I feel like screaming aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh. I think I’ve lived in the UK for too long… Too long for being able to cope with the stupidity of Czech bureaucracy!!! I’ve got used to the fact that in order to get my Czech passport renewed I have to travel to London, twice. The first appointment where one fills in a form, has their fingerprints taken and puts their return address on a postcard takes about ten minutes. The other, about four to six weeks later takes about five because you literally just turn up, show them the postcard – which you’d received in the post and at first wondered what the hell it is because the address is written in your handwriting, weird, and then it dawns on you – and pick up your spanking new passport. But this is not about a passport; it is about a wedding, in Jamaica.

A translation client contacted me, well that should be “a potential translation client” because I don’t actually know whether we’ll ever find out what needs to be translated. The lady is getting married in Jamaica in a few months time and contacted me with a request for the translation of her documents. Only, she wasn’t quite sure what she needed translated because she hadn’t been able to find any sensible information anywhere. Well, I wasn’t sure either. So we wrote to various places in a hope to find out what exactly it is she needs to get married in Jamaica and got these replies (original Czech replies included below the roughly translated English version):

1. The Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic:
Dear Madam, first of all you need to have the original or duplicate of your birth certificate and a certificate of legal capacity to marry, issued by the appropriate registry office, certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. Then, these documents will have to be certified by an interpreter. Further, the interpreter’s certification clause must be certified by a regional or municipal court. Only after that you can come to the Ministry of Justice to have the translation certified. Then you have to go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and last to the appropriate embassy. The administration fee at the Ministry of Justice is 30 CZK and is in the form of a duty stamp, which you will have to bring with you because we do not sell those here.

Ministerstvo spravedlnosti ČR: Vážená paní, nejprve je nutné, aby originál či duplikát rodného listu a vysvědčení o právní způsobilosti, vydaný příslušným matričním úřadem, byl ověřen Ministerstvem zahraničních věcí ČR. Poté si tyto dokumenty necháte ověřit tlumočníkem. Tlumočnickou doložku musíte mít dále ověřenou krajským nebo městským soudem. Až budete mít všechny tyto kroky splněné, můžete přijít pro ověření překladu na Ministerstvo spravedlnosti. Poté musíte ještě na Ministerstvo zahraničních věcí a naposledy na příslušnou ambasádu. Administrativní poplatek na Ministerstvu spravedlnosti činní 30,- Kč v podobě kolku, který je nutné si přinést s sebou, jelikož je zde neprodáváme.

2. Czech Consulate in London:

Good morning, we are sorry but weddings taking place in Jamaica do not fall within the scope of the Czech Embassy in Great Britain. (Followed by a link to the appropriate office for these matters, the Czech Consulate for Jamaica with headquarters in New York.)

Velvyslanectví ČR v Londýně: Dobrý den, je nám líto, ale matriční události konající se na Jamajce nespadají do competence ZU ve Velké Británii. http://www.mzv.cz/jnp/cz/encyklopedie_statu/stredni_amerika/jamajka/kontaktni_cesky_urad/-mzv-publish-cz-o_ministerstvu-adresar_diplomatickych_misi-ceske_urady_v_zahranici-jamajka_generalni_konzulat_new_york.html

3. Czech Consulate for Jamaica in New York:

Dear Madam, as your client resides in Great Britain please contact the Czech Consulate in London. 

Generální konzulát ČR pro Jamajku v New Yorku: Vazena pani, jelikož vase klientka zije v Britanii, obratte se na Zahranicni urad CR v Londyne.

I mean, seriously???!!! I believe this has a name and it’s Catch-22

As a last resort I asked on Facebook, in a group of over 2,000 Czech and Slovak mums living in the UK. Perhaps one of them would have had a Jamaican wedding. And hurray, found one 🙂 But it’s still not over because apparently, every place in Jamaica does things slightly differently so it’s best to contact the hotel, or whatever, where the wedding will take place to see what their exact requirements are. But at least we’re a step closer 🙂

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