After all the explaining up to now, a practical example helps to visualise one way of submitting documents and translations where a high standard of compliance is expected.
To illustrate a typical process, and how each official body or institution can apply its own standards, let’s look briefly at enrolments for the University of New South Wales, in Sydney.
The public domain information on the University website is very detailed about the submission of documents – and their translations, if applicable. Thus:
“The University of New South Wales (UNSW) requires various documents to be submitted in support of applications for admission and enrolment. All documents submitted must be certified copies of original documents”.
UNSW then explains what a certified copy is, and who it considers authorised to make one – both in Australia and abroad, if you do it there. Here are some of the people (besides JPs) that UNSW regards as acceptable certifiers here:
“Anyone who is currently employed in Australia or New Zealand as:
• an accountant […]
• a barrister or solicitor
• a manager of an Australia Post Office
• a medical practitioner
• a pharmacist
• a police officer
• a Registrar or Deputy Registrar of a Court
• a commissioned officer in the Defence Force”
So, no teachers, dentists etc: the University has its own requirements and you need to know them – for example, the certifying person must also be contactable, as a safeguard against fraud. (Incidentally, that same measure can equally apply to translations, which is one reason why I put a letterhead on mine and keep records).
Speaking of translations, further on, we find the specifics for them:
“Documents that are in a language other than English must be translated by an accredited translator before they are submitted to UNSW”.
Subsequently, accreditation is revealed to be (fundamentally) the NAATI credential. Because the University does not return any documents received, it urges applicants NOT to send original material.
“Certified copies of BOTH the original document and the translated document must be submitted to the University after the translation is completed and signed by the translator…”
That’s correct: you need to get a certified copy of the translation too. Otherwise, if you send the ‘original translation’ (interesting concept!) then it’s lost for good. If you ever need it again, you’ll have to ask the translator for a reissue.
Now, as for actually talking to translators and discussing your needs, that’s what we’ll consider in the final instalment.