Translation And Copyright–What The Law Says?

It is important to explain what copyright means before we proceed with establishing a connection between copyright and translation. Copyright means that any content or book or music which is your creation is rightfully yours. The author of the original content holds the right to publish, sell, distribute copies, get his work translated or to carry out an enactment of the content he has written. He also can prevent other people from doing the same and the law will be on his side. Copyright laws are made by every country to safeguard the rights of the original authors.

Copyright laws were made, so that people who try to sell or publish or make copies of someone else’s original content can be brought to justice. Piracy is a huge problem which today’s world is facing. Original books, articles, music or lyrics are stolen by pirates. Lots of original content available on the internet is spun by writers everyday. Therefore laws were made to protect the original works of authors and musicians etc. Even the translation of a work, published without the permission of its original author and its translator is unlawful and illegal. Unauthorized publication or use of an original piece of work can be challenged by the author in any court of law.

The language translator who translates the original content of any writer owns the copyright as well. When a translator is asked to translate a content by the author (who owns the copyright), he himself creates something original and new. This implies that an original English to German translation carried out by a German translator will have its copyright too. Copyright laws vary a little from country to country. Translations done in South Korea from Korean to English will be protected by the law of South Korea. The country in which a translator translates some content is liable for providing copyright protection to the work of the translator. A translator himself is an original writer of the translated version and is considered as such.

It is the decision of the translator to sign away his translation or not. Often translators give up their copyright ownership. Its a personal choice of a translator to do away with the copyright ownership of his work or to claim it. But it might be a little bit different for the translators who work for translation services companies. It depends on what was mentioned on the contract when the translator signed it with the translation agency. But in most cases, its the translator who owns the copyright since he/she is the original creator of the translated content.

Translation and copyright have a close relation with each other. Only few people know that a translator holds the status of second author of the original piece. Even the translator who finally reviews the translated version before it reaches the client, owns the copyright too.

Social Harmony and Translation Services

With the world having become cosmopolitan, social harmony on a national and international level has become exceedingly important as individuals and as a nation. Sociological imagination, a term coined by C. Wright Mills, refers to the connection between personal lives and the social setting in which we live. An individual’s our level of contentment or dissatisfaction affects our performance at work. Welfare states know the impact of personal problems on society and since individuals make societies the state takes responsibility for every individual.

Translation services have some responsibility in connecting nations and in working towards global harmony. Although technology and communication have been major factors in globalization, without translation services it would be challenging to bring linguistically different nations together. A Houston Spanish translator working for The Marketing Analysts Translation Services shared his views about the importance of language translation. He believes that while globalization has resulted in the loss of individual cultural identities, the benefits of globalization are more important than those losses.

People are affected by some of the same problems that exist throughout the world. People need access to good jobs, good education and health care services. People want to prosper and need loans to set up businesses. Terrorism is a threat that can be combated with collective efforts. To address these global concerns, cross-cultural interaction is necessary. Translators who work in specialties such as medical translation and working for NGO’s or providing legal translation services, directly or indirectly cultivate harmony within and across the borders.Considering the goal of sociological imagination, it is apparent that a job of government must be to provide employment and meet the basic requirements of its citizens. Instead of viewing unemployment as a person’s personal failure, it should be seen as a social problem that millions of people are facing all over the world. Social factors are largely responsible for private problems. Social harmony is fundamentally important for a country to prosper and no one else plays a more substantial role than translators to create uniformity in societies.

Common Misconceptions About Translators And Their Work

There exist some common misconceptions about the job of a translator. This article will focus on proving those conceptions inaccurate and unrealistic, thereby developing an environment of trust and understanding between translators and their clients. The first misconception about the job of a translator is that it is easy to translate something from the source language to the target language, if one has a command over both languages. This is absolutely wrong. In the first place, the text determines whether translating it would be easy or difficult. Texts with specific terminologies and jargon are difficult to translate whereas there are some simple texts which can be easy to translate. It also depends upon the expertise of  translators and their skills as to whether they  find a job difficult or easy. But to label the profession of translators as an “easy” and “less challenging” one is unfair and wrong. It is as demanding and exacting as any other job can be.

Another common misconceptions that it is very cheap to hire a translator since no technicalities are involved in translating one document to another language, if translator has a command over the target language. Most translators nowadays work through translation services and they are paid very well. A translator is a a language specialist with the right skills. A layman cannot become a translator just as anyone cannot become a legal expert or an IT specialist. The job of a translator is laborious and secondly it is unethical to pay low wages to a dignified professional, which is an indirect way to show disregard for his/her profession.

Another common misconception about legal translation workers is that they translate “word to word”. A translator’s job is to interpret the meaning of the text in the source language and express it in the target language. Machine translation does not work and is unauthentic because it translates word to word or phrase to phrase and though it is helpful to get a general idea about the meaning of a sentence, it is unreliable and one always runs the risk of coming up with an absurdly convoluted sentence structure. This is why machine translation has not eliminated the demand for professional translators. No software or website on the internet can replace a human translator. Moreover there can be many synonyms of a word in the target language, and a translator picks out the best suitable equivalent of it, according to the context.

Another commonly held misconception about a translator is that they are living dictionaries.  A translator is human and cannot possibly know about all the vocabulary that exists in the target language. There are words in our mother tongue that we don’t know the meaning of. Therefore it is unjust to expect a professional translator to know about the meaning of each and every word. Some people also seem to think that translators only work with dictionaries. It is another wrong notion. Translators use different tools when translating a document including dictionaries, thesauruses, glossaries and Translation Memory software.

Lastly, it is not right to assume that a translator would work over weekends or would be able to meet each and every deadline. To give a deadline of a few hours for a lengthy document is inhuman. Not every translator has a good typing speed, therefore to expect someone to translate a document of 1500 to 2000  words in an hour or two is not right. Only very experienced translators might be able to do so, but it should not be expected from every translator. A professional translator always proofreads the document to avoid any errors before sending it over to the client.

Linguistic Challenges Faced By Translators

Translators face many challenges when they have to translate a document from one language to another. This seemingly simple job, takes up a lot of time and effort. Many translation service companies are rendering  immaculate translation services throughout the world. But only a translator knows how difficult and painstaking it is to translate a document without obfuscating the meaning of the sentences. A wrong substitute word used by a translator can distort the whole sentence, which can botch the whole document as a result.

Every profession has its own jargon. Therefore no two documents of the same language can be translated in a similar manner. A legal document in Chinese, translated in English by a Chinese translator, will have a different terminology used in it than an diploma in Education translated into English by the same translator. This shows that every field has its own specific jargon. A translator needs to find the exact substitutes of the professional terms used in a document. In the process of translating, translators sometimes coin new expressions and phrases. This has been an old practice and it has enriched languages.

Not every translator has a vast store of vocabulary of the target language/ languages. He may have a good knowledge of the vocabulary of his mother tongue, but the same often doesn’t apply to the other languages. While translating legal, medical and educational documents, a translator needs to consult from dictionaries and thesauruses to search for the appropriate terms. He has to go over the translation again and again, to identify any words or phrases that might make the translation look sloppy or unprofessional. Translation is a meticulous job, which takes every ounce of a translator’s effort and energy.

A translator knows when and where in the document he/she needs to use a crisp and formal expression and where he/she needs to use a figure of speech which is not very formal. Usually all documents require a certain level of formality. A document is never translated in its literal meaning. Literal language means words that do not deviate from their original meaning. Document translation should consist of the closest natural equivalent of the original document. It is a type of idiomatic translation which ensures that the translation is closest to the meaning intended by the original writer. A common example are the proverbs in a language. A proverb in English, if literally translated in Urdu, or any other language, would seem ludicrous and would fail to drive the meaning home. The same proverb would have a completely different equivalent (word wise) in another language, but the implication would be the same.

This brief analysis clearly demonstrates the fact that translation is not a layman’s job. Translators have the required expertise to translate documents and are professionally experienced and equipped to do so. That is why people hire the services of translators in order to get their birth certificates, marriage certificates, educational degrees, experience certificates and other documents translated from their own languages to English, despite the fact that English is a global language and spoken by half of the world.

When Do I Need To Get an Apostille for My Certified and Notarized Translation?

An apostille is a unique seal of a government authority that certifies that a document is a legitimate copy of the original document. In other words, it validates documents to be used in other countries by authenticating them. The apostille works like an international notary.

The countries that have adopted the use of apostilles since the development of this concept in 1961 have eventually become signatory countries. If you are in a signatory country and traveling to another signatory country, you will need an apostille of required documents. However, unless the country you are in has signed the Hague Convention, you would not be able to acquire an apostille. Only with the approval of the Secretary of State can an apostille be deemed valid.

Some specific categories of documents need apostille certificates. Apostille are needed for various public documents which, of course, depend on the country they would be used in. Vital records, corporate documents, legal documents and criminal records require apostille certificates. The following are some categories of personal documents and corporate documents that require apostille certification:

  • If you need to transfer your power of attorney to someone else to purchase or sell real estate, to file  insurance claims, to take legal actions or simply to control your finances in some other country, an apostille becomes necessary.
  • If you want to adopt a child from a foreign land which participates in the Hague Convention, various documents need to be apostilled.
  • Many countries ask for birth certificates to be apostilled just to verify the authenticity of the document.
  • For the overseas transportation of a loved one’s remains or the settlement of his estate in another country, the death certificate should have an apostilled copy.
  • Apostiles are often required for marriage and divorce certificates.
  • For both criminal background checks and certificates of good conduct, apostilles are required.
  • Academic documents such as diplomas and transcripts also require apostilles.  Evaluations of foreign academic credentials also need apostilles.
  • Apostilles become necessary in cases of children’s travel consent letters and the letter of invitation necessary for obtaining the U.S.s visa. Foreign driver’s license also need to be apostilled.

In regard to the corporate documents that need apostilles, the following should be noted:

  • An apostille-certified power of attorney that belongs to you is needed when you designate someone to handle your corporation overseas.
  • Corporations must provide apostille-certified  articles of incorporation to verify their authenticity and legitimacy in the countries where they operate.
  • A Certificate of Goodstanding, a Certificate of Amendment and a Certificate of Incumbency require apostillles.
  • A corporate resolution also requires apostilles.

Certified Translation Services for Official Documents

legal-translationEvery nation in the world has created rules and guidelines for protecting its national interests against internal and external dangers and discrepancies. Here in the US, these rules and guidelines may take the form of laws. One area in which this applies is in translating official documents.

At times, the law may require individuals to provide certified and notarized translations of various documents pertaining to their own identity, legal documents such as bills of sale and deeds and educational certificates/degrees. This is where the issue of hiring a certified translation service arises. Why, you might ask, would you need a certified translation service for translating these documents, even if you are well-versed in both languages?

First and foremost, no matter how proficient you are in both the languages in question, there are still instances where certain legal terms cannot be fully translated to convey the same meaning in both languages. Thus the meaning may be incorrectly conveyed. It is not surprising to note that when people need to translate official documents, they struggle to translate some tricky sentences to depict the meaning of the source document into the destination language. This problem results in loss of precious time, and more importantly, loss of accuracy.

Certified translation services, on the other hand, employ well trained, certified translators who are experts in translating all kinds of official documents into different official languages as per the norms and standards. The experienced, professional translators who work for certified translation services are usually proficient in various languages and well-versed in translating official documents according to the rules and guidelines specified by the specific governments involved and their relevant authorities.

Ultimately, the subject of notarization is a critical component of translating official documents. One cannot simply approach a government agency or an office of power without a properly notarized and certified official document. If it were that easy, it would be extremely easy to forge documents to gain official government legitimacy or authorization. The power to notarize a translated document is granted only to agencies that are trusted by the interested government. These agencies are certified by law to offer certified translation services for official documents. Therefore, no matter what you do, if you are not certified by the relevant authority, you cannot provide translated documents that meet official demands.

Finally, accuracy is a key aspect of translating official documents. A professional and certified translation service is usually trained to translate an official document with 100% accuracy. Since official documents are documents of validity, any and all data entered into the document will ultimately reflect in the final official documents. For instance, any data translated from a foreign language into English for US immigration purposes will indeed reflect on the chances of being either accepted or denied entry into the US. Therefore, it is always imperative to choose good quality certified translation services for official documents to keep the official process/application tidy, precise and in line with the guidelines.

Law Enforcement And The Need For Translation

The lack of language translators often presents difficult situations for non-English speaking citizens who are unable to communicate with others who only speak English. Such is the case of a 78-year-old Jacksonville, Florida woman who was arrested Friday for supposedly striking her son a few times with a yard stick during an argument, according to police records.

Beatriz Diaz, of 1211 E. LaSalle Boulevard, was charged with domestic battery and was held in the Jacksonville Jail.. Diaz and her son, Roberto Diaz, engaged in an argument when he told her, “You aren’t my momma,” as indicated by police reports. Shortly afterward, Beatriz Diaz hit him on his right arm 3 times with a yard stick.

While police officers failed to see any injuries, Roberto Diaz, indicated that his leg hurt but refused medical treatment. Furthermore, Roberto Diaz refused to provide a written statement about the event, reports states. At that time, officers on the scene already had enough information to arrest the mother.

Unfortunately, family members couldn’t understand why their mother had been taken into custody and booked. As it turned out, Beatriz Diaz was defending herself from her son who had just come home drunk and agitated. Since Beatriz Diaz can only communicate in Spanish, the police officers counted on her spouse who has very poor English language skills.

The representative for the police department, Samantha Quinn mentioned that it is customary for police officers to request the assistance of a neighbor or household member to translate when a qualified translator isn’t available. While Quinn indicated that while it was an regrettable incident, Florida law allows officers few alternatives facing domestic assault grievances. Based on the information that the officers had available, the officers had collected enough details to take her into custody. Quinn also stated, “We sympathize with Mrs. Diaz.” “She certainly had a very good reason to do what she did.”

The Value of International Students in American Universities

These days, increasingly, college students from all corners of the globe are traveling to be part of the American college experience. Some only travel two hours across county lines while other people travel couple of days over a number of oceans and multiple time zones to get here. Collectively “domestic” and “overseas” college students make-up the most varied population ever to engage in college jointly.

The overseas learner confronts unique problems in getting the best out of school and, we feel, has a significant purpose to perform in helping others take advantage of their school experience. In our rapidly globalizing planet, serious colleges are eager to invite worldwide learners to college campus as a method of maximizing diversity and the selection of voices who partake in the educational debate. Hence if you are one of these prized foreign pupils thinking about relocating for the next several years for the cause of education and opportunity, Chicago Translation Services workers applaud you-and we welcome you.  If you are a U.S. citizen, this opportunity can help you gain indirectly could help you create vibrant global relationships in the long run, in addition to the inherent advantage of building close friendships with interesting individuals.

Why are educational facilities so eager to attract foreign learners when, in all sincerity, it means far more work for campus staff to assist those students find their place? According to college certified transcript translation workers, “First of all, foreign learners enrich the community intellectually; attracting individuals from throughout the entire world is inviting the planet into the educational setting.”

Discussions concerning the economics of sex become far more fascinating when college students from large Muslim nations are asked to the table; the same is true regarding discussions on postcolonialism in literature with college students from India and South Africa, or trademark and patent law with legal translation students from Germany, Japan, and China. And you genuinely can’t comprehend American governmental policies and culture until you have talked about it with someone who sees the United States from the outside looking in. Unexpectedly what feels like an easy discussion gets a very rich talk with an enticing blend of concepts.

Universities are also excited to accept international college students because they may bring a special level of maturity to campus. Given all they have given up to be here, international scholars can be slightly more concentrated, serious, and devoted than the regular freshman.

How Translation Services Assist Businesses With Overcoming International Political And Legal Challenges

Political factors greatly influence international business.  Political turmoil in Iran, Syria, Egypt, and various countries in Africa suggests how volatile this factor can be to international markets.  Sometimes political unrest results in acts of violence such as destruction of a firm’s property.  According to Washington D.C. Translation Services experts, years ago, the Managua, Nicaragua paint factory of H.B. Fuller Company, a U.S. manufacturer of paints, coatings and adhesives was destroyed and burned by Sandinista revolutionaries.  U.S. companies operating in Mexican border towns are also under constant threat due to drug cartels and gangs.

Many U.S. firms have set up international political risk assessment (PRA) units or turned to outside consulting services to evaluate political risks of the marketplace in which they operate.  Sometimes firms must go as far as to employee armed mercenary groups to protect staff and facilities.  Many times, U.S. corporations will also employ translation services firms to run public relations campaigns to generate goodwill among the public and negotiate with organized crime rings.

Many nations try to achieve political objectives through international business activities.  Japan for instance, has openly encouraged involvement in international marketing because much of its economy depends on export sales.  This heavy reliance of Japanese exports has also fueled the need for translation services to localize instruction manuals, user guides, legal contracts and marketing materials into languages spoken throughout the world.

Legal requirements complicate the world of business and frequently legal translation services can offer businesses some assistance.  Different countries have different regulations regarding advertising, product packaging, safe handling and product labeling.    In some markets, a government agency must approve all advertisements.  These examples illustrate the need for international companies to work closely with legal translation firms and foreign government agencies.

The legal environment for U.S. firms operating abroad can be divided into three dimensions.  These include: (1) U.S. law (2) International law and (3) legal requirements of the destination country.    International law can be found in treaties, conventions and agreements that exist among nations.  The United States has many friendship, commerce and navigation (FCN) treaties – agreements that deal with many aspects of commercial relations with other countries.  Other international business agreements concern worldwide standards for various products, patents, trademarks, reciprocal tax treaties, export control, international air travel and international communication.

The Legal Translation Environment

Translation activities are performed within a large arena or environment.  This environment is made up of two major components: the cultural environment and the legal environment.  While we have already discussed the cultural environment with respect to the legal translation field, the legal environment can offer just as many opportunities and challenges to experiences translation workers.

The political environment, the practices and policies of governments, and the legal environment, the laws and interpretation of regulations, may restrain or facilitate translation activity.  As one Portland Portuguese Translation worker explains, the political and legal environment can act in several ways.  It can limit the actions marketers are allowed to take, for example, by restricting the percentage of foreign ownership of a company operating in another country (e.g., because of the Export Administration Act strategic high technology products could not be exported to the Soviet Union but foods and grains could be).  Some actions may be required, for example, the requirement that cookies called “Chocolate Chip Cookies” contain chips made of real chocolate or the requirement that the surgeon general’s warning be printed on cigarette packages.  Lastly, certain actions can be prohibited including the legal sale of products such as opium, heroin an nuclear weapons except under the strictest of controls.

According to Philadelphia French Translation professionals, political processes in other countries may have dramatic impacts on international marketers.  For example, political forces were clearly at play when China agreed to let the Coca-Cola Company market Coke in China after the Soviet Union agreed to permit the marketing of Pepsi in Russia.  Another example included the Iran-Iraq war which disrupted trade and shipping in the Persian Gulf.

Before ending this discussion of the different aspects of translation’s environment, we should note that parts of this environment interact with each other.  Therefore, effective translators must consider the whole of the environment of the industry that they work in, not just its parts.