Alguns recursos para as crianças durante o isolamento. Tem aquí uns livros na língua portuguesa sobre o meio ambiente, histórias e informativos junto com uns livros de trabalho sobre a Europa, publicados todos pela Comissão Europeia.
Este artigo abrange os requisitos para quem mora e trabalha no Reino Unido (R.U.) (todas as nações dele), que não são cidadãos do R.U. e que querem continuar a fazê-lo. Abrange também os seus direitos e deveres, e os dos seus familiares. Este artigo baseia-se na orientação actual do governo britânico sobre as novas regras com data do dia 21 de janeiro 2019 e podem sempre mudar.
Já muito se disse a respeito das alterações das leis do R.U. relativas ao estatuto de residência e os direitos associados, em especial o direito dos cidadãos da União Europeia (U.E.) de trabalhar no R.U. No entanto, não são afetados os cidadãos do Espaço Económico Europeu/Associação Europeia de Comércio Livre, é dizer, da Irlanda, da Suiça, da Noruega, da Islândia e do Liechenstein. Os direitos actuáis dos cidadãos britânnicos que vivem nesses paises e os cidadãos daqueles são protegidos mutualmente.
Se você mora no R.U. e é de outro país da U.E., deve seguir um procedimento novo, e uma frase que se ouve falar muitas vezes é o estatuto de residente permanente ou "settled status". Nota: este procedimento aplica-se apenas aos cidadãos da U.E. que vivem e trabalham no R.U. e aos seus familiares que podem ou não estar no R.U. mas que são igualmente cidadãos da U.E. Não se aplica aos nacionais dos países não membros da U.E.
Antes de entrar em detalhes sobre o procedimento para pedir este estatuto e os seus direitos, seguem umas perguntas importantes:
Ora, como é que funciona? Nada muda para você ate o dia 30 de junho de 2021. Se quiser ficar no R.U. a partir dessa data, deve ter pedido a autorização previamente. Esteja consciente que o simples facto de pedir o "settled status" não quer dizer que lhe concedam este estatuto. É provável que lhe concedam "pre-settled status" se não vive no R.U. durante 5 anos ininterruptos antes de apresentar o seu pedido. Entretanto, pode continuar a permanecer no R.U. e voltar a pedir o "settled status" daqui a 5 anos. Neste momento, parece que não deve pagar se voltar a pedir o estatuto no futuro depois deste período.
Se o "pre-settled status" for o seu estatuto, poderá trabalhar no R.U. e entrar e sair do R.U. com o seu passaporte ou a cédula de identidade. Também pode estudar, utilizar o "NHS" e receber os subsídios aos quais pode ter direito. Estes direitos não lhe serão negados se passar até 2 anos fora do R.U. durante este período. Se você tiver filhos no R.U, enquanto tenha "pre-settled status" eles terão o direito automático de obter o "pre-settled status" mas apenas terão o direito á cidadanía britânica se este é o estatuto do outro pai.
E o "settled status? Se você morava um mínimo de 6 meses em cada 12 meses no R.U. durante os 5 anos anteriores ao 31 de dezembro de 2020, é provável que receba o "settled status" imediatemente mantendo os mesmos direitos indicado na primeira frase do parágrafo anterior. Se passou mais de 6 meses fora do R.U. até um máximo de 12 meses, deve ter uma razão importante. Exemplos disto são doença grave, estudos ou formação, transferência ao exterior pelo seu empregador, serviço militar ou ter um filho. Deve apresentar provas destas circunstâncias.
Pode ser possível manter o seu "settled status" embora passar até cinco anos noutro país mas deve ser confirmado.
Lembre-se … as provas destas circunstâncias serão do país onde você estava durante este período; frequentemente estes papéis estarão escritos noutra lingua, e não em inglês. Se deixar arrastar demasiado a tradução de documentos oficiaís, pode atrasar o seu pedido. As autoridades geralmente pedem que a tradução seja realizada por um tradutor oficial e assim é preciso enviar cópias assinadas das traduções, é aconselhável dar tempo para envío por correio pelo tradutor a você.
O documento que você decididamente necessita para provar a sua identidade é o seu passaporte ou o seu bilhete de identidade nacional. Neste momento não há conselhos oficiais para indicar que estes documentos devem ser traduzidos. Parece que não. Mais, para provar a sua residência no R.U. um documento importante é o "National Insurance Card" porque com este as Autoridades podem confirmar a sua residência nos seus sistemas informáticos. Segundo as suas circunstâncias, podem requerer mais documentos.
Os conselhos desta autora são que nos casos onde pode resultar preciso traduzir os registros médicos, certificados e diplomas de estudos, cartas ou registros que confirmam o seu emprego, por exemplo, ou seja, ausência do país durante mais de 6 meses, arranje as traduções antes de pedir o "settled status".
E a minha família? Se você mora no R.U., as suas crianças nascidas ali serão cidadãos britânicas. Se você está numa relacão pessoal com outro cidadão da U.E., a qual começou antes do 31 de dezembro de 2020, e essa relacão continúa no momento do seu parceiro aplicar para viver no R.U., ele ou ela devería ter o direito de juntar-se com você no R.U. Nestes casos, é melhor entregar o pedido para "settled status" na mesma altura e associar (link) ambos pedidos. Assim podem ser tratados juntos. Se iniciar uma nova relacão após o 2020, em determinadas circunstâncias, o seu parceiro, ou outros familiares, deverão pedir um visto o qual implica um procedimento distinto.
Se o seu familiar não mora no R.U. até o fim do 2020 e quer juntar-se com você, você deve já ter o "settled status" ou o "pre-settled status", e a sua "estreita relacão familiar" ("close family relationship") deve ter existido antes dessa data. Não se aplica somente aos esposos ou parceiros civis, mas também aos dependentes tal como os filhos, os pais, os netos ou os avós. Será preciso provar esta relação com os documentos do seu país tal como o assento de nascimento, certidão de adopção, certidão de casamento ...
Como no caso dos outros documentos doutro país indicados acima, pode precisar da ajuda dum tradutor oficial para lidar com a tradução destes documentos antes de apresentar o seu pedido.
E se o meu familiar é menor de 21 anos? Primeiro, você ou ele deve ser cidadão da U.E. e existem duas opções.
E caso você ou o seu familiar não mora há cinco anos no R.U. e o seu familiar morrer? Se moravam juntos imediatemente antes deste triste acontecimento, o seu familiar deve ter estado no R.U. há um mínimo de dois anos, deve ter estado empregado(a) ou registado(a) como trabalhador(a) autónomo(a) no R.U., e a causa do óbito foi um acidente no local de trabalho ou uma doença profissional. Chama-se "invalidez permanente" (permanent incapacity") e o acidente ou a doença causado pelo seu trabalho deve ser um que permite você receber uma pensão britânico. Se assim for, pode ser concedido o "settled status".
Há outros requisitos pertinentes a outras circunstâncias, incluindo o facto de ser casado com um cidadão britânico, ter pai que seja cidadão britânico, reforma, começar a trabalhar noutro país após ter pedido o "settled status", ou o facto de você, um esposo ou familiar, ser dum país fora da U.E.
EU citizens in UK after brexit
This article covers some of the requirements for people living and working in the UK (all nations) who are not UK citizens and wish to continue doing so, their rights and responsibilities and those of their family members. The article is based on current UK government guidance on the new rules (at 21 January 2019) and could change.
A lot has been said recently about changes to UK laws regarding residency status and associated rights, in particular EU citizens’ right to work in the UK. However, European Economic Area European Free Trade Association citizens, that is, from Ireland, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechenstein are unaffected. The current rights of UK citizens in those countries and their citizens are mutually protected.
If you reside in the UK and are from another EU country you must follow a new procedure and a phrase frequently heard in relation to all of this is “settled status”. Note a different procedure applies for nationals of non-EU countries so this article relates primarily to EU citizens living and working in the UK and their family members who may or may not be in the UK but are also EU citizens.
Before going into detail about how to claim this status and your rights, it may be useful to get the important questions out of the way:
Moving on to how it all works, nothing will change for you until 30 June 2021. If you want to stay in the UK after then, you must have applied to do so beforehand. Be aware that applying for settled status does not mean you will be granted this. It is likely you will be given “pre-settled status” if you have not lived in the UK for 5 continuous years prior to your application but will be allowed to stay on and apply for settled status again in five years time. At the moment it looks like you will not have to pay if you do re-apply in the future after your period of pre-settled status.
If this is your status, you will be able to work and travel in and out of the UK using your passport or national ID card, study, use the NHS and claim benefits you are entitled to. None of your rights are affected if you spend 2 years outside of the UK during this time. If you have children in the UK whole you hold pre-settled status, they automatically have the right to pre-settled status also but will only be British citizens if the other parent holds this status.
What about getting settled status? If you have spent at least 6 months in every one year (12 month) period in the UK for 5 years before 31 December 2020, you will more than likely be given settled status straight away and have the same rights indicated in the first sentence of the paragraph above. If you spend more than 6 months out of the UK but no more than 12 months, you must have an “important reason” for this absence. Examples of this are serious illness, study or training, being sent to work outside of the UK by your employer, military service or having a baby. You must provide official evidence of this.
It may be possible to keep your settled status even if you spend up to five years in another country although this is still to be confirmed at 21 January 2019.
Remember … evidence of these circumstances will be from the country where you have been during this time so more often than not they will be in a language other than English. You don’t want to leave your application too late but if you haven’t arranged the relevant legal translation services soon enough, this could delay your application. As an official English translation or “certified” translation is usually requested by authorities, and signed hard copies are required, you must allow time for postage.
Documents you will definitely need to prove your identity for all applications are your passport or national ID card. There is no official advice at this time that these must be translated. To prove your residence, a valuable UK document is your National Insurance Card as the Authorities can confirm your residence from their tax and benefit systems. Depending on your circumstances, you may be asked to provide other documents.
The advice of this writer is that where these may be needed (i.e. absence from the UK over 6 months), arrange the translations of your medical records, education certificates/letters or employment letters or records before you apply for settled status.
What about your family? If you’re living in the UK, children born there will be British citizens and if a personal relationship with another EU citizen began before 31 December 2020 and you are in the same relationship when they apply to live in the UK, they should be able to join you. It is best you all apply at the same time and “link” your applications so they are processed together. If you are in a new relationship after 2020, your partner or other family members in certain circumstances, will have to apply for a visa which involves a different process.
If your family member is not living in the UK by the end of 2020 and wants to join you, you must have settled or pre-settled status and your “close family relationship” must have existed before this time. This is not just husbands, wives or partners but also “dependents” such as children, parents, grand-children or grandparents. You will have to prove this relationship and to do this you will need documents from your country like birth certificates, adoption certificates, marriage certificates etc.
As with the other documents from outside the UK that are mentioned above, you will need official document translation services to deal with these personal documents before you apply.
What if my family member is under 21 years old? Firstly, you or they must be an EU citizen and you have 2 options.
There are further requirements for other circumstances including being married to a UK citizen, having a parent who is a UK citizen, retirement, starting work in another EU country after claiming settled status, you, a spouse or family member being from outside the EU etc.
Is it really so great knowing another language? The honest answer is it depends on how you use it and the reasons for how you came to know more than one language.
For some people, knowing more than one language comes about because they had been hearing two (or possibly more) languages since day one in their home environment. It was the norm to switch from one language to another with certain family members or friends, throwing in the odd borrowed word or two. Borrowed, that is, from the other language they are accustomed to.
It is common for this interchangeable use of language to extend beyond the rapid, frequent switching in individual conversations to automatically selecting which language to speak with certain individuals. With one family member, neighbour or friend, English may be the natural choice, whereas the other equally familiar or fluent language is always spoken with another.
Where children learn the language of a parent who is from a country outside of the country in which they now live, and where there are substantial cultural differences, or often differences in the ethnicity of the people of the country in which the child is growing up and the parent’s country of birth, these distinctions often provide the basis for the choice of language to be used.
Take the example of a Mexican friend of mine whose son grew up in England. Having grown up with a Mexican mother and an English father, he often associated Latin American Spanish with people of a similar appearance to his mother, and English with everyone else. Despite my professional position as a Spanish language specialist in the legal field, and thus my fluency in Spanish, and in the American variety in particular, my addressing him in Spanish often brought about a stunned reaction in the youngster who seemed happier hearing me say “Hi” instead of “Hola”!
PNow, before any reader concludes that the child was being awkward, let me give another example. In my travels over the years, be them in Spanish, Portuguese or French speaking countries, I have always been met with stunned, confused expressions by many people from the respective countries on addressing them in their language. It is important to acknowledge that mannerisms, physical attributes and facial features have much to do with people’s associations and therefore, expectations.
In popular tourist areas it would not be extraordinary for a native of a given country to presume someone with a typically British or typically German look, for instance, only speaks the language of their (presumed) respective country. Put yourself in that person’s place and take that expectation developed over some time and suddenly find yourself face-to-face with someone who looks very different to you and doesn’t sound like you expect them to. It then suddenly clicks that they are not speaking some strange language or bizarre dialect of English, but have actually spoken your language in a very “normal” manner. Perhaps somewhat ironically, however, the First Minister of the Welsh Government, which is not led by Plaid Cymru, is a native Welsh speaker, whereas the leader of Plaid Cymru, is in fact an adult learner of the language!
Please don’t take from this that encounters with speakers of other countries, whether in their countries or elsewhere, are negative ones. Such encounters more often than not elicit a smile, a friendlier and more relaxed approached on feeling the relief that they can communicate with this other person without the effort of “searching” for foreign vocabulary.
So, the young boy of Mexican parentage was only doing what many of us instinctively do as the creatures of habit that humans are.
Can speaking more than one language represent more than simply devotion to linguistic or genetic heritage?
Let’s look at Wales. A bilingual country often wrongly and annoyingly referred to as “England” by many non-British people. And, sadly, by some English people! I have known Welsh citizens who were born into Welsh speaking families and attended Welsh medium schools. In some parts of the country, Welsh is the language in which many hold the majority of their conversations. In others the opposite is true. Nonetheless, this does not make them any less passionate about their language, the language of their country, regardless of their background and linguistic roots.
Wales is an obvious example of the importance of language and how language can shape society. Language represents the history of a people, its traditions, its values, its culture and its strengths and weaknesses. It is the vehicle of communication from generation to generation and without it all sense of cultural and national identity is lost.
The degree of respect many Welsh have for their language and identity is reflected even in the country’s political scene. The members and supporters of Plaid Cymru (the Party of Wales) range from being native bilingual Welsh speakers while others have learned the language as proud Welsh men and women. Whether or not one of these groups is more enthusiastic in their use of the language remains to be proven.
What is unquestionable is that the cultural identity, values and pride reflected in the Welsh language are such as to be a catalyst for social and political change among its speakers. The same can undoubtedly be said about speakers of other languages, particularly, the native, minority or even tribal languages of Latin America and Africa respectively.
It is arguable, however, that, as with many things in life, language is something many take for granted. If you have beautiful landscapes, protected coastline and historic monuments on your doorstep, many of us overlook their virtues, mentally categorising these treasures as last resort places of interest. Could the same be said of language? Especially if any sense of all that language represents for a people is lost to some? Again, I would say undoubtedly it does.
How else do people come to speak other languages?
My personal interest in languages developed early in my teens from a fascination with the map of the world. I was fascinated by what these countries were called, what the people looked like and began to link references I’d heard to nationalities and countries with their geographical reality. One example is of Argentina in respect of which, as an 11-year-old about to start high school, I had heard lots of reference to the “Argies” from schoolmates as this was at the time of the Falklands conflict.
Another example is that around that time I was also hooked on tennis and not only played but spent at least a couple of summers watching Wimbledon where many international tennis stars became known to me, including also a particular Argentinian player.
Following that the main subjects of interest to me in high school were Latin, French, German and Spanish. But for some reason I hated English. Quite possibly because I think it was more about creative writing rather than linguistic study per se which the other languages were about, and which was necessary to learn those languages.
So, is speaking more than one language all it is cracked up to be?
When I first started putting my Spanish into practice, this being the first foreign language I had learned and had the opportunity to use in “real life”, I started to look more at the structure of the English language.
The first things I began to analyse were common or colloquial phrases. When I translated these into English I came to understand the structure of and real meaning behind phrases I had used most of my life up till then. For instance, in school I remember the frequently used phrase “You’ve got sick taste”, which was commonly heard to express disagreement with someone’s preference. To hear a young Spanish speaker comment “Tienes el gusto enfermo” made me stop and think.
Breaking down that phrase, bearing in mind the adjective follows the noun in Spanish as with many languages first we have (literally) “you have the taste”. The “enfermo” was what made me think. Previously, I had only used, heard and read that word when it indicated personally feeling ill, poorly, sick etc.
Suddenly, this was not even an inanimate object being referred to as sick but a concept, and something we don’t think about in our mother tongue because it’s learned parrot fashion in a sense. In other words, by not stopping to think about our mother tongue, we take it for granted and only start to analyse it when we begin to write seriously or professionally, or compare and contrast it with other language structures.
This analysis of my own native language, British English, extended to my professional practice as a legal document specialist translator. I believe having this instinctive ability to break down both English and the other language I was translating was extremely beneficial when finding English law or commercial equivalents. The ability to work out and “find” legal and linguistic equivalents quickly is certainly a plus when it comes to accurate legal translation required within a very specific deadline!
So, is knowing more than one language so great? I think it is. For me, not only do I feel I have a deeper understanding of my first language as a result of this knowledge, many personal friendships and experiences would never have existed without my passion for languages.
Similarly, my knowledge of other language structures has also enhanced my social and cultural awareness of other nationalities that would not have developed otherwise. And perhaps that is a topic for another article.
What do people look for when they travel to another country? For many it’s a rest from their everyday activities and routine, a chance to relax. Some enjoy an environment that feels like their home country with food, drink and sounds that are familiar to them. For others it is an opportunity to explore and enjoy cultural differences. The location may be one they return to time and again or they could be adventurers enjoying the new surroundings.
Even if the environment is an unfamiliar one where the visitor is comfortable among strangers and meeting new people, one aspect of their travel will be familiar. Although food is an obvious choice in many parts, language, whether there is a casual interest in it or a passion for it, is a common factor for many travellers. Some find a basic grasp of a local language, enough to be polite, is more than enough for them while others find themselves intrigued by the range of sounds and linguistic habits they encounter.
So, why doesn’t everyone strive for proficiency in another language? The honest answer is that for many of them they simply don’t have the ability to do so, the time or the interest in doing so. It is often said among anglophones that there is a lack of desire to develop other language skills. A reason given by many of them who are regular holidaymakers and even those who live in another country where the national language is not English is that there is no need because everyone else speaks English!
On the other hand, those who choose the route of learning or improving language skills generally do this out of a passion to communicate. Communication may go as far as “holiday Spanish”, more advanced language skills with an understanding of essential grammar or full blown academic achievements.
It is important to remember that whatever the aim of learning a language and whatever the motivation for learning, such a skill can have personal or professional advantages. Take the learner who wants no more than an informal knowledge of the language. The sense of achievement when simply greeting a friendly shopkeeper or frequently seen local who is a speaker of the language and understanding the response can be enormous in itself.
Others who are driven to attain a deeper understanding of their chosen language may be pleased to have such a skill appear on their curriculum vitae. With this achievement they may be able to impress a potential employer with their enhanced communication skills or motivation to study to gain additional qualifications and with this gain a new position, secondment or promotion. What drives people to take up languages as adults is therefore completely subjective with only one common factor that is the desire to communicate.
When you think about how language is learnt it’s interesting to consider for a minute how babies develop speech. They simply hear it spoken by their parents and others around them, then from there. Hence, it is no surprise for a child to speak with the accent of the area in which they are brought up and to use expressions typical of that area. On the other hand, it is sometimes found that children pick up the accent of one of their parents and can have almost a mixed or neutral sounding accent. A lot of the development and understanding of language stems from their imitation of the sounds they hear.
So, it is similar when adult language learners embarks on a course of learning. It is important to imitate the sounds made by native speakers of the given language. A minor issue here is that learners become so accustomed to the same accent, terminology and pronunciation that when someone comes along who is from a different region where the language is spoken such changes, although not extraordinary to the native speaker, can be sufficient to throw the language learner into a bit of a panic.
It would be useful now to look at this in the context of the UK. In England take an accent from the south coast and compare it to an accent from Manchester. Similarly, moving in the other direction, the difference between terminology used and pronunciation between Liverpool and Newcastle. The list could go on!
If we take the Spanish language as an example, particularly Castilian as opposed to one of Spain’s regional languages like Basque or Catalan, certain sounds can be quite distinct depending on the Spanish city. In Valladolid, “D” at the end of the word often has a “th” tone to it. The soft “th” is in fact quite a common sound in mainland Spain as the letters “Z” and “C” are pronounced “th”. The exception to this is in the Andalucia area where these letters sometimes have a softer “S” sound.
Anyone used to visiting the Canary Islands will have noticed a distinct absence of these “th” sounds in conversations with locals. Having something of a Latin American influence on the Canarian accent, Castilian spoken there has a much softer, less harsh sounding tone compared to the mainland variety. As in Latin American Spanish, the “C” and “Z” are pronounced as a soft “S”.
Some Spanish learners find the softer pronunciation more natural, however, in the UK, many Spanish classes teach the European dialect. Once some degree of competence and confidence is attained in one it becomes far easier to adjust the ear to differences in pronunciation. Anyone using Spanish in a professional capacity such as interpreters and many translators can confirm that the ability to decipher both the dialects and accents of the various regions is what makes a Spanish language specialist.
There are industries and professions which are often heard of, are well known, and it is easily and commonly understood what generally goes on in them. It is clear that a teacher teaches, a builder builds, a translator translates and so on. With some, however, such as the translator, what the task entails and what the professional requirements are in order to be competent to perform the role are frequently misunderstood and underestimated.
Taking the further example of the legal profession, most people understand that a lawyer can advise on legal matters, ensure you gain compensation for a wrongdoing or that a wrongdoing is rectified, defend you in a courtroom, verify that legal documents, contracts etc are correctly and legally drafted, among other things.
It is therefore no surprise that the ordinary member of the public understands any role or task that includes the word “legal” or the term “legal document” to be directly associated with the legal profession.
To get to the bottom of this, let’s proceed with the comparison of two jurisdictions. Firstly, in parts of the USA such a person is understood to be someone who serves documents such as a court summons on members of the public and files documents with a court. In other parts of the country this is understood to be a type of legal support assistant, a bit like a legal secretary or similar assistant in the UK.
This person is expected to have finely tuned administrative and organisational skills. Examples of this include managing the firm’s filing systems, whether these are paper files, electronic ones or both and taking care that these are easily identifiable to others who may require access to them.
Excellent IT skills are clearly an advantage in organising the electronic files just mentioned but also to secure the safe storage of data within the office and manage the many other systems used there such as scheduling and calendar software, emails and other data recording applications.
Further skills the person will require include strong interpersonal skills with the ability to deal with both the legal professionals within the firm and from other firms, court and other staff. Quite likely this aptitude for communication is useful for dealing with suppliers, such as office stationery providers or travel companies, and competently processing invoices. The same can be said for the law firm’s clients with whom telephone and face-to-face communication is usually required. Dealing with client invoices and payments too can undoubtedly be tasks requiring much patience and tact!
An extremely important trait for the person employed in this role is naturally the highest standard of discretion and confidentiality in dealing with individuals from outside of the firm including clients. Any carelessness in this regard can easily lead to the disclosure of important information on which the success of a particular case entirely rests and result in a case being jeopardised. This circumstance would entail devastation for the client and needless to say the professional reputation of the legal professional under whose supervision the person had been working and potentially the firm as a whole.
Additional duties requiring the utmost attention to detail include checking, revising and proofreading all forms of written correspondence whether in hard copy or electronically and meticulous typing and data entry capabilities.
To many it is with these last three attributes, namely, confidentiality, attention to detail and accuracy that some overlap with the responsibilities of another type of legal document specialist is acknowledged. This is not to ignore the administrative, organisational and interpersonal skills mentioned further above, which are equally necessary and important. In the UK the presumption would be that reference is being made to someone who works in the legal profession. However, there is a profession that supports not only the latter sector but also provides such support services to official bodies, organisations, individuals and the commercial sector: that of the translator who is a legal document specialist and who, in most instances, is accredited by an appropriate institution to provide an official English translation for a plethora of purposes.
This type of translator must be capable of understanding legal terms and principles as well as the legal systems of the countries where the language or languages from which they translate are used in addition to that of the country whose official language is the one into which they translate, and which should be their native or first language.
It goes without saying, then, that in a world where pen is rarely put to paper particularly in formal, academic and professional settings, ease in using various forms of telecommunications technology, programmes and software is one of the first skills to be developed or honed. Similarly, dealing with clients can be a particular challenge and so, the ability to deal calmly, rationally and professionally is a desirable attribute in successfully managing a translation business.
As the term suggests, the translator who is a legal document specialist is at all times required to exercise the utmost discretion and confidentiality to an equal extent as the non-linguist counterpart. A careless utterance outside of the work environment would doubtlessly result in a reduction in work from the client whose information has been publicly disclosed. And worse, they would consider this language specialist a liability who cannot be trusted with their files. Such a lack of confidence in a language professional always bears the risk of their own professional reputation disappearing rapidly into the abyss.
The final skill set shared with the namesake, that essentially consists in diligence, accuracy and attention to detail, is the one that resonates most with those who give a thought for the role and responsibilities of the translator of legal documents. Obvious aspects of this are great care in performing the translation task, reference to glossaries and researching new terminology, careful input while typing, revision and proofreading of the completed work.
It is shown therefore that a legal document specialist is widely and correctly understood to be someone who is sufficiently qualified and competent to handle a variety of legal documents in the completion of their work. Both roles referred to require an excellent understanding of legal speak and the workings of the given legal system. Both require a high level of diligence be it in verbal or written communications as well as an ability to overcome the challenges of information technology.
The clear difference is that the non-linguist specialist processes documents and communications in a single language whereas the translator in fact transforms documents that originated in a given jurisdiction in a foreign language into the equivalent language of the jurisdiction and legal system in which they are based. An example in terms of the UK is taking a court judgment, a contract or personal document issued in a non-UK country and drafted in a language other than English and essentially transferring its original meaning into English and in appropriate terminology for the Scottish or English legal system.
Your feedback is welcome so please leave any comments below.
So I’ve been a serious translator for a long, long time. Since 2002 in fact. At the beginning I also took on interpreting work which was the skill I originally trained in and wanted my focus and primary business activity to be just that. I didn’t want to do translation. Nonetheless, as many of us know things don’t always work out as we expect them to.
I soon found that the calls to interpret in courtrooms, police stations and other public services weren’t regular enough to provide a viable income and that translation projects definitely could not be discounted. Having attended courses and events aimed at linguists, and particularly interpreters, I realised that it was a case of location, location, location. And really, it was something that I should have realised sooner but, as with many new ventures and as my first attempt to run a business, even as a freelancer, I started out optimistic and presumed I’d be all over the region, perhaps even all over the country interpreting here, there and everywhere.
Common sense of course says that the need for interpreters in any language pair or pairs will correspond to the volume of non-English speakers who come into contact with some authority or other and who have an insufficient level of the English language to navigate their way through the procedures, sector specific terminology or, and particularly the most difficult even for native English speakers, legal jargon and terms.
It was clear that qualified interpreters who live in or close to a city where many workers, individuals and families tend to settle receive more calls to interpret between the various public services and those citizens who are native speakers of other languages, and had a clear advantage. Living forty minutes away from one large UK city didn’t preclude me altogether from the odd interpreting assignment but a minimum of one hour away from the next closest large city meant I was seen as a last resort if no-one else suitably qualified was available.
As much as I didn’t want to admit it I discovered that being in my home office in front of my laptop wasn’t all that bad. It was nothing like the devastating hell I thought being office bound was going to be. After a while I got faster and was able to turn around translation projects pretty quickly and accurately, confident in my ability. I can even go so far as to say that I have come to view my translation work as a form of art in which I take great pride and from which I derive great satisfaction.
In the early days most of the translation work came from larger agencies. Some became regulars and were in regular contact while others hired me as a one-off or perhaps once a year for some project. The bigger agencies who received a lot of work began not only sending me translation projects but editing ones too. That is, editing and correcting translations performed by another translator.
So, what type of translation work was this? The great thing about translation work, and particularly for a legal document specialist, is that the field of law covers every area of personal, public and business life. With that comes variety and I found that I learnt a lot about sectors that I had never previously given a second thought to. The same applied to my time as an interpreter.
The translation of supply contracts and articles of association became bread and butter projects. Almost all of these with the odd exception contained the same or similar legal terminology but with individual business or sector specific differences. Court judgments (yes, judgments without an “e” for judicial decisions!) became commonplace as did certified translations of personal documents such as marriage certificates. Political texts, newspaper articles and public announcements were also typical.
Now, since the law applies to every industry and every business, and every one of those requires company documents and contracts, very often accompanying documents also required translation. This led to my translating product specifications or supply agreements with a lot of technical vocabulary, often containing as much technical terminology as legal language in some cases.
And this was great because it meant the legal aspect was there and was usually straightforward yet there was something new in there too which required a little research of the industry specific language, products, processes etc. I’d started out with only an interest in legal matters but became unbelievably familiar with the tobacco, telecoms, water processing and mining industries in particular!
Furthermore, a great thing about having working languages that are spoken and/or are the language of business across the globe rather than restricted to one single country is that I discovered new aspects to the languages from which I translated owing to some regional variations. For instance, having studied European Portuguese, there weren’t too many surprises when it came to translating Portuguese documents from African jurisdictions, and the same could be said of French ones. From this I learned a bit about political and commercial attitudes in several African countries.
Brazilian Portuguese documents are surprisingly refreshing to translate as they are “Portuguese” but they keep me on my toes because of the inverted verb-pronoun structure and the very frequent use of the gerundive in contrast to the very frequent use of the a + infinitive structure to indicate “-ing” in European Portuguese. See my post about the differences between Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese.
Spanish is the language, however, that I found to have more differences in sector specific or sometimes official terminology between its Latin American and European variants. Having initially learnt European Spanish then subsequently spending time in a region where there were many Latino influences in the pronunciation and language used, I was confident of being a Spanish language specialist who could translate the language from any part of the world.
Very often there were just subtle differences in the meaning of a given term but there could be a lot of regional dialect that required slightly more extensive research. This was particularly the case in political and criminal law related texts from the Americas. Nonetheless it is these differences that make language so special and make the role of the translator so varied.
Having said all of the above, this does not mean that I have been restricted to translating purely legal, business or technical documents. It’s always quite pleasant to receive something a little different to translate and which presents a few challenges. Therefore, and as the reader has no doubt discovered by now, research is a huge part of the translation task.
The biggest challenge I have faced to date in my career must be the translation of several episodes of a French television entertainment programme. Anyone would be forgiven for thinking that this was a relatively simple task for someone who is used to working on complex legal materials since a fair presumption would be that the transcript contains just “ordinary language”.
This is where it gets tricky because what is ordinary language? Jargon, regional, town, city, county specific expressions are often only ordinary in their home location! As part of a televised entertainment show contestants can come from all corners of the country. Sayings, slang and humour are often part of “ordinary” language too. One section of the show in question even included rhyming. Imagine having to find the English equivalent of all these aspects of speech in a single text!
Needless to say working out what the speakers really meant or what they were implying was a challenge but a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying one. Perhaps most challenging of all in this project was all the thought I put into finding the expressions in English that meant exactly the same thing as the French counterpart but used completely different analogies. Sometimes they make perfect sense and it is clear that they have the same meaning when you think about them. Other times they range from humorous or odd to bizarre or nonsensical.
So, let’s end this article about my story as a translator with a couple of those expressions.
When the phrase “official translation” or “official translator” is mentioned by an individual who is not him or herself a language professional, very often that person is thinking about hiring someone who is officially qualified, in other words, holds some form of qualification enabling the translator to undertake that task. This is in contrast to the individual who claims to be a translator but has no formal training or education in the language or languages from which he or she translates or indeed any training or education in the task of translation. Nonetheless, many who think of an official translator in the sense mentioned above, often omit the concept of training from the process of translation, focusing solely on the perceived linguistic ability of the individual.
To a language professional, or indeed anyone who has experienced the formalities of dealings with overseas jurisdictions, whether in a professional or personal capacity, an official translation is one which is required for an official purpose either to be tendered in evidence or a personal document like a certified marriage certificate to be submitted to some authority. By this we mean required by a national or state body, educational establishment or court, or even a body such as an insurer. Essentially, it is a translation carried out by a linguist with a particular level of qualification and accreditation that meets the requirements of the authority that has requested the translation.
It goes without saying for the most part that a translator who has a form of accreditation is likely to hold a formal qualification such as a degree or degree level qualification in his or her languages and/or a degree in a field relevant to the field in which he or she translates. Here this is typically a law degree. Becoming accredited by an institution in any sector implies a specific level of academic and/or professional achievement in order to receive that accreditation.
To explain the concept of official translator or translation it may be useful to compare what this means in a jurisdiction such as that of England and Wales with that of other countries, other EU ones in particular. In doing this the expressions “sworn translation” and “sworn translator” will no doubt seem familiar to many readers. In French, the most commonly found equivalent of these are quite literally “traduction assermentée” and “traducteur assermenté”. When searched for, other variants – agré (approved), official (official) and certifié (certified) - will return relevant results although many, if not most, will have references to the translator or translation being “assermenté(e)”, literally “sworn”. In other EU civil jurisdictions like Spain reference is typically made to “traducciones juradas”, namely sworn translations.
This common terminology and form of reference to being sworn implies an entirely different level of formality compared to the UK where no reference to being sworn is ever made when considering translation services. In the UK an individual swears or takes an oath concerning the translated document and may involve either a signed affidavit before a solicitor or swearing on oath before a commissioner of oaths. Furthermore, the act of swearing in this context is also considered in the context of notaries. All of the aforementioned professionals can be and are frequently resorted to by official or certified translators in the UK when a higher level of formality in respect of a translation is required.
Nonetheless, the term certified translation is that most commonly referred to on British shores. Like its EU counterparts, the term reflects the process of certifying or making the translation sufficiently official to be accepted by the requesting authority. However, we can now see the primary difference between a sworn and a certified translation in relation to official translations within the English legal system. In countries like France, Portugal or Italy, translators become sworn by a court and are in turn authorised to provide an official translation even holding an official stamp to provide the literal seal of approval or at the very least confirmation by the translator him or herself that the work is up to standard. No approval, revision or checking of any sort is performed by the court.
Conversely, there is no such procedure or formality in the UK. The translator holding sufficient qualification refers to the accuracy of his or her work by means of a signed certificate or simply a certifying letter and may do so owing to his or her accreditation by an official UK body. In the UK the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the Institute of Translators and Interpreters are the only independent accrediting bodies for linguists. Again, the translator who is a legal document specialist, or sometimes the agency which has hired him or her, certifies the accuracy of the work. No stamp or seal is ever provided unless an official body or authority requests the higher level of certification that requires swearing before a legal professional.
Whether these variations in procedure, and certainly formality, are indicative of the legal and/or social systems in the respective jurisdictions or whether the differences reflect a difference in attitude generally, be it social, cultural or professional, therein is a matter for further discussion.
Many people have been on holiday to a destination which becomes a regular, favourite haunt, their first choice for spending time away from home and a break from work. This place becomes like a second home, a home away from home, and they form friendships with other regular visitors as well as people who live and work there.Some visit so regularly that they start to pick up some of the local language spoken in that destination. It may be some general small phrases to express basic niceties or greetings or order a favourite dish or drink in their preferred restaurants. Others are so enchanted by their home from home that they sign up to a class to learn more of the language!
Informal travel encompassing positive experiences is one way to generate this interest in language. For others, this interest stems from the workplace and may be due to regular contact with speakers of the language, a professional necessity to know the language and eventually become a Portuguese language specialist, perhaps a desired skill or simply a preference with a view to development that will have some vocational and personal benefits
So far it is clear from this article that there are many reasons why people choose to learn a language other than as part of formal educational studies.
When language learners begin their learning they often learn and become familiar with the language spoken by the individuals with whom they come into contact or the variant or expressions, pronunciation and accent of the region to which they frequently travel. Once a certain confidence has grown, it can become frustrating for them or even come as a shock when they unexpectedly encounter a speaker from a different part of the country or even from a different country where the same language is spoken!
Portugal is like every other country where its national language has some differences particularly in how it sounds such as from the very north to the very south, for instance, or between cities such as Lisbon and Coimbra. Then there are the many African countries, former Portuguese colonies, where the language is structurally the same and considered the European variant of the language but sometimes spoken with a slightly different accent.
The most shocking differences encountered in the Portuguese language is found in Brazilian Portuguese.
It is very common in Portugal to visit a restaurant or coffee shop, for example, and hear a language being spoken which contains some elements that are recognisably Portuguese, but in other moments sounds like an entirely different language.
Let’s consider why suddenly hearing Brazilian Portuguese can be a shock to the Portuguese language learner’s ears. The Portuguese language has some quite “hard” sounds such as a hard “Z” which gives it almost a Russian sounding quality to non-Portuguese ears. There are some guttural sounds, or “throaty” sounds, which are when an “R” comes at the beginning of a word. These sounds are also surprisingly apparent in the middle of some words including in the European Portuguese pronunciation of “falar” (to speak) where it is heard between the first “A” and the “L”. Then there are some soft and hard “SH” sounds particularly where words end with an “S”. In European Portuguese “T” and “D” are pronounced as an anglophone or some other non-Portuguese speakers would expect.
The verb “falar” mentioned above is a great example to use to distinguish between European and Brazilian Portuguese. The first “A” is unexpectedly pronounced more like an “E” and overall this word sounds more like “fehr-lar”. Spoken by a Brazilian speaker the vowels are longer and pronounced more like “fah-lahr”.
A big difference between these variants is in the sound of the letters “T” and “D” in the Latin American variant since both of these are pronounced as a soft “ch” or “j” sound usually in the middle of a word. Take now the word “futebol”. The European speaker says this in much the same way as an English speaker whereas the American variant is “foo-cheh-ball”. Such differences can be heard in words similar to “liberdade”. European Portuguese is “lee-behr-dad” while its counterpart is “Lee-behr-dah-jeh”.
Pronunciation and accent are not the sole differences although they are significant. Structural changes in the language exist too. With some exceptions such as in questions, in Portugal pronouns normally follow the verb, for instance, “chamo-me” (I am called or literally, I call myself). The structure of the latin variant would be “me chamo”.
The above is not an exhaustive account of Portuguese differences but provides an insight. It is clear that language learning does indeed have its challenges, however, language learning should be fun and it would be no fun if little surprises didn’t turn up once in a while and make us think. Whether the learner chooses Brazilian or European Portuguese one tip for learning a language is to accustom the ear to the accent, pronunciation and intonations. Listening to TV shows regardless of how much is being understood is helpful allowing the learner to focus on the sounds. With some basic Portuguese vocabulary the learner will soon feel more confident about conversations with native Portuguese speakers when in their chosen Lusophone destination.
A Multicultural Christmas Party
Sunday 13th December 2015 saw the first ever multicultural Christmas party held at the Saith Seren public house in Wrexham, North Wales. The party was organised with the combined attention and passion for community cohesion of Race Council Cymru and CLPW (Portuguese Language Community of Wrexham). It was aimed at all age groups from all backgrounds in and around the North Wales area.
The Saith Seren was delighted to host the event which took place in the main bar area and was open to all members of the public. The friendly bar staff were extremely supportive to stallholders and helped create a welcoming atmosphere.
There was music and plenty of people to catch up and have a chat with as well as friendly, smiling faces from Portugal, São Tomé e Principe, Wales, Italy, Lithuania and Nigeria to get to know.
The offer on the day included a variety of food with particular emphasis on Portuguese and Spanish specialities. In good Portuguese fashion, many “bolos” or Portuguese cakes and imaginative sweet treats were available to buy from vendors too. A delicious traditional stew from a recipe that has its roots in São Tomé e Principe was available to sample and buy on the day. São Tomé e Principe is a small island nation south of the Cape Verde islands off the West African coast.
Other offerings included jewellery, handmade Christmas cards and Christmas themed household gifts.
A local dance teacher also gave up her time to do a fun kids’ Zumba session on the pub’s stage which many of the children of all ages took part in. Adults were welcome to take part too although it seemed they were busy enjoying what the bar and vendors had to offer! We look forward to seeing more kids (and adults) fun Zumba at next year’s International Celebration Day in Flint, North Wales.
The biggest surprise and delight of the day, especially visible on the children’s faces was a special visitor from the North Pole! The big man’s appearance was in fact not guaranteed due to some hiccups overnight, however, community spirit prevailed and with the help of volunteers from Mold, Father Christmas was able to make a last minute appearance to the absolute joy of the children and parents. Not only did he have a chat with all the children who went to see him, every child received presents and had the opportunity to have a photo taken with their Christmas hero. Some adults were spotted grabbing a photo opportunity too.
All in all, a fun and pleasant day was enjoyed by young, old and those not so young or old. We look forward to more multicultural events with Iolanda and Andreia from CLPW and especially Flint’s International Celebration on May 29th 2016.
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