When you check the translation of your document, always look at those things that the official will first of all pay attention to, namely: the Russian-language spelling of the last name, first name and patronymic, date of birth, document number, date of issue of the document and the issuing authority. If everything is correct here, then no one can pay attention to the rest of the document, although of course you should not hope for a chance, and you need to check everything thoroughly.

Who should pay for a translation error?

If, nevertheless, an error was discovered when submitting your document, in the first place you should not be very upset. This is, of course, very unpleasant, and carries certain inconveniences for you, but nevertheless it is worth remembering that although the blame for the error lies entirely with the translator, you have shared some of the responsibility with him, if only because you yourself did not notice the inaccuracy. This, of course, cannot serve as an excuse, but one should not categorically claim the translator, after all, he is just a person. But always keep in mind that if there is a mistake in your documents, it can only be corrected by the translator who signed such a translation. He must do this as soon as possible, and if the correction is associated with any costs, then at his own expense. In such situations, there should not even be a hint of an attempt to blame you for what happened, or to receive additional funds from you to correct it.

The above situations are generally applicable only to the translation of personal documents. Translation of non-standard documents differs in its specificity, including those related to possible errors. Often, no one pays attention to minor spelling errors in contracts and agreements, they do not greatly affect the essence of the document, therefore they are forgivable. Moreover, when translating voluminous legal documents, statutes, memoranda, etc., the translator often acts as an unrecognized master. In reality, no one ever reads such translations, simply because there is no need for it.

It makes no sense for a tax registrar to read forty sheets of the charter of a legal entity, he needs to look at its name, registration date and shareholders. A notary can view the powers of directors or other officers of the company by opening the appropriate section in the articles of association, but he does not need to look at how the shares are distributed among shareholders.

Translations of contracts and agreements are often for informational or formal purposes. After all, the original language in which the document was originally drawn up will always prevail, so such translations have little legal value, even if a bilingual version of the document is signed. Much more important in this context are translations of instructions or, say, a description of a device or medical product. But almost always, such translations are proofread by the technologists of the respective company, and experienced technical or pharmaceutical translators try to use neutral terms in order to neutralize the risks of semantic errors.

That is why the instructions for simple devices, such as small household appliances, are so similar to each other. The greatest value, of course from a translation point of view, are documents, the translations of which will be used in future publications or will be available to a wide audience. Such “documents” include programmatic speeches, publicistic articles, dialogues of computer games or websites. In these and other cases, in addition to proofreading the resulting translation by the translator himself, it is advisable to give such a document also to the editor for checking. This, of course, leaves an imprint on the final cost, but it is often simply necessary. If there are errors, then they can be corrected by the translator, but often the customer can do it on his own, if, of course, he receives electronic versions of his translations.

Errors that occur during interpreting are less common, or rather less noticeable. Oral negotiations are a completely different format of translation activity, they are much more dynamic and transient. Even if an error occurs in direct speech, for example, the verb tense is incorrectly used, this error will simply be ignored. Even when reading, the brain tends not to analyze the entire word being read, therefore, it is much more difficult to notice typos in the middle of a word than at the beginning or end, and even during direct speech, the interlocutors must quickly get information, analyze it, prepare an answer, and give it out.

The time allotted for information processing is reduced many times over, so no one will waste it on analyzing the errors they hear. And in the transcripts that are made at serious events, such errors simply do not fall, the stenographer writes very quickly, shortens a lot, and during the subsequent transcript, he cannot always be sure that the error in the text was made by the speaker, and not by himself.