I am currently applying for Canadian permanent residency and, as part of this process I need to translate my Malaysian birth certificate from Malay into English. I also require a “sworn affidavit from the translator, that the contents of the translation are a true translation and representation of the contents of the original document”. Does your translation service provide this sworn affidavit, and also a certified true copy or notarization of the translation set? I was also wondering how much would all this cost, and how long would it take? Could I just send you a scanned copy of my birth certificate?
We do provide translation services from Malay into English. Please send your documents by email or fax, and we will provide you with an estimate. Please note that we only attach a “translator’s declaration” to our translations, which is sufficient for your purposes as we are a very well known translation agency in British Columbia. We do not provide “certified true copies”. Only public notaries and lawyers offer this type of service in BC.
- Proofreaders check for accuracy, improve style and overall readability keeping in mind the tone and the message of the source document.
- Substituting words with their exact synonyms (‘over-proofreading’) does not usually improve the quality of the translation. It just makes the post-review by the translator more time consuming and counterproductive, especially when working on very long documents.
- Proofreaders will familiarize themselves with the terminology used in existing translations to ensure consistency (the proofreaders of the rack card suggested some changes to the terminology that has been used many times before and exists in many publications already available to the public).
The purpose of the collaborative process of translation review by peers who are experts in the subject area but not in translation per se is to achieve the best quality of promotional material by checking it for accuracy of facts and figures and the terminology specific to the given subject. Despite the due research of the subject area the translators always do, peer reviewers may be more acquainted with the terminology used in the given subject (immigration, settlement, child care, etc.).
Given the fact that the translation is performed by professional translators who are trained linguists and/or language experts, it is little likely that a peer reviewer will need to check the style, grammar or punctuation. Translators are also native speakers of the target language, often immersed in their community and aware of the nuances that need to be conveyed to the readers.
A clear distinction must be made between evaluation and review. The reviewer’s job is not to improve what may already be a good translation. Reviewers should therefore avoid the temptation to “impose” their personal preferences on the translation. In assessing errors, they must simply ask: “Is the translation adequate?” If they feel that it is not, then they must be able to characterize or explain the error. It is not good enough to justify the assessment of an error by saying, “Well, it doesn’t sound right.” If you cannot give the problem a name, then perhaps it is not an error after all.
Please keep in mind that the literacy level of the source text will be reflected in the translation. Translators cannot and will not take the liberty to simplify the source text to adjust it to the literacy level of the readers. A plain language text will be translated into plain target language, just as a technical language text will retain its technical level in the translation. The writer of the original text will have to keep this in mind along with other issues that may affect potential readers (e.g. cultural sensitivity).
When reviewing a PDF file, text boxes (yellow sticky notes) should be used to write comments. One a printed copy, a black pen and legible writing should be used because the corrected pages will probably be scanned and emailed.
What is common practice in one language or community may not be so in another. And what is meant for a target audience located in the province of British Columbia will not necessarily be suitable for an audience somewhere else.
Numerous attempts have been made over the years to simplify the Chinese system of writing. In 1955 the Chinese People’s Republic initiated a plan to simplify more than 1,700 characters, this number to be increased gradually so that over half of the most commonly used symbols would eventually be simplified.
Although Chinese speakers could read each other’s script to a certain extent, the terms used by those from China may sometimes convey a different meaning to those from Taiwan and Hong Kong. For example, a term used in China for “computer” actually means “calculator” in Hong Kong. A translator, if originally from Hong Kong, will usually be choosing the diction that reflects his or her cultural background. Somebody from Mainland China will choose different words for the same document and, if the readers are mostly from the Mainland, it would be easier for them to understand the content. A specific example is the rendition of “medical facility,” where the words do translate directly into Chinese (that term is well known in Hong Kong), but the preference in China, obviously more common, is “institution/organization.” Both terms are correct, but a translator from Hong Kong will not pick the latter because of its connotation as something larger in scale and organizational than just a “facility” (not to mention that, quite often, “institution” refers to corporate organizations in Hong Kong). The process of trying to find neutral terms satisfactory to a wider audience is ongoing, but not always possible.
It is not possible to know what script to use solely by indicating what the spoken language of the target audience is. Cantonese is spoken in Hong Kong and in Southern China. Mandarin is spoken in Taiwan, Mainland China and Singapore.