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  • Writer's pictureSijin Xian

Ethics in Official Document Translation

Official documents are a cornerstone of many important cross-national life events—studying abroad, getting married, adopting a child, or immigrating to a new country. All of these require accurate and professional translation. However, as a translator, I see a hidden risk that clients may not realize: who their documents end up with.


I often receive emails from unscrupulous translation agencies, who blast emails to a long list of names that they obtained from professional translation service directories. These emails often directly attach the clients' highly sensitive documents to obtain a quote from freelance translators like myself. These could include court documents, private messages, identification documents, medical records, financial transactions, you name it.


These pieces of information significantly impact real people's lives. While translators on the receiving end of these emails probably won't do anything nefarious, this unethical practice of sending out personal information on a massive scale can nevertheless lead to severe consequences if that information somehow falls into the wrong hands.


In today's data-driven world, trust and ethics are non-negotiable. The next time you need your personal or official documents translated, make sure to engage with translators or agencies that understand the awesome responsibility that comes with the job.


Are you looking to get your official Chinese documents translated into English or vice versa? I'm certified by the American Translators Association both ways and will be happy to help! When you share your sensitive information with me, I'm the only one it ends up with. I do not subcontract the translation and do not use machine translation. Get in touch today, and I look forward to taking care of your text. Talk to you soon!


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