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Alice asks:

I’m lodging a NOIM for a couple where the bride is Japanese. She has a passport (which is in English), but Japanese passports do not include place of birth, so I’ll also have to use her birth certificate (which is in Japanese). She already has a translation of her birth certificate from the American Translator’s Association from 2016. Does she need to get another from a NAATI-accredited translator or will her ATA translation suffice? 

The guidelines state that “The Marriage Regulations do not require translations to be provided by an accredited translator, except where a person consenting to a minor’s marriage gives a consent that is not in English” but they also state “When a party to a marriage produces a document in a language other than English, the celebrant (even if they can read and write in that language) should ask the couple to seek an official NAATI certified translation of the document.” 


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Alice asks:

I’m lodging a NOIM for a couple where the bride is Japanese. She has a passport (which is in English), but Japanese passports do not include place of birth, so I’ll also have to use her birth certificate (which is in Japanese). She already has a translation of her birth certificate from the American Translator’s Association from 2016. Does she need to get another from a NAATI-accredited translator or will her ATA translation suffice? 

The guidelines state that “The Marriage Regulations do not require translations to be provided by an accredited translator, except where a person consenting to a minor’s marriage gives a consent that is not in English” but they also state “When a party to a marriage produces a document in a language other than English, the celebrant (even if they can read and write in that language) should ask the couple to seek an official NAATI certified translation of the document.” 

I did not know Japanese passports don’t include place of birth, so thanks to Alice for teaching me something! Alice is right that she’ll need to use the bride’s birth certificate, and the translation she has from ATA is absolutely fine to use. 

We (I) argued this year when the draft Guidelines were released that parties shouldn’t have to go to the expense of obtaining a NAATI translation when they already had a perfectly good translation provided by an organisation of equal standing in another country. That’s why they amended the Guidelines to read should ask for a NAATI translation (rather than must), and confirmed that a NAATI translation is not required by the Regs or the Act. 

So Alice would be absolutely fine to rely on the translation by the American Translator’s Association. Yay!

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