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Gilmar Saint’Clair Ribeiro, 62, born at São Caetano do Sul (São Paulo) is a translator and proofreader of texts in many languages, with three decades of professional experience.

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What does the law say?
Read below about the legal aspects of translations:

“The translation of official documents is an attribution of the public translator, granted and controlled by the State Government through the Board of Trade and based in Decree-law no. 13/609/43. It is an activity that works as a registry office and the services performed demand quality and credibility. It involves responsibility beyond the limits of non-official translation, as well as maintenance of numbered registrations and safekeeping of copies of the translated documents.

Unfortunately, sometimes the users of public translation services are deceived by people who pretend they are sworn translators and often come to the point of presenting authorizations from entities or people who are not competent to perform the job in accordance to the legislation in force. Recently, in the State of Paraíba, the following cases of damages have been discovered as a result from the actions of a false official translator:

a) Brazilian’s Federal Police refused the translation of a driver’s license performed by a non-qualified translator;

b) The local General Office for Education refused the translation of a school résumé belonging to a student from a United States school because it was performed by someone with no legal qualifications;

c) The Federal University of Paraíba refused to revalidate a master’s diploma from a foreign university due to the fact that it was translated by someone with no qualifications according to the law;

d) The British General Consulate in São Paulo has demanded that Brazilian school documents be translated by an official translator legally nominated;

e) The Registry Office of Titles and Documents of Paraíba’s capital, João Pessoa, refused to file a foreign document which was not translated in accordance with the law.

In Brazil, many are the cases of damage resulting from people pretending to be official translators (popularly called “sworn translators”). The false official translators can be sued for mispresentation and compelled to pay for damages caused, including legal costs, as well as incur in the reasonable criminal penalty.”


Gilmar Saint’Clair Ribeiro – Fone/Fax + 55 (11) 4538.2728