“Certified document” can be translated as “Notarization” or “Notarial Certificate”. It is suggested that once a specific term is translated, it should not be changed. Most common documents involving foreign elements that require notarization are as follows: Notarization of Diploma, Notarization of Degree Certificate, Notarization of Academic Transcription, Notarization of Family Relation, Notarization of Marital Status, Notarization of No Record of Criminal Offense, Notarization of Adoption (overseas). In practice, different types of certified translation can be translated as a whole -“Notarization” or “Notarial Certificate”
Here are some tips when translating the title of a notarized document:
1. Do not use quotation marks or period.
2. The title can be placed at top-center.
3. All letters or the very first letter of each word has to be capitalized.
However, long conjunctions or prepositions such as “between” are not normally used in the title of a notarized document, which has a restricted format. Furthermore, accuracy and simplicity are prerequisites to translating notary public documents. For example, in some documents, the term “親屬關係” is translated into “relationship”, but the term “domestic relations” or “family relations ” is actually more precise than “relationship”. Another example is the term “畢業證書”, which is translated into “graduation certificate”. However, this translation is not as specific as the word “diploma”. Furthermore, when translating the term “學位證公證書”, there’s a chance that the word “diploma” (Chinese-English/English-Chinese legal dictionary) may be confused with the term ”graduation certificate”. In this case, there is a need to be more specific with the terms to use; e.g., Notarization of B.A. Degree, or Notarization of M.S. Degree. The translation for “Notarization of marriage status” is classified as either “Notarization of Divorce” or ” Notarization of Being Single”
Notarized translation of documents
1) Translation of “茲證明”
“茲證明” is a common phrase meaning “This is to certify that…” and it is found at the beginning of a notarial certificate.
2) Notarized translation of documents in conformity with the original text
Example of notarized translation of document:
This is to certify that Wang, who is male and was born on May 1, 1964, and Hao, who is female and was born on October 19, 1965, registered their marriage on October 1,1992 at the registration office of the Civil Affairs Department in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia.
The problem with this translation is the verb tense. The word “registered,” which is in the past tense implies that the marriage was registered in the past, but it does not denote the current marital status, whether divorced, widowed or separated. The wording does not meet legal documentation requirements such as writing, form, and preciseness. Hence, changing verb tenses from past to present perfect is suggested in order to express “a constant state”. In addition, the translated sentence lacks conciseness and can be revised as follows:
This is to certify that Wang (male, born on May 1, 1964) and Hao (female, born on October 19, 1965) have been married since on October 1, 1992 at the registration office of Civil Affairs Department, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia.
Some notary public documents such as notarized translation of diplomas add guillemets. However, these guillemets are punctuations used in Chinese writing, but not in English writing. Such errors in formal translation of notarized documents are unacceptable. In English writing, words with guillements used in Chinese writing should be italicized, underlined or capitalized.