comparu le nommé

kielipaa

Senior Member
English - United States
How is my translation of the underlined French words? It’s for a birth certificate. Merci pour l’aide!

…..devant nous [name] Officier de l’Etat-Civil a [place] a comparu le nommé [name, etc]...

My attempt:

[date], before us [name] District Registrar in [place] has subpoenaed the designated [name] of ….years of age,
 
  • Novanas

    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    I'm not sure that "subpoena" is the right word here. It seems to me that word is used generally when people are ordered to appear in court, though when I checked a dictionary, it included legislative bodies and grand juries.

    Perhaps in the case of a district registrar "to summon" or "to summons" might be better.
     

    bh7

    Senior Member
    Canada; English
    Sounds really weird in a birth certificate. The words simply mean that the father and/or mother of the child have appeared before the registrar of births and deaths etc...
     

    kielipaa

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    So, "summoned" works then, right?

    "In the year two thousand nine, the eighth day of ....before us [name] District Registrar in Kinshasa Commune de Limete has summoned the designated [current guardian of the children but not the adopting parents] of ... years of age, profession: ....., residing in [address]"
     

    kielipaa

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Definition for summon and summons below. At least to me, after comparing the definitions, a "summons" sounds a lot less serious or harsh than a subpoena. The guardian had to appear I assume because he was not able to take care of the children but had been designated as their guardian for a brief period until the parents were to come and take the children to the US to adopt. In this context "to summon" doesn't sound to much, even for a birth certificate, if I'm not mistaken.

    Anyway, blame it on my lack of legal knowlege :)

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/summon
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/summons
    an official order requiring a person to attend court, either to answer a charge or to give evidence

    a. A notice summoning a defendant to appear in court.
    b. A notice summoning a person to report to court as a juror or witness.
     

    Novanas

    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    As bh7 has pointed out, and I agree, neither the word "subpoena" nor "summon" is needed.

    Your sentence simply reads, "The above-mentioned (name) appeared before. . ."
     

    kielipaa

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Please tell me if my final paragraph finally got the underlined parts right. Thanks so much. I’m sorry to bother you again. But it’s still unclear to me due to the following:

    What is confusing is to whom does “a comparu” refer? There are two names. To me it seems that Person A (the registrar) has appeared because it follows his name and precedes Person B (the guardian). But perhaps it is actually Person B, the guardian, that appeared before “us”. That would make more sense.

    Also “devant nous” is confusing me. Are you saying that devant nous” = the above-mentioned?? and not “before us” as in “standing in front of us?”. Sorry, confused.

    Last the word “NOUS” is throwing me if there is only one person that follows “nous”. May Person A represents the whole court so they call him “nous”.

    Original:
    “L’an deux mille neuf, le huitième jour du mois de septembre devant nous [Joe the Registrar] Officier de l’Etat-Civil à [town] a comparu le nommé [Jack, the Guardian of the children]...agé de [age] ans, profession: ………… resident à [town] sur [address].

    This is what I gather from your last message:
    It seems you are saying that instead of:
    In the year two thousand nine, the eighth day of the month of September, before us “Joe the Registrar” District Registrar in [anytown, DR Congo] summoned “Jack the guardian” of [any age] profession: [businessman] residing in Kinshasa on [anystreet, anytown, DR Congo].

    I should have:
    In the year two thousand nine, the eighth day of the month of September, before us (the court, which includes) “Joe the Registrar” District Registrar in [any town, DR Congo] appeared “Jack the guardian” of [any age] profession: [businessman] residing in [any town] on [any street, any town, DR Congo].

    = Jack the guardian appeared before us, or the court which is represented by Joe the Registrar.

    I sure hope that I finally got it :)
     

    Novanas

    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    In English we could say, "Before us appeared the aforementioned (John Doe)", though normally we'd say, "The aforementioned (John Doe) appeared before us." Fancy legal language turns things around backassward.

    The French here is doing the same thing: "Devant nous a comparu le nommé (M. un tel)." Put it in the normal order: "Le nommé (M. un tel) a comparu devant nous." Same thing. And I'd say "nous" simply means the whole office, responsible body, whatever.
     

    kielipaa

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Finally got it. Thanks. The "aforementioned" word was also throwing me as the person had not been mentioned in the above part of the birth certificate (this is the first paragraph). But indeed "nommé" can mean that, though I noticed it also means "appointed." I wonder if appointed or designated would fit better in this context, as in, he is appointed to be the kids' guardian while they wait to be adopted.

    At any rate, you've been very helpful, Seneca the Duck. I owe ya one :)
     

    Novanas

    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    I was just assuming (incorrectly, as it turns out) that "le nommé" had been mentioned previously, hence "the aforementioned". However, yes, as you're saying, that's not the case, so "appointed (guardian)" or "designated (guardian)" would be appropriate in this context.

    All the best, the Duck.
     
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