He decidido recuperar – para esta entrada – unos consejillos que envié a compañeros de una lista de traductores jurídicos hará algún tiempo. Sin duda, la cuestión del asunto da para rato pero en esta entrada seré lo más breve posible y solo daré unas pocas pinceladas sobre la traducción de escrituras notariales.
En primer lugar, cualquiera que se proponga traducir escrituras y dado que hay pocos diccionarios jurídicos especializados (más bien sirven para documentos de tipo procesal) tiene que hacerse con unas cuantas escrituras de ejemplo en inglés y en español y hacer un pequeño trabajo de tipo contrastivo. En español son muy recomendables los libros de modelos (de contratos y escrituras). Aunque esta información frecuentemente se puede encontrar online, existen en papel unos libros de modelos de todo tipo que para el estudioso de derecho de los contratos o el traductor inquisitivo son interesantísimos. En muchas librerías hay una estanteria o dos dedicadas a modelos de formularios y contratos.
Por otra parte, son recomendables los libros de la Editorial Dijusa para oficiales de notaría o los cursos de aula civil del colegio de registradores (Gómez Galligo, Javier).
Un libro esencial en inglés es Brooke’s Notary, la guía que debe tener todo notario inglés. Por supuesto que es un libro muy caro y que se actualiza a menudo pero sí se pueden leer extractos de algunas ediciones antiguas en Google Books.
Traducción de algunos términos comunes (siguiendo la estructura típica de una escritura, en este caso de ratificación de acuerdos sociales)
Standard structure of a Spanish deed
Number XXXXXX [The number of the Notary’s “protocol”; it is called *record* in England & Wales; check the website of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Faculty Office and the Rules section for more details]
Before me, Notary of the Honourable/Distinguished Guild/Association/Society of Notaries of XXX, resident in XX [Town/City].
COMPARECEN [appearing parties / “now appearing are”, “appearing”]
Party X [single/married, a lawyer/engineer/accountant, with address at XX, ID/Tax ID number XX]
INTERVIENEN [capacity in which they take part in the deed/ “taking part herein as follows”]
For and on behalf of XXX Company, registered with the Commercial Registry of XX [number, volume, page number, entry number, etc.]
OTORGA/N [what is granted by the appearing party(ies)]
RATIFICACIÓN DE ACUERDOS SOCIALES [Agreements reached by the Board of Directors/General Shareholders' Meeting (GM)/Single or sole shareholder of the Company, in which case the “certificate” (Minutes undersigned by the Chairman and the Secretary (board or non-board member) is attached). "Elevación a público de acuerdos sociales" – Refers to the fact that these agreements are being recorded in a public deed/notarised and this is usually because the relevant law on limited liability/public limited companies (corporations) sets forth that it is mandatory to do so.
"Hago las reservas y advertencias oportunas" – “Legal warnings” is usually about the obligation to register the deed with the Commercial Registry. The Notary must tell or remind the parties that they have to register the deed, pay tax levied on certain documents, etc.
"Company status." The parties state that the status of their company/the company represented in the proceedings ("este acto") has not changed, for instance that it has not been declared bankrupt, wound up, etc. "La capacidad de mi representada no se ha visto alterada." If the appearing party has a power of attorney they will add that such power is still in force ("current"), and has neither been revoked nor withdrawn.
DATA PROTECTION. – Section on the Spanish Data Protection Act, informing the party that personal data will be kept on file at the Notary’s Office, and that the party has all the usual rights (of access, etc.) with the exception of any “mandatory disclosures” (“remisiones de obligado cumplimiento”) to be made, for instance, because this information must be disclosed to a registry, an authority or a court. It is also stated that the details will be used for the purposes of billing, invoicing and monitoring/tracking/archiving the deed and also “para fines propios de la actividad notarial”, which is a rather vague statement.
There is usually a section where it says something like the parties were informed of their right to read the deed themselves and waived this right (did not read it, in which case, the Notary read it aloud to them) // did *not* waive this right (and they read it themselves). This is because it is mandatory under the provisions of the Spanish Regulation on Notaries, and there is an article of the Regulation (Article 193) where this is explained in greater detail.
ASÍ LO OTORGAN – This is thus granted by the parties... (not the Notary because the Notary is not granting anything himself and is merely attesting/authorising/certifying; the *parties* are granting the deed).
Y, YO EL NOTARIO, DOY FE [DO ATTEST/DO HEREBY ATTEST] (the following particulars):
- The content/s of the deed;
- The legal ability of the parties to grant the deed;
- The identity of the parties, having verified their identity document/s (the document mentioned in the “comparecencia” section above); the notary could also (rarely) state that s/he knows the party and therefore did not need to verify their identity with an ID document [for instance, because they forgot to bring their ID] but it is equally possible that a registrar could subsequently disapprove of this, and refuse to register the deed or only “partially register” the deed on these grounds, adding a critical (“qualifying”) note to the registration document;
- That the deed was granted as a result of the free will of the parties, who had been duly informed of all the consequences of their actions (“libre voluntad” or “vountad debidamente informada“);
- That the parties are entitled to read the deed themselves or to have the notary read it to them.
And this is notarised on X pages of paper “de uso exclusivo notarial” [exclusively used for notarised documents because this is printed a specific type of “papel timbrado” (paper bearing the seal of the state and a duty seal of a certain amount, currently €0.15, which is only available for sale to notaries)], numbered in such and such an order (“ascending” or “descending”, depending on whether the numbers read progressively or in backward order), with series X, numbers XXXX to XXXX.
If it is a COPY, it will also say that the signature of the appearing party is on the document “aparece la firma de XX”. And that the sign [see this page for images of signs], seal, initials and signature of the “authorising notary” appear.
“DOCUMENTO SIN CUANTÍA.” Means that the fee (“arancel“) is a fixed fee (as set out in the Spanish Regulation on Notaries) and it is not based on “la cuantía del documento” (the sum of the inheritance, sale, etc.). This is not a sliding-scale fee. The statutory fees that may be charged are numbered: 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., and there is a description of each type of “arancel” and what it consists of in the Regulation.
“Se anota esta saca.” There are two documents: the “matriz” (original deed or instrument) and the “saca” (copy of the deed). When a copy is issued, a note/annotation is made about the fact a copy has been issued on the original document filed in the Notary’s record.
SIGUEN DOCUMENTOS UNIDOS. [Because the Minutes or other documents are attached]
“TESTIMONIO.” Finally, there could also be a notarial certificate to attest the validity of any photocopies attached.
At the very end there are usually three stamps/seals:
- The round stamp of the notary;
- A “legalizaciones and legitimaciones” seal;
- The stamp of the General Council of Spanish Notaries “Notarios de Europa – Fe Publica Notarial”.
Further still, the deed may have an apostille attached, signed by a member of the Society of Notaries of the region to authorise/legalise the signature of the Notary.