What you should know about legal translation services

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Each person will have their own ideas about what constitutes a legal document and as a result, should ensure it is translated by a legal translation professional. The general definition is any text that could be used in the legal system of a specific country, such as witness statements, patents, contracts and financial documentation.

What is important to note however, is that there are many more pieces of information that we come across in our day to day lives, which constitute a legal document and should not be forgotten about. Something as simple as identification documents or the terms and conditions on any marketing material (website, brochures, emails, etc.) could be used in a legal dispute. This fact means it’s absolutely vital to have them translated accurately by a professional translator.

Making the right choice now with legal translation could save you time and money later

Key requirements of legal translation services

Now that you have decided on what documentation should be translated, you must decide on which legal translation service you should use. There are some key requirements that you should ensure your translator meets:

  1. They should understand the legal terminology and style of the systems they are translating the documents from and to. There are examples whereby contracts have been translated poorly and resulted in legal disputes. Law is very much culture dependant and you don’t want the wrong term or phrase put into a document and consequently putting you at risk.
  2. The translator should be registered with the relevant professional body or have the required qualifications, depending on specific country requirements. In the UK for example, you should choose a legal translation service who are members of the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), as this stamp of excellence is accepted by government and industry alike.
  3. Having an understanding of law should be combined with an understanding and expertise in the field that you’re operating in. Many legal firms will specialise in a particular market, such as finance, engineering, transportation, etc. Choosing a provider who understands your industry will minimise the risk of misunderstandings or delays in clarifying particular terms.

Ultimately, think carefully, plan ahead and be demanding. Making the right choice now with legal translation could save you time and money later.