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Kubacki, Artur Dariusz (2012). Tłumaczenie poświadczone. Status, kształcenie, warsztat i odpowiedzialność tłumacza przysięgłego [Certified Translation. The status, training, skills and liability of sworn translators).

Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Wolters Kluwer Polska Sp. z o.o., pp. 372, PLN 79. ISBN 978-83-264-3820-2.   

The book seeks to provide comprehensible information on the profession of sworn translator in Poland and abroad. Artur Dariusz Kubacki is Associate Professor at the Institute of Germanic Philology, University of Silesia in Katowice, a sworn interpreter and translator of German, an expert member of the Polish Society of Sworn and Specialised Translators (TEPIS) as well as a member of the Polish Translators and Interpreters Association (STP) in Warszawa. Since 2005 he has been a consultant of the State Examination Board established by the Minister of Justice to conduct examinations for sworn translators in Poland.

Kubacki's publication, covering the appointment procedure of sworn translators, their status and liability both in Poland and abroad, is in fact the first compendium of information on the subject on the Polish market.  The book comprises six chapters, preceded by the list of abbreviations and a 7-page introduction. Kubacki quotes 317 works by Polish and foreign authors which belong to the most recent literature on the profession of sworn translator and certified translation. Moreover, he recommends 96 dictionaries useful in producing certified translations and discusses applicable legislation in Poland and professional norms for sworn translators. An extensive bibliography contains information on the Internet resources, in particular for Polish-German translators, as well as legal acts on sworn translators both those in force and the historical ones.

The book is recommended most of all to all candidates for sworn translators and specialised translators as well as practising sworn translators.

Chapter 1 traces the history of how the profession of sworn translator in Poland evolved between the years 1920 and 2012.

Chapter 2 discusses in detail the legal status of sworn translators in Europe, particularly in the Federal Republic of Germany (68–85), which is understandable given the author’s scholarly interests in German Studies and certified translation. The chapter ends with the information on the status of Polish sworn translators (99–109).

Chapter 3 deals with some practical aspects of sworn translators' work. The author analyses the definition of the term ‘certified translation’ and points out that the term sworn translation which is still used in Poland is incorrect. All necessary instructions how to produce certified translations are explained in an accessible way, 15 rules how to certify translations and 5 rules relating to their content are logically and thoroughly presented. The chapter concludes with the statement that there is a need in Poland to make the rules governing this profession uniform.

What is particularly interesting is the presentation of practical rules which sworn translators should follow. The rules are illustrated with four original documents: three in German and one in Polish (Appendix, 361–369). Some attention is devoted to the deontology of the profession, the practical approach to court interpreting and the methods of work of sworn translators.

Chapter 4, entitled State Examination for Sworn Translators, takes a close look at how to prepare for this exam, what criteria are used while evaluating the written part, what  range of topics to revise for in the case of Polish and German. This information is really valuable since thanks to this book candidates for sworn translators will not have to look for it in various professional forums for translators, where information is not always entirely accurate. Without doubt, the advantage of the publication is the insight into errors and mistakes made by the candidates for sworn translators of German during both the written and the oral part. The author analyses thoroughly five categories of errors and provides examples of factual errors, terminology and spelling mistakes. The same is done for the oral part of the exam. The final lines of the chapter present the profile of a candidate for sworn translator and the profile of a sworn translator appointed according to the new rules.

Chapters 5 and 6 which deal with competence and liability of sworn translator also cover reliable and up-to-date information on how candidates for sworn translators are trained in Poland. The author points out that translator training programmes should be uniform and suggests a new model which would require students to undergo professional practice (248). Kubacki emphasises the need to improve the professional qualifications of translators and interpreters and quotes B. Z. Kielar, a prominent researcher in the field of translation, who states that in order to be a professional, translators should improve their command of working languages and expand their domain knowledge (292).

Chapter 6 discusses types of liability of sworn translators appointed in Poland. What follows is a summary and final conclusions of the author.

To sum up, the publication is an up-to-date compendium of information on sworn translators in Poland. The content is presented from the point of view of a language researcher and communicated very clearly. It is a mine of knowledge on the profession of sworn translator and the rules governing it and an equally precious guide written by an experienced practitioner and established academic teacher. The bibliography which is diligently selected and the detailed explanations in the footnotes, covering Polish and foreign titles, prove the author's thorough understanding of the subject and make the book a valuable academic and practical title.

Katarzyna Biernacka-Licznar
University of Wrocław, Poland