Records Translations Guidelines

1. Check first if you can do the translation by yourself. It may turn out to that it is not that difficult! And the process of deciphering old handwriting describing life events of your ancestors by yourself may bring great satisfaction and joy.

There are handouts tools helping in doing translations of Polish, German, Latin and even Russian records. Examples:

And of course series of great textbooks by Fred Hoffman and Jonathan Shea: “In Their Words”

2. If you managed to decipher only a few words ask for assistance in understanding the remaining part of the record. Even if you didn’t manage to read a single word by yourself, provide ALL the information that you already know from the document (who, what, where, when, name of the parish the record was found, religion, etc.); especially if it’s been indexed. Also include any anecdotal information – this may provide some clues and some kind of a starting point for ‘hunting’ records.

3If not providing a URL/link, then crop the image down so that the record can be as readable as possible for our volunteers.

4Unless somebody specifically asks for a full translation, translators will translate the essential facts (Date of event, Names and ages, Place and parish, any other useful information included e.g. name of first wife or husband if it is a second marriage, place of birth, names of parents for marriages.)

5Be patient. If it is only possible, your records will be translated. Don’t hurry up translators.

6If you wait long check in the history of your thread if your record was translated. It might happen that you didn’t notice the post with your translation.

7Don’t upload again records your already uploaded! See points 5 and 6 above.

8Upload your images in a vertical way (not horizontal or upside down!).

9Don’t post your query in multiple genealogy forums simultaneously (e.g. in PolishOrigins Forum and in one or more of the FB groups). It’s discourteous to have people spending time doing the same translation without being aware of someone else already did it and their time was misused.

10Please confirm that you saw the post with translation made for you. One of the volunteers dedicated their time and knowledge to do this and simple reaffirmation that you read it makes them aware that their time was well used.

11Post no more than 5 translation requests a month and no more than 25 a year in given language.

12If you need larger number of translations please contact us at [email protected] . We will check internally how we (translators) can help in your specific request.


See also General Community Guidelines