Interpreting agencies and stamping

Interpreting services agencies, or interpreting service providers, represent an important segment in the Norwegian language services market. These companies specialize in finding interpreters for public-sector clients (municipalities, law courts, health services, etc.) to interpret (i.e. orally translate) between Norwegian and foreign languages. Most of these agencies also accept translation assignments and outsource them to translators in Norway or abroad. If a translation needs to be certified, it must be translated by a government-authorized translator who can certify that the translation is correct by virtue of his/her personal stamp and signature.

Unfortunately, some agencies have begun producing stamps that resemble the one used by government-authorized translators – which is a protected title – and using them to stamp their translations. This gives the impression that a translation has been certified and that it can be used by authorities in Norway and abroad. STF wishes to draw attention to the fact that this is not correct. We therefore urge all buyers of translation services – government agencies, businesses, and private individuals – to check whether the stamp and signature that appear on a translation have been provided by a government-authorized translator. Only government-authorized translators are authorized to stamp and thereby certify a translation.

Some examples of misleading titles:

Authorized translator / approved translator / officially approved translator / quality-assured translator / qualified translator / certified translator / translator with notarial certification / notary-authorized translator.

Consequently, a translation accompanied by a sentence such as: "This translation has been performed by an authorized and quality-assured translator" and a stamp bearing the name of an interpreting services agency has not been performed and stamped by a government-authorized translator.

Stamp from a notary public

STF would also draw attention to the fact that a notary public merely confirms the correctness of a signature – not of the actual content of a translation. In other words, the notary public can confirm the correctness of the signature of, for example, an employee of an interpreting services agency who has performed a poor translation. Translation clients may be misled into thinking that they have received confirmation that a translation is correct and can be used for its intended purpose. Remember that only government-authorized translators have certification confirming their proficiency in both the source language and the target language and their authority to stamp the translations they provide.

 

 

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