Foreign Language Documents

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The Notary does not need to understand the foreign language in which the document is written. The Notary, however, will want to be satisfied that you understand the document.

If the Notary is so satisfied he/she will stamp the foreign language document with a statement to the following effect: ‘The notarial act is limited to the verification of the identity, legal capacity, name and signature of the Appearer, unless otherwise expressly stated in the English Language.’ This is to protect you and the Notary in case the language of the document or the practice of the country in which the document is to be used would suggest that the Notary is doing or saying more than either you or the Notary understand to be the case.

The Notary will require you to acknowledge formally in writing in a standard form that you understand the document in (or partly in) a foreign language. Have the document to be notarised translated and/or explained to you by someone you trust before you see the Notary.

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