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I am finishing up my B. Sc. degree and thought it would be nice to have a fully English transcript of records (ToR). Although my university already offers an English version, the translations are picked from what lectureres have entered into the database. Consequently, some terms are missing. For example it shows:

  • Minor subject: Mathematics
    • Functional Analysis
    • Klausur: Funktionalanalysis(*)
    • Übungsleistung: Funktionalanalysis(*)

(*) denotes that English translations are missing

You see that it is even inconsistently translated. The overall second bullet point is in English while the "sub bullet points" for the exam ("Klausur") and the tutorials ("Übungsleistung") are in German.

How important is it to have a fully translated ToR for B.Sc. for applying internationally?

The question "Sending non-fully translated academic transcripts for US PhD admissions" is related, although currently my ToR is not yet printed. The exam regulations are in my favor. They state that I have the right to request an English copy. However, I have been told that people responsible for fulfilling them are not fond of translations.

Is it important enough to make the examination office not like me anymore?

Especially, if I stay for my M. Sc. at the same university.

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    If you are staying for the M.Sc., I wouldn't worry about the B.Sc. transcript, which nobody will look at, but about your M.Sc. transcript. And I guess with that one, you can be a bit more proactive and make sure that the english names are entered into the database correctly while you take the courses, something which usually is done by the professors or their assistants, who are generally more proficient in english than the administration, and who simply might not know that filling in the english name is important if the course is in German anyway. – mlk Jul 19 at 7:24
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    "I have the right to request an English copy." I am pleasantly surprised. I thought students usually had to pay for a translation or certification thereof. – Anonymous Physicist Jul 19 at 8:32
  • Your situation reminds me of this question. Hopefully your university will not cause you as much grief as they did to the OP in that question. In general an English transcript can be useful in the future - it’s hard to predict exactly when or where you’ll need it, and life takes us down unpredictable paths sometimes. – Dan Romik Jul 19 at 19:47
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How important is it to have a fully translated ToR for B.Sc. for applying internationally?

For most English-speaking universities, it is essential to have translations to English.

Is it important enough to make the examination office not like me anymore?

In my opinion, it is fine to ask them to follow university regulations, even if they do not like it. So, yes.

  • Is it really essential, though? I find it difficult to believe that a graduate admissions committee in the US would contain nobody who can read German or use Google Translate. – JeffE Jul 19 at 20:27
  • @JeffE The administrator who decides if the application is complete is likely to only check if the transcript is accompanied by a translation. I won't claim nobody has been admitted without a translation. – Anonymous Physicist Jul 20 at 1:18
  • I now got the official translation without any hassle (+ the database has been updated for all future students!). It just took me one polite e-mail mentioning the university regulations. – user897029 Sep 13 at 13:19
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I cannot comment on the regulations at your specific university.

In general, however, I do not think a university is expected to translate its degree certificates and transcripts into other languages. If you need your certificates and transcripts to be evaluated by people or organisations in a different language, you should obtain a certified translation from a professional translator or translation service, and then send that translation with a copy of the documents in the original language (NB: some places demand that this copy be issued from the awarding institution in an unsealed envelope; most places, however, will be happy with a scan/photocopy in the first instance, followed by seeing the originals if/when you visit them in person).

  • I agree that universities cannot be expected to translate into every other language. But English is the de facto language of science, hence, I would welcome more universities providing in-house translations into English. Anyway, that's just my wishlist. Let's see what the examination office replies to my inquiries. It turns out that they already have escalated the issue among themselves higher than I expected. – user897029 Jul 26 at 16:50

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