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Presentation on sworn translation


Laurent guides attendees through some samples
of sworn translations.

On Saturday 16 May WITStranslate, the professional translation agency based at Wits Language School, hosted a presentation on how to become a sworn translator.

The presenter was Mr Laurent Chauvet, a highly experienced sworn translator who has covered a wide range of subjects in his work. In addition to legal documents he has also translated texts about Olympic fencing, mining, cosmetics and call centres, to name a few topics.

Laurent’s presentation covered the process of a translator becoming sworn at the High Court and important notes on the documents a sworn translator may encounter. In addition, he also showed the participants how to create a correctly certified


The presentation opened with remarks on the
procedure at the High Court  for potential
sworn translators.

translation, as well as how to liaise appropriately and professionally with a client who has requested a certified translation.

Some important lessons learned from this presentation included the legal aspects of a sworn translation: for example, a sworn translation must be stamped and signed in a specific way and multi-page documents must be kept intact in the correct manner, otherwise the translation may not be accepted wherever it is being submitted. Another lesson learned was the importance of client liaison. This is important for both the translator and the client; the translator will inevitably have queries for the client such as asking for clarity on illegible text, for example, while the client may need to be educated regarding the purpose of a certified translation and legal implications of the certifications.


Left to right: Thandiwe Nxumalo (Head of
Translation at WLS),  Laurent Chauvet (presenter)
and Satoko Koga (attendee)

The presentation was also wonderfully interactive, with many questions and comments from the eager participants and very helpful responses from Laurent.

Overall, this session was highly enjoyable and informative.

WITStranslate may be able to run similar workshops or presentations in the future, on demand. We strive to assist language practitioners to supplement their existing skills by providing informative, fun and affordable workshops and presentations. If any translators (or other language practitioners) are interested, please email us at wls@wits.ac.za and kindly supply as many details as possible regarding a workshop you would like us to facilitate.



In addition to providing an informative presentation,
Laurent also took many questions and comments from the attendees.

Lazelle Burgess, Project Leader at WITStranslate, welcomes Laurent to WLS.

Left to right: Isabelle Sile and Edith Koumtoudji, two of the attendees at the presentation.