a Sworn Translator?
Sworn Translator is a ministerial official with the authorisation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice, as mentioned above and is entered into the list of sworn translators/interpreters kept by the Minister of Justice of the country of language qualification. In Poland, the list of sworn translators is available on https://bip.ms.gov.pl/pl/rejestry-i-ewidencje/tlumacze-przysiegli/lista-tlumaczy-przysieglych/search.html
3. Can a Notary Public certify a translation?
No. Even if the Notary Public is educated in the foreign language used in the document, he or she may not certify translations. This is due to the fact that translations are not an authority duty. However, the Notary is allowed to notarize the signature of a translator who attests to the accuracy of the translation.
4. What is the difference between a ‘notarized‘ and a ‘certified’ document?
Certification of a translated document is no more no less, as mentioned in point 1 above, than a creation of same document just in another language followed by a certification of these translation by stamping the document with an official Seal of a Sworn Translator. For that reason the document has to be already created to be translated, whereas the ‘notarization’ is a creation of a new document, in the presence of a Notary. Sworn/Certified translation does not require any further notarization or legalization, as it is already stamped by the Seal of a Sworn Translator.
5. Can there be mistakes in a translated document?
Yes. Translators are humans. If there is a mistake in the source text document for example in the address or in the name, a Sworn/Certified Translator cannot correct them. He or she may make a note of a mistake in comments, but a general rule of thumb is that mistake has to be repeated in the translated – certified text. Other types of mistakes are either spelling mistakes, mistranslations, inconsistencies, grammar and syntax errors. Don’t worry if you see a spelling mistake(s) in your certified translation of a document it will be replaced free of charge and a new, certified document will be issued, whereas the previously issued certified translation of a document will be null and void. More important are mistranslation errors due to lack of professional knowledge (don’t expect average translators to have in depth knowledge of a foreign legal system), or due to translations being made by the machine – so called CAT (Computer Assisted Translations), that I do not approve of. While it is true that they do speed up translators work, however they do not use a common sense and do not read words in their context, for that reason mistranslating the text. It is of the essence while translating a legally binding agreements to be certain beyond reasonable doubt what the parties agreed for. In the event of a legal dispute in relation to meaning of the words or phrases used in the document, the translator duty is to the court and not the parties to explain in plain language what the original document states and what the intentions of the parties were.
6. Can a Translator change the translated text?
No. Not in sworn/certified translations – they must be a mirrored version of the document in both languages (source and target language). Yes in standard, non certified translation – it is called a proofreading or correction.
7. Proofreading , editing and correction of a target language text.
It is a process whereas the text already translated by another translator is further assessed by a language specialist, native speaker or a person with a professional knowledge in the field of subject/content to be translated, in the context of mistranslations, inconsistencies and incorrect use of words. The common mistakes made in translated text are corrected to match their meaning in the target language. This is hands on experience of a professional, who reads the text and uses his or hers own personal knowledge, gained through education and a professional work in the target language.
8. What are the modes of translation?
Modes of translation relate to the delivery time for a translated text in accordance with their volume. Days mean working days, that is from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Delivery for a sworn/certified translation is by email in a form of the pdf document, followed by their delivery via post or a courier. Delivery charges will be added to the invoice. Please note that for a certified translation to be valid you need to hold an original of the translated document with a Seal of Sworn Translator. There are cases where a pdf document is acceptable – for example in the UK, but not in Poland.
9. What is a standard volume of a document(s) to be translated?
Volume of document means number of pages. Standard volume of a document to be translated is calculated at approx. 5 pages a day (1 page is 1600 characters with spaces).
10. In which format shall documents be submitted?
The standard format for the documents submission is Ms Office or pdf. Word Presentations, tables or other graphic designs will be accepted but will be additionally charged at around 10% of the price that would be charged for a translation of same text. This is mainly due to the fact that apart from translating there is a vast amount of work to be done on the format of a document.
11. How are a sworn/certified translation priced and what is the basis for their fee calculation?
They are priced based on the number of characters in a source text, and one page is an equivalent to a 1125 characters with spaces – this is a flat calculation method for all Sworn/Certified Translators in Poland, although most translator will charge for characters in a target language – I do not tend to follow this rule because I do charge up front and it is not possible for me to know how many characters there will be in a target language. Usually in a translation from English into Polish language the number of characters increases of app. 10%.
12. What is the price for a certified and non certified translation and other services?
Prices are individually negotiated, and depend from a type of document, mode of translation and volume of document(s). I am flexible whether to charge per word, per character or per page. While assessing a document to be translated – either certified or non certified – I will reply via email with the offer, that can be negotiated and only upon prior payment the translation work will start. The price for a legal consultation, proofreading, writing of particulars of claim, writing of general legal documents, writing of an agreement/contract in the English language or other services is also individually negotiated. I do not charge for initial evaluation of document(s). If it is in relation to a legal consultation on various legal subjects the price will reflect the amount of work that has to be done and the time that has to be spent on a particular project. Interpretation in person is possible, please contact me for further details.
13. What is an estimated cost and time for certified translation delivery?
This will vary depending from the country a translation has to be send, the weight of documents, and a type of delivery itself. In addition, in relation to certified translation this will differ from a country that I will be at the time of documents translation. That being said, the standard cost is around £5-10 for European countries and £5-15 for others by post. The courier delivery will be around £15-50. Delivery price in Poland is around PLN 6-40 zl. Standard delivery time for the UK is up to 6 days, to the USA is 13 days, to the EU is 4-7 days, to the PL is 1-4 days, excluding Saturdays and Sundays and public holidays. In every case I do send a pdf document to your email address immediately upon translation completion.
14. What type of English language will be used in translation?
There are three choices: British (UK), American (USA) or European English (EU). I specialize in legal translations into British English in accordance with the laws of the United Kingdom. However, any legal translation will be translated to match the country that they are intended to be presented and/or submitted. There are significant language differences between USA and UK legal terminology and EU legislation. The most precise of course is the British English. Please remember that due to different legislation in each of countries, in most cases a legal, certified translation from Polish into English will not be the same as if a document will be written from scratch pursuant to current laws of a target language country. To achieve that an agreement or contract or any other type of document has to be drafted in a target language. That is why I also offer lawyer-linguist and consultation services. You are welcome to submit your own terminology that you would like for it to be used during translation process, subject to prior approval of terminology by me.
15. What is a document assessment and evaluation?
Document(s) evaluation is a process, whereby I do read submitted text and assess its terminology and estimate a time that has to be input into translation. Some assessment are free of charge, some are not, depends from a document volume. Imagine that if I have to spend 15 minutes free of charge to evaluate and assess a document, and I have 5-10 documents a day, then I will have no time left in a day to conduct my business. Free assessment and evaluation is applicable only to documents of 1 to 3 pages. I do reserve the right to reply and provide a free quotation only to genuine request serious in nature. Please while contacting me specify the mode for translation and/or services of your choice. Although office hours apply this does not mean that I don’t carry on with my work until late hours. In an emergency situations for interpretation I may only assist if I am at a country of an emergency.
16. Who holds an intellectual property rights to this website?
I do. All rights to this website are reserved and copying parts or whole of its content is prohibited. It is not allowed without my expressed permission in writing to create links to this website or to present it in media. Especially prohibited is the use of the definitions created on this website.
17. Who holds an intellectual property rights to a translation?
I do. The translator is the owner of intellectual property rights arising from the creation of a text from which the profit can be made. If you intend for intellectual property rights to be transferred there is a need to create a separate legal document, outlining the terms and conditions for a waiver of rights. If you do intend to use a sworn/certified translation of a commonly available document you may do so for your own use.
18. Can I contact you to discuss my project?
Yes, absolutely, I do encourage to be in touch during translation process. This is mainly because intentions of the author in the source text are not always clear, words have double meaning, and it is always better to be re assured of an effect that chosen words or phrases may have. There are times where a source text simply does not make sense in which case a translation will reflect this. This is mostly done where a source text was already pre translated from another language. I do encounter a lot of Polish documents that were translated from another languages. It does show.
19. What are the terms and conditions for translation?
Terms and conditions for translation are as stated above and further provisions may be implemented, by either Party, in which case they must be submitted via email and in writing. Consultations via phone are possible after prior consent and payment.
20. How to make a payment?
I charge up front and require a pdf confirmation of a bank transfer order, that has to be sent to an email account specified in the contact tab. The account number for payment will be sent in a separate email together with the quote.