French Language Notary Guide

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A French language notary guide is a tool to help notarize a document written in the French language, or for a signer who speaks French.  If the notary does not speak French, this helps to bridge the language barrier.  It is similar to a French phrase book used by a tourist when traveling in a French speaking country.

In Colorado, the notary may not use a human as a translator or interpreter.  This is because the notary would not know if the translator is being honest.  The notary must communicate directly with the signer.

Google Translate

Google Translate is free software that can translate a French document.  It is available at or can be downloaded as a phone application.

You can cut and paste text from a French language document, upload a document file, or enter a website address for translation.  That may be useful to translate a French language foreign embassy website.

It helps the notary to use reasonable care to confirm the title and purpose of the document.  The translated document is not notarized, so the translation does not need to be 100% accurate.  The original document in the French language is notarized.

The notary certificate can be in the French language, if the notary speaks French.  If the document is going to a foreign country, and needs an apostille certificate attached by the Colorado Secretary of State (SOS), then the notary certificate must be in English.

If the signer does not speak good English, a French language notary guide that includes common notary questions and sentences may be a useful tool.  Below are some suggestions.  The notary may include others as needed for the situation, and then use Google Translate to generate a numbered list.  The notary can then point to the line number to select a phrase or question.  The signer could type an answer in Google Translate and then translate it into English.

French Language Notary Guide

1.  Hello.  My name is [John].  I am a Notary Public.
1.  Bonjour.  Mon nom est [John].  Je suis un Notary Public.
2.  I do not speak your language.
2.  Je ne parle pas votre langue.
3.  What is your name?
3.  Quel est votre nom?
4.  Please print your [name] on this paper.
4.  S’il vous plaît imprimer votre [nom] [réponse] sur ce document.
5.  May I please see your identification?
5.  Puis-je s’il vous plaît voir votre identification?
6.  What type of document is this?
6.  Quel type de document est-ce?
7.  Please print the document title on this paper.
7.  S’il vous plaît imprimer le titre du document sur ce document.
8.  Have you read this document?
8.  Avez-vous lu ce document?
9.  Please fill in this blank space.
9.  S’il vous plaît remplir cet espace vide.
10.  Do you understand the purpose of this document?
10.  Ne vous comprenez le but de ce document?
11.  Are you signing this document voluntarily?
11.  Êtes-vous en signant ce document volontairement?
12.  Do you acknowledge that this is your signature?
12.  Est-ce que vous reconnaissez que cela est votre signature?
13.  Do you swear or affirm that these statements are true and correct?
13.  Avez-vous jurer ou affirmer que ces déclarations sont vraies et exactes?
14.  Please sign your name here.
14.  S’il vous plaît signer votre nom ici.
15.  My fee is [number] dollars.
15.  Mon tarif est [nombre] de dollars.
16.  Yes
16.  Oui
17.  No
17.  Non
18.  I do not understand.
18.  Je ne comprends pas.
19.  I do not know.
19.  Je ne sais pas.
20.  Please repeat.
20.  S’il vous plaît répéter.
21.  Please speak slowly.
21.  S’il vous plaît parler lentement.
22.  Thank you.
22.  Je vous remercie.
23.  Nice to meet you.
23.  Ravi de vous rencontrer.
24.  Here is my business card.
24.  Voici ma carte de visite.
25.  Have a nice day.
25.  Passez une bonne journée.
26.  Good bye.
26.  Au revoir.
27.  Here is the name and phone number of a notary that speaks French.
27.  Voici le nom et le numéro de téléphone d’un notary public qui parle français.
28.  I am not a notario publico.
28.  Je ne suis pas un publico notario.
29.  I am not an attorney.
29.  Je ne suis pas un avocat.
30.  I do not give legal advice.
30.  Je ne donne pas de conseils juridiques.

The notary should write the title and description of the document in the notary journal.  For example, a Power of Attorney in French is called a Procuration.  The number of pages should be shown.  Ask the signer to fill in any blank spaces before notarizing.

It is best to use the date format: July 4, 2015, rather than 7/4/15 (mm-dd-yy).  In many foreign countries, the date is in dd-mm-yy format, so 7/4/15 would be 7 Apr 2015.

A French language notary guide can be a useful tool for a notary to accommodate a French language speaker.

Disclaimer: This article is not to be considered or used as legal advice.  For legal advice, contact a licensed, competent attorney.

Disclaimer:  CRS 12-55-110.3
I am not an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Colorado
and I may not give legal advice or accept fees for legal advice.
Je ne suis pas un avocat autorisé à exercer le droit dans l’État du Colorado
et je ne peux pas donner des conseils juridiques ou accepter des honoraires pour des conseils juridiques.

Visit our website for Colorado Springs Mobile Notary services or Colorado Notary Training classes.

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