This article addresses some tips for submitting and formatting or translating certificates. Sometimes they will be sworn and other simple translations (for various reasons).
1. DO NOT USE TEXT BOXES
One of the most annoying crazes when translating certificates is the use of text boxes. This is a very impractical way of presenting the information for several reasons, the main ones being:
- Because when modifying the text the box can be hung in the middle of the text since it does not move in line with the other elements.
- If they are frames that come from some (bad) PDF conversion, all the text can be dropped when trying to modify it. The words in the text boxes are not always picked up in the spelling that is passed to the document. When you select everything and the spelling is not passed in the text box since it is out of the selection.
- At the same time, this is another sub-problem because by selecting, for example, the whole text and wanting to change the font (for example, from “Arial” to “Calibrí”) or size 11 to 9) the text of the text box is not picked up in the selection.
- Lastly, the text box is not reflected in the word count of Word (usually shown in the lower left of the screen) and, when calculating how much we have to pay, this is something quite important.
2. USE TABLES
Tables are very useful for presenting information, because, unlike text boxes, it is easier to modify, move, combine, extend the edges … And all the contents of the table is selected with the rest of the text and reflected In the Word count.
3. DO NOT COPY AND PASTE IMAGES (LOGOS, SIGNATURES, ETC.)
This is another mistake that is often made. I did it at the beginning, and even I was refused a jury for logging.
In general it is not advised to do it and if you wanted the translated document to be identical to the original, you would have to use a layout program or edit it in PDF directly, etc.
However, for translations of certificates that will be sworn, it is not convenient to paste any image of the original.
4. A TRANSLATION IS NOT A PHOTOCOPY
A translation is not usually intended to be a photocopy, so there are efforts in layout, formatting and time wastage that go well beyond what is required and reasonable.
5. I DO NOT ADVISE TRANSLATING BY LINES FOLLOWED BY DASHES
An old way of doing the translations (still used in some countries) is to present all the information in lines of scripted text and with scripts at the end. It is a style that emulates that of notaries.
The problem I encounter with these translations is that, finally, it is an unhelpful way of presenting the information. It is difficult and time consuming to do, it is difficult to review for the reviewer, and for the customer it is confusing and unattractive. And, finally, data are almost always left (they forget lines or parts) in translations done in this way.
The best is the running text, tabs and tables.
6. JUDICIOUS (BUT NOT LAZY) OMISSION
Occasionally, some unimportant data may be omitted, replacing it with an annotation. Usually these annotations are in brackets, or italics.
There may be many cases where omission is acceptable, since it is a judicious omission.
For example, in one case a series of tiny quality stamps appeared in a corner of a letter and the Chinese translator, seeing:
“Aenor. Environmental Certified Company with reference AAAA4444JJJ66 / EN 2017 “to letter 3 and half illegible …
… decided to write: ” A seal of quality certification appears “.
And it was not because he did not know how to translate or because he did not feel like it or because he was in a hurry.
On the other hand, they should not be lazy omissions. Lazy omissions are those in which the translator either did not want to look for it, or did not know, or did not want to write it.
7. DO NOT PUT TEXT INSIDE THE HEADINGS OF THE PAGE
I have sometimes seen people placing the title of the document, for example “Driving License” or “Food Handler Certificate” within the heading area of the page in the translation.
This is also very inadvisable. What I advise is to put all the text outside the headers and footers in a translation. Another thing is that, for example, the original is a document of a company (which is not a certificate) and we pass it in Word and have logos, etc. in the headings. That is another case and has nothing to do with this article.
On the other hand, if it is a sworn translation, it is necessary to take into account that we will not be able to use the page headers if the printing is to be made in letterhead, since, when printing it, the text would be printed on the stamps.
8. WAYS TO COMPRESS AND TIGHTEN THE LETTER MORE
One of the problems that we can find is that the entire text of the certificate does not fit on the page. Sometimes it will be completely impossible to place all the text on the page and we will have to translate it into two pages, for example. But most of the time yes that is possible, with a series of tricks:
- Use tables, because text boxes take up more space.
- Change the height of the tables :
- You can also use the “auto-adjust to the window, the contents, etc.” options that come out when you right-click.
- Drag the edges of the tables (without removing them from the print area).
- Decrease font size:
- Change spacing and line spacing to “single” and “0”. Simply changing from “multiple” to “simple” already compresses the text and is not ugly. As for the latter spaces can be removed altogether, selecting “0” or reducing from “10” to “6”, for example.
- Expand the margins of the pages. In most cases we do not need a margin of 2.5 cm lower or 3 cm lateral and we can adjust it to 1 or something, without leaving the printing area.