one of my friends send me a French novel in English and recommend it to me to be translated, but people in charge in my country may not allow me to do it because of censorship. I want to send him an email and say two things, first I'm ok to do it, but they may not allow me to publish it, second tell him that if the writer is ok that I work on the English version of his novel, not the original version which is in French. So I want you to see if this phrase ok: "they don't have certain guidelines, So I can do it, and we hope to be published."

Dear Peter

I read the book, and it was weirdly wonderful. Thank you for sending this beautiful piece of work. First of all, the Ministry of Culture may not allow us to publish the book in Iran. Because the book has mentioned a few facts about the Iran issue, but they don't have certain guidelines, So I can do it, and we hope to be published. I'm very excited about it. Second I don't know if Jean would be ok if I translate from the English version.

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    This is Off Topic proofreading. As a general principle though, I don't think you should waste your time translating from a translation. If you don't know enough French to work direct from that, you should probably look for help from someone who knows both French and Persian. Feb 5, 2021 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


Your don't have certain guidelines at first sight seems backwards, but I'm guessing that you are using certain to mean "definite, clear, precise". Certain with that meaning is only used as a predicate, not attributively, so I think you mean their guidelines are not very precise.

Certain used attributively is almost the same as some, but it has a sense of "particular ones I'm thinking of, though you probably do not know them". So they don't have certain guidelines reads as "there are some particular guidelines that I am thinking of that they don't have".

We hope to be published is fine, though in a chatty letter like that, I would say we hope to get published.

  • It never occurred to me that They don't have certain guidelines might be intended to mean They don't have clear guidelines / Their guidelines are imprecise. But it does look kinda convincing! Feb 5, 2021 at 18:17

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