We have noticed that the work within the notarial profession has been different since March 2020. More remote work with customers. As a translation agency, we think along with you. Our interpreters are therefore also available remotely. So if you want to use an interpreter but cannot do so at your location, you can also do so online through a secure video call environment. We are happy to tell you how this works. To do so, please contact us at tolkdienst@focus-vertaalbureau.nl.

With cordial greetings,

Willem Ezerman


deploy expertise and learn together

In the past two months we have been able to do a special translation assignment for a lawyer’s client. This client is starting international business in which he would also hire foreign employees, and he therefore needed general terms and conditions, an assignment agreement for services, a processing agreement, a privacy statement, an assignment agreement with a freelancer, a fixed-term employment contract and a employment contract for an indefinite period. His lawyer helped him with the Dutch texts, and we were asked to translate these documents into English.

First of all, the size of the assignment was special for us. There were 8 documents that formed a whole. The great thing was that we were given the opportunity to translate all documents congruently. Secondly, what was special about this assignment was that we had to ensure that the English translations were GDPR-proof. The integral English GDPR text was of crucial importance to us as a translation team. And finally, a particularly close collaboration was established between the lawyer and her client. Both were well-versed in both legal and English language, which enabled us to spar with them at a high level. The lawyer always gave active feedback on the translations we provided, which enabled us to have meaningful discussions about the choices we made regarding specific terminology and sentence structure.

In addition, as always, we have been our critical selves, and we have always asked for feedback about ambiguities that we encountered in the source texts. This also resulted in the necessary adjustments to the source texts, which improved the overall quality.

All in all, we can look back on a very successful translation project in which the four core elements were present that make us happy: challenging texts for which we have to do the necessary research, good coordination with the client, learning together, and a very satisfied customer.

We are also happy to help you with your legal translations. Contact us if you need help, or request a free quote.

With kind regards,

Willem Ezerman

Drs. W. Ezerman

Director / English translator

FOCUS Vertaalbureau

your language partner since 1994


When a Dutch entrepreneur becomes co-owner of a company from, say, England, The United States or Canada, a share transfer takes place. The co-owner becomes a shareholder. This involves several legal documents that need to be available in both Dutch and English.

With regard to such a share transfer, we recently translated into English for a civil-law notary a power of attorney to purchase shares, a power of attorney to sell shares, a deed of delivery of shares, a share transfer deed and the dispatch letter to the parties involved. The deed for the delivery of shares had to be certified.

An additional challenge was that these translations had to be delivered within 12 hours. We have no problem with that, but for the certified translation we had to find a way around it.

For this assignment, we used two translators. We do this more often because the so-called four-eye principle leads to better-quality translations. The first translator translated all documents into English, and during this process consulted several times with the notary about ambiguities and inconsistencies between the various documents. The second translator then did a quality check of the documents and took care of the affidavit of the Deed of Transfer of Shares. In doing so, both translators coordinated thoroughly with each other.

The issue we had to solve had to do with the delivery of the certified translation. We always deliver two documents to the client: the original paper version of the certified translation with the attached original, and a pdf of the certified translation. However, we send such a paper version by registered mail or by courier - and this takes time. In this case, this document could never be delivered to the notary on the same working day. After consulting with his own clients, we obtained permission from the notary to make the pdf available immediately and send the paper certified translation by registered mail. No sooner said than done.

Both the notary and his clients were satisfied with both our adequate action and the quality of the work delivered. And that's why we love our work.

Would you also like to experience the effect of the four-eyes principle? Then contact us and let us take care of your next legal translation.

Kind linguistic regards,

Willem Ezerman

director/English translator

willem@focus-vertaalbureau.nl | +31 (0)6 1619 7002

Do you use your neighbour's land to get to your house or garage, or someone else's land to get to your holiday home? Or do the neighbors want to use your yard or courtyard? Then you probably have to deal with the right of way. This is the right to use (part of) someone else's land. For English translators, the term crossing provides a nice puzzle. In the context of territory, overpad is translated as right of way. But a wrong term has been applied, because
  • a track crossing is a crossover
  • a guarded crossing is a level track crossing
  • and 'overpad' is translated as crossing area
And wrong terminology in a legal translation is a no no, you will feel that on your own. We certainly do. So we do our homework carefully and ensure the appropriate English terms in the purchase contracts of houses that we translate on behalf of civil-law notaries and estate agents. So not only the term 'right of way', but also terms such as 'the serving party', the serving yard' and the ruling party'.   With cordial greetings, Willem Ezerman

At FOCUS Translation Agency we love playing with language. We enjoy doing so, because we are, after all, enthusiastic and driven expert idiots. And at the same time we have to, because our client has commissioned us to translate his text and trusts us to do it well.

That playing with language is partly about finding the most appropriate English term within the context of the sentence and the text as a whole. In doing so, we use, among other things, our knowledge of the Dutch language and how it is used by our clients. At the same time, we know how rich the English language is.

To give a few concrete examples: in many of the texts we have to translate, terms like ‘breach’ , ‘execution’ and ‘agreement’ appear. In English, there are several alternatives / synonyms for these.

An offence in English can be a violation, a infringement or a breach.

‘Execution’ can be translated as execution, implemetation or performance.

And ‘agreement’ can be translated as contract, lease or agreement, among others.

Everything depends on the context and the intention the client has for it. And we have just that sense of context and intention like no other. And therefore ensure the perfect translation.


Kind linguistic regards,

Willem Ezerman

Director / English translator


p.s. Also want to learn to play with language? Then take one of our language training courses:

  1. Correspondence – short intensive training on writing emails and letters in English.
  2. Grammar Expert – a highly effective training course on using business English in the workplace.
  3. Faultless Written Communication – a short and powerful training course focusing on faultless Dutch writing.

Suppose you receive an email from a lawyer from South Africa who is preparing a case for which a Dutch document, namely a 'Notice of separation in connection with division of old-age pension' urgently needs to be translated into English.

This happened to us recently. This was because a relation of ours living in South Africa had recommended us to the lawyer in question. The request came in on 23 April and the certified translation had to be physically with the lawyer by 2 May.

This meant that not only would we have to work under pressure -which we are used to-, but we would also have to find out which courier would be able to get the document to South Africa in no time. After some searching, DHL turned out to be the right partner for the job. The document would be collected on 29 April and delivered to the lawyer by noon on 2 May.

After the client's agreement, we got to work. I did the translation, and my colleague did the swearing-in; after all, a butcher does not inspect his own meat. Doing a sworn translation like this also makes it a party, because it always results in great discussions about terminology. An example of this in this case was the term 'prenuptial agreement'. Most people know prenuptial agreements from the conclusion of the marriage: you marry in community of property or under prenuptial agreements. This means that these conditions are drawn up before the marriage. But it is also possible to draw up prenuptial agreements during the marriage. As a result, it was not sufficient to simply translate ‘huwelijkse voorwaarden’ as Prenuptial agreement, and we translated the term as Prenuptial and/or postnuptial agreement.

The translation was ready on Wednesday, and the affidavit translation on Thursday evening. On Friday morning, the colleague had the certified translation bound with the source text, and at a little past one in the afternoon, the courier was at the door to collect the document.

And then we had handed over the document and also had to hand over control, and wait and see if DHL would actually manage to deliver the parcel to South Africa on time. And they did. A little after one o’ clock on 2 May, I got the signal from the lawyer that the document had been delivered.

I love it when a plan comes together. the Customer was satisfied, and so we were satisfied. Delivering craftsmanship and delivering it when it's needed.


Kind linguistic regards,

Willem Ezerman

Director / English translator

A will is an important document. If it has to be (partly) performed abroad, there must be a sworn translation and an apostille must be attached to it.

It is generally known that a sworn translator demonstrates by means of a stamp, among other things, that the translation he or she has made is a faithful reproduction of the source text. However, it is not generally known that an apostille is an additional confirmation from the Court that speeds up the legalization of a document and that the document can be used immediately in the country of destination.

To obtain such an apostille, you must make an appointment with the court, where it will be affixed on the spot to the back of the translated will and provided with two (2) stamps that inseparably link the apostille and the translation.

When one of our sworn translators recently translated a will, I had the honor of arranging an apostille at the court in Alkmaar. However, that turned out differently than I had expected, because immediately after the check at the entrance I was taken aside by two stern-looking guards. They had seen on the scan that there was a knife in my bag. And that was true, because I actually always have a pocket knife with me. “Stupid!”, it immediately shot through my mind, but immediately after that I was actually curious what would happen next. The gentlemen took me and my pocket knife to a small room at the back of the building, where they checked on the basis of a poster with all kinds of knives that the blade of my knife was no longer than 26 cm. Because if that was the case, I wouldn’t be allowed to have it with me in court and they would have to confiscate it. So knife away. But a knife with a blade of 26 cm, that is a very large knife. And to my relief, the blade of my pocket knife turned out to be only 9 cm. Just enough to peel an apple, but otherwise in no way a threat to anyone.

When this point of attention was resolved, I was outside again within ten minutes with my apostille, and I was able to send the Dutch and English will to the customer by registered mail.

So if you have a Dutch will that must be (partially) executed abroad, bear in mind that the translation must be made by a sworn translator and that an apostille must be arranged through the court.

Willem Ezerman

Director/ English Translator