The language of the legal industry is very precise and it would not tolerate any error which is why an expert translator is needed for legal translations.
Trust is something very valuable especially in the legal industry. It is something that you have to earn. If you speak the same language as your clients, it’s one way for you to gain and keep their trust.
Legal clients require advice and information in their own language and it is vital that legal documents remain true to the source material. It is imperative that the legal language and the integrity of the translated content are always maintained.
What is legal translation?
The translation of text used in the legal system is called legal translation. It is required that documents for legal purposes should be available in the official language used within a specific jurisdiction. Therefore, legal translation involves a variety of materials from court documents to patents, identification, contracts, financial, transcripts and more.
Legal translation may also include the translation of documents that are related to a case. Some of them could be text messages, emails or bank statements as well as documents coming from overseas.
Various law enforcement agencies need legal translation, such as courts of law and immigration agencies. Others groups who need legal translation include corporations, patent and trademark applicants, real estate agencies, property owners and educational institutions.
What are the qualities of legal translators?
Aside from the exemplary linguistic and cultural skills, legal translators must be highly educated. They should be experts in a particular type of law and has the required experience in handling documents related to their area of expertise.
They work with very important and sensitive documents from a particular organization and should be able to deliver high quality translation work that conforms to the stringent demands of the client.
Legal translation is very challenging and demanding. Accuracy in their translation work is a must. Every subtlety found in the source document must be captured and translated without losing the original’s integrity, so it will be legally understood in whatever language the document in translated into.
Legal translators should be native speakers as they have a better knowledge and understanding of their mother tongue, compared to people who speak it only as a second language.
A college degree is essential for a legal translator. Although not required, it is advantageous for a legal translator to have a graduate degree or a master’s degree in language or law.
The ability to absorb, understand and engage in the complexity of legal texts is necessary for legal translators. These traits will help them in effectively delivering the required translation according to the criteria set by the client. Legal translators must be experts in the legal systems of two or more countries.
“Challenging” is a term that is associated with any form of translation work but more so in legal translation, where the translators often work under pressure. Often, the work has a very short deadline and the clients expect a fast turnaround.
Not many people venture to be legal translators because it also carries a lot of risks. There is no room for error because mistranslations could have very adverse effects. There should never be any ambiguity in the translation, as well. Everything should be very clear.
Other than having a very good command of at least two languages, expert legal translators should have special knowledge of the different branches of legal systems of different countries. Clients will be more confident if the legal translators they hire have a vast knowledge not only about local laws but also the cultural differences.
Because legal translation is not confined to just the court cases, the expertise of the translators manifests in the ability to properly analyze and put into context the legalese between two differing systems. It shows that the knowledge base of the translators is extensive and current.
The demands for legal translation
Legal translation is very much in demand in the business world right now. Because a number of companies are increasingly developing and exploring new markets in various parts of the world, the amount of paperwork, not just business contracts, require the expertise of legal translators in many aspects.
It is not always smooth sailing within the business world as competition is very fierce. Corporations now cross borders and millions of dollars are exchanged each year. With so much at stake, corporations need to properly communicate with each other, which means the demand for legal translation today is rising.
Corporations have to react quickly to things that are happening within the community, in the same way that they have to be very vigilant throughout each phase of the business process.
An expert legal translator is a valuable partner for many companies that are going global for several reasons.
1. Speed in communication
Speed is a very essential factor in legal translation. Business deals can be acquired or lost in a matter of seconds or minutes. It is very important for a company to have someone on their side who would be able to quickly translate a document accurately and legally. It is necessary so that cases, deals and contracts are not delayed unnecessarily.
Speed to market is essential in legal translation for business as slow translations of important documents such as patents, offers and contracts can hinder the global movement of companies. Small and large enterprises do not want delays in their required documents because it could mean losing service providers, clients, partners, distributors and consumers.
2. Business law is not static
Among the many people who are engaged in business, a legal translator should be able to keep up with the changes in business law that happen all the time. The translator must be able to grasp the changes in the countries concerned. Legal translators must not stop learning and should always be abreast of the changes happening in their areas of expertise. This is another reason why speed is critical in legal translation. Changes can occur in the blink of an eye and if the translation is done slowly, it might no longer apply because the regulations have been changed.
3. Knowledge of the legal language
The legal terminology is not something that everyone can learn. Words and phrases that do not mean anything per se could carry more weight in legal terms. It is important for companies to have someone who has a deep understanding of the legal terminology and how they are applied to various legal documents.
4. Legal and linguistic diversity
The business world may be global but technically, there are legal differences among countries. Some things may be acceptable in other countries while taboo in others. An expert legal translator has the right knowledge to understand the linguistic and legal differences of at least two countries, has a deeper understanding of the nuances of the language and how the countries’ laws are applied to ensure that the documents they translate remain useful and relevant.
5. Accuracy in the translation
Accuracy is a must for all types of translation work but legal translation demands so much more. In the legal sector, accuracy is vital because even one word can make so much difference to the document’s gravity, tone or meaning. An expert legal translator can help secure the legal success of your business. While quick turnaround is often required, accuracy should always be maintained.
The legal market is one of the few sectors worldwide where quality and precise translation is highly required. Because companies are going global, they are required to operate in a variety of languages, which means preparing court documents, agreements, deeds, tenders, patents and contracts in several versions.
The most significant component of legal translation is the ability to understand the nature of what is important to the client. The legal translator must deeply consider the need for quality and speed in the translation to provide the client with the most effective and significant solution.
A deep understanding of sector-defined language and the law is vital to a legal translator. It helps them to tailor their translation work to any client without affecting the quality of the translation. For legal translators, they must appreciate that legal translation means working within very short deadlines most of the time.
For more insights in this matter, check out our free guide to language services in the legal industry.
If you’re in need of legal translation, give us a call at 1-800-969-6853 or send us an email at Contact us. Day Translations, Inc. is a member of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters & Translators (NAJIT) and our professional legal translators are all certified. They are subject matter experts and have several years of experience behind them. They are also native speakers and available anytime to help with your legal translation requests. Day Translations is open 24/7 and with our translators located in many parts of the world, they can attend to your request anywhere you are.
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