Languages and Translation

Tetum

The translation of documents of any kind to Tetum is a difficult task given the current situation of this official language of Timor-Leste. The inevitable reality that the Tetum translations included here may not meet the expectations of all users is the result of its recent use in the written form and the recent standardization of its vocabulary.

Prior to the development of this tool, there were already translations of the major international treaties available in Tetum, which had been made by the United Nations Mission during its presence in Timor-Leste. Most of the general comments and recommendations had not been subjected to translation into Tetum, except to the general recommendations of the CEDAW Committeem, which were translated by UNFPA.

To ensure language uniformity, the documents translated by different institutions and translators were submitted to an editing process. Despite this effort, errors may inevitably still be found. Due to the time required to complete a project of this kind, it was decided to prioritize the translation of those general comments and recommendations that were closer to the reality of Timor-Leste. It is planned the gradual addition of more translations in the coming years.

The Tetum versions of United Nations documents included in this tool do not represent official translations; they present, in truth, a serious attempt to facilitate access to the international human rights law in the official language most often used in Timor-Leste. At the same time, the production of these materials in Tetum hopes to contribute to the standardization process of this language’s vocabulary.

When in doubt about the translation, the documents authoritative value rest with the official versions in English, Spanish and other official languages of the United Nations.

Portuguese

The human rights treaties were already translated into Portuguese and, as such, this publication has made use of the existing versions in this language, which are available on the Website of the Documentation and Comparative Law Office of Portugal’s Attorney General’s Office.

The general comments and recommendations made by bodies of the different treaties were translated from their original versions in English to Portuguese especially for this publication, due to their unavailability in Portuguese.

Despite efforts to ensure an adequate level of quality in the translations made, errors maybe found. The translations included here do not represent an official version of these documents. Due to the time required to complete a project of this kind, it was decided to prioritize the translation of those general comments and recommendations that were closer to the reality of Timor-Leste. It is planned the gradual addition of more translations in the coming years.

When in doubt about the translation, the documents authoritative value rest with the official versions in English, Spanish and other official languages of the United Nations.

Format
This tool has been produced in three different formats:
• Printed Books – Tetum and Portuguese – distributed in Timor-Leste (initial printing of 500 copies)
• Website, with search tool
• CD replicating Website for offline use

Team
Project Coordination: Bárbara Nazareth de Oliveira
Editing of materials in Tetum: José Branco and Bárbara Nazareth de Oliveira
Editing of material in Portuguese*: Sara Negrão, Bárbara Nazareth de Oliveira and Daniela Saraiva Santos
Translation into Portuguese: Brum Translations
Translation into Tetum: UNMIT, UNFPA, José Branco and Augusto Mendonça
Photos: Carlito Zezopol Caminha and Martine Perret, UNMIT (Muslim girl’s photo in Dili)
Web design: Webcoza – South Africa

* General Comments and General Recommendations

Acknowledgements
The Provedoria for Human Rights and Justice would like to thank the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Timor-Leste for the technical support to develop this tool. Without the valuable financial contribution of donors – Irish Aid, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and OHCHR – we would not have succeeded in developing this tool.
Special thanks are also due to UNFPA and UNMIT in Timor-Leste who allowed the Provedoria to use, and revise, translations into Tetum of some of the documents included in here.