When to Use Legal Translation
Legal translation is the translation of any texts that are associated with the law.
As such, it is incredibly important that the translation is wholly accurate, as it could otherwise result in a case being thrown out – or even lead to a lawsuit that could have easily been avoided!
Legal translation is most often used in international court cases where multiple languages are involved. The legal documents are required to be translated to the official language of the jurisdiction so that any associated paperwork and evidence is clearly understood.
What Sorts of Documents Require Legal Translation?
A wide variety of documentation may require legal translation. This could be anything from financial documents, reports, transcripts, patents, witness statements and immigration papers – but this is not an exhaustive list.
Any type of document provided as evidence will require translation from the source language to the target language.
The Complexities of Legal Translation
Translating legal writing is riddled with complications. Most legal documents are deliberately exacting and include a lot of technical language in regards to rights and duties. As such, the translation has to reflect this with 100% accuracy.
A primary complication in legal translation is that there can be unique terminology in certain languages where there is no literal translation to another language.
An example of this is the term “consideration”. This is used in American Common Law. It’s an essential concept that is standard in American contracts, but it cannot be directly translated into any another language without a more in-depth explanation – and this is just one of countless intricacies.
In addition to these potential impossible translation issues, there can also be significant differences in legal systems and culture.
For example, in some countries there is a clear divide between church and state; but this is not the case globally. In fact, from country to country the degree of secularism can vary, impacting legal translation further.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Legal Translator
When selecting a legal translation provider, it’s crucial that the translator is a subject matter expert, with a thorough knowledge of both the source and target countries, and the languages involved.
On top of this, the translator needs to possess the right personal qualities to avoid mistranslation.
These qualities include an innate attention to detail, the ability to work well under pressure, to tight deadlines, and the knowledge and experience to unpack complex concepts. In short, it’s certainly not a job anyone can do!
Legal translation relies on human input and intelligence: machines and software simply can’t provide the required level of accuracy.
The Consequences of Mistranslation
If a judge or lawyer spots an error in translation – for example, the wrong words being used – the entire translation may no longer be admissible. That’s a lot of pressure. But here at Kwintessential, only the very best legal translators work on our legal translations, so you can rest assured that you’ll receive accurate, reliable work every time.
For highly professional, accurate legal translation services, contact Kwintessential today. Our extensive pool of qualified and experienced legal translators can help. Call (UK +44) 01460 279900 or send a message to [email protected].