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What is a Certified Extract Translation?

Extract Translations (also called ‘Summary Translations’) are prepared like full translations, but they neglect certain features that common sense, experience or circumstances indicate as being unnecessary for the intended use.

Say for example you have a two-page foreign purchase contract that is covered in notarial stamps and has three pages of standard consumer law information at the end:

  • If you simply want to prove your ownership of the item, it would usually be enough to translate the contract and forget the notary stamps and legal stuff.
  • This clearly makes things easier for the translator and cheaper for you.
  • A thorough translator would just leave a note saying “here appear various stamps” and “here follow three pages of statutory legal information”; that way at least readers know there is more detail if they want to pursue it.

However, if you are involved in a legal case against the contract itself, then your lawyer will probably want the notarial stamps and the statutory information translated too. In that case, you would need a full translation.

Extract translations are very viable options in certain circumstances. Ethical translators don’t over-service their clients, and none of us likes paying more than we need to. Just remember that ‘extract’ means ‘leaving out information’, so make sure you discuss your needs with the translator, and get legal advice whenever in doubt.
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