Maybe it’s the bone-chilling 53° in Miami this morning, maybe it’s too early in the morning to be blogging about the translation of Venezuelan tax returns, or maybe our sight has been hampered by the new years’ deluge of translations (thank you, keep ‘em coming), but doesn’t the Venezuelan internal revenue service publication the left resemble the Venezuelan internal revenue service building on the right. Columns and rows are columns and rows, right? Could it be that the SENIAT official in charge of the building project told the architect to design an everyday, concrete-and-steel reminder that the taxman cometh, always? If you’re still on this ride with us, let us do the right thing and inform you that SENIAT is the acronym for “Servicio Nacional Integrado de Administración Aduanera y Tributaria.”It is the Venezuelan government agency responsible for the collection of taxes and customs duties. On a practical level, if you want to emigrate from Venezuela to the United States under any of the immigration programs available, the returns you and/or your businesses have filed with SENIAT must be translated into English. And that is where we at TransForma can help you.
Our first experiences with SENIAT forms were akin to a classically-trained French chef making sushi for the first time. The chef knows seafood and rice and vinegar like we know Spanish and English translation. The chef knows the importance of freshness, technique, and presentation like we know the importance of precision, timeliness, and context. But that chef had never put together uncooked seafood, rice, and vinegar into bite-sized morsels, and we had never seen Spanish as utilized by the people who put together the SENIAT forms. Since we’re in tax season, you’ll surely recognize that accounting language can be difficult to comprehend, especially when you add the compromises that have to be made when you’re dealing with the space restrictions of a tax form. After all, there’s only so many words you can fit into one cell on a tax form. Well, the SENIAT forms are no different. We had a fight on our hands, but we weren’t going to turn tail and run. We are Miami translators; hear us roar (OK, we whimpered, but we persevered).
So how did we handle this new challenge? At TransForma, we’re very lucky to work with translators in Miami and throughout the world that are 100%, dyed-in-the-wool, definitely-obsessive LANGUAGE NERDS. Our professionals don’t stop at the first sign of resistance from a passage, especially a passage containing highly-technical language like a SENIAT tax form. Thankfully, SENIAT has published a wealth of material explaining their forms, line by line.
On many occasions, SENIAT’s explanation was sufficient to allow our translator to effectively translate the text. Another source for the stumped translator is websites where other translators have asked the Spanish-English translation universe “what does _____ mean?” A third resource for TransForma in its initial translations of SENIAT forms was our accountant clients, including Venezuelan accountants. These resources, when combined with the knowledge that our translator has accumulated over the years, lead to an accurate, contextual translation of the SENIAT form for our client. We didn’t take the easy way out on our first SENIAT tax form translation project, and we’ve taken the same approach to every project since then. The result is that we’ve built up a store of specialized knowledge when it comes to these tax forms. Another aspect of our work that makes us stand out is that our finished, translated document looks as identical as possible to the original document.
We strongly believe that the reception given to a translated document by users (lawyers, judges, government officials, bankers) depends not only on the technical quality of the translation but also on an appearance that matches the original document as much as possible. When it comes to SENIAT tax forms, we have worked ourselves into a position where we are able to leverage our experience to quickly provide an excellent translation at a market-leading price.
We are TransForma. We love linguistic challenges. We take it personally when a tax form, Venezuelan or otherwise, dares to state something that we don’t know how to say in English straight off. So, we dig in, plumb the internet, and call our smart accountant friends for explanations. You can learn more about us at www.TransFormaonline.com. If you need our help making Venezuelan tax forms understandable to the English-speaking world, please email us at request@TransFormaonline.com, or call us at 305-722-3827.