Tools of Translation: Understanding… Family Register Certificates – Japanese

by mohammedyusri

When it comes to personal documents that require certification and conversion into another language, there is a frequent type of document seen by those working in a certified translation company in Singapore, birth certificates. Whether for the purpose of explicitly proving a person’s birth, or simply to prove that a person’s identity is genuine and recognized by a particular country, a translator in Singapore is likely to see several birth certificates through their work. However, citizens of certain countries may present something similar and yet is not quite a birth certificate, or rather a document where the birth is not main focus, typically for the purpose of a PR application translation. The specific names will vary, but these can generally be known as Family Register Certificates.


For cultural reasons, countries such as Japan and China place a greater focus on the importance of family, and this is demonstrated and evidenced through the use of Family Registers, documents that list the details of all the members of a single immediate family. Such papers can be of even more use for certain governmental procedures and can be seen more frequently by a translator in Singapore performing services such as a notarized translation. A Birth Certificate might focus on the particular moment of a person’s birth, with most of the details being about the person being born, and only a few other details about the parents and so on. A Family Register itself (or Family Register Certificate) can also focus on a particular individual, but can also list many more details regarding that individual’s immediate family members (as well as other items of interest). The additional information makes it more likely to be used for official proceedings (such as a court setting) and can be submitted for legal translation services in Singapore.


As an example, a Family Register Certificate from Japan generally begins with listing the following details of the document owner: Name, Date of Birth, Spousal Role, Parents’ Names, Relationship (to the family), Certification Date, Certification Official, and so on. Most of these are standard details for any birth certificate (or any government-issued certificate in general) and will be frequently seen by any professional providing certified document translation services in Singapore. However, such a document will frequently go further, listing the same number of details for any member in the document holder’s household, such as the document holder’s spouse and children and the details for important events relevant to the household composition (i.e. dates of birth and dates of marriage).


As is the case for any certified translation provider in Singapore, it is useful to become familiar with types of document that frequently appear in the course of one’s work. Not only does it allow one to be accurate and efficient in a particular task (such as performing a legal translation service), in the case of papers associated with Family Registers, familiarity with these documents can also serve as useful insights into the cultures that use them.

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