Translation of documents for expats - New Law or insiders job ?

Dear all,

My wife and I were not aware of the new law/policy for notarizing documents in the local agencies in VN. She has been doing translation work for many years, so I feel secured when she does it   for me.  However, when the original documents and photocopies submitted in the local government agency this afternoon, I was unhappily surprised and disappointed. For example, certificate of degree or any documents need for employment or any other purposes must be done inside the authorized agency. As soon as the officer knew and received a set of documents, he told us that "our local office will no longer accept any translated documents from outsiders.” With my untamed perceptions, this means no matter how professional, skillful or experienced translator that you hire for, they are strictly not allowed to do  the translation work for foreigners regardless of who they are. To add insult to injury, the officer added a clever comment, "It's a new law/policy in VN and all documents will be translated by the only-appointed personnel of the said office.”

To be honest, my wife had helped me a lot translated my documents for several years because I knew she is the most qualified and expert in doing translation work for many documents. In terms of capacity/ability, she finished BSEd for secondary, BSEd –major in English, and took her master’s degree in TESOL. During her terms of studying at schools/universities, she was one of the honors students who received RED certificates, not the regular and common blue one. Besides, she took IELTS exam with very good results, especially in writing and speaking. Furthermore, after endorsing her by some of the Deans of the school, she was hired by the US/UK university lecturers/professors to do the translation work for them. Indeed, she has gained a lot of translation work in both at school and at work for many years. After this incident, it seems I realized, "she has no use at all." What a pity to those talented/intelligent people in VN!

As far as I know, as long as the person who does the translation work can prove her eligibility and proficiency, he/she is authorized to do the translation work. This is the reason why I have the confidence to ask for help and do my requests. I believe my wife is very much qualified to that kind of job though her job is a university lecturer for many subjects. Translation is not her main job, but I know how she works, and so far no one has complained after doing her translation. Indeed, there’s a lot of compliments from others.

In contrast, I’ve been here in VN for so long and I knew how people had worked in the translation team. Based on my experience, they always had a problem from English to Vietnamese or VN to English. Now, I asked myself if there's really a new policy/law??? Are you really aware of this matter? I don’t understand now and hope somebody could shed some light if you have/know the same experience and somebody who can suggest. Supposedly, I should have asked the officer to let us know the capacity of the person who will do the translation. At least, I can compare it and expect something - for better or for worse. After counting the pages, the officer could only tell me to pay 900,000 VND for 9 pages of one kind of document. Though it's not big amount to pay for one kind of document, but  I have 5 sets of different kinds of documents. This makes me more worried and irritated instead of saving or giving it for my family.

Anyway, guys. Though I’m not really happy today because of the shocking experience and the delay of delivery time that may affect the submission date for my new job, but I have no choice - I still have to surrender myself and submit my documents. Hope you're aware now when you're working with your next docs.  ('=')

As far as I know all documents must be translated by a recognised agent or by the UBND. Your wife translating them usually won't be accepted due to her not being a registered translating agent. This is what I was told many years ago and even last year was told the same thing. The price that guy quoted you is a joke, go elsewhere and pay the correct amount.

For your info., my wife and several of her friends graduated in the state with Ph. D. degrees at various well known universities in the US, universities such as USC, Colombia, NYU, Harvard, MIT etc....... were required to go to Hanoi to take English examinations from elementary grade instructors educated in Vietnam if they want to advance to higher rank????? I feel sorry for them that they had refused to take many jobs offered to them to returned to VN and now they are treated like that.

In Viet Nam the intelligent people don't get the decision making positions, they are reserved for family members, hence the nepotism that is rampant here.

For translations to give to VN officials, get them done cheaply through Phong Cong Chung (Public Notary Office).  When I needed a medical word in one document translated a very specifically, the translator didn't mind my pointing out the correct translation for him.  I thought it comical that he Public Notary Office could not notarise any English language document for me, but only the translation that I then had to ask them to do.

Your wife, like me, can still do translations for expats who need docs to give to the embassies and government departments of their own countries.

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