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Can a document be NAATI certified if some parts are illegible?

Illegible Texts

As a professional translator of Chinese I sometimes receive documents that have been photocopied, photographed, or handwritten. These types of documents are usually perfectly fine to certify, unless some parts are illegible.

How do you solve this problem?

As a NAATI accredited translator, I need to be 100% certain that what I am reading is correct so that I can translate it and certify that it is true and accurate. In order to make sure my clients achieve their translation goals, I usually follow the below 2 step process:

  1. Ask for a clearer copy – this is the most obvious solution. However, if my client does not have a clearer copy then I will proceed to step 2.
  2. Determine the purpose of the document and whether the missing text is relevant to the overall purpose. For example, if my client needs to translate a lease contract to prove they entered into a contract with a certain person, then I would have to be able to read the name of the other person in order for the translation to be of any use to my client. If the client is unable to provide a clearer copy, the document cannot be certified as I would not be 100% sure and am obviously not allowed to make any guesses. On the other hand, if the average monthly cost of utilities was illegible in the same lease contract, I would be able to simple write “[illegible]” as in this case this information is not important to the overall translation and won’t affect any outcomes.

As always, if you have any questions at all please feel free to contact us.




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