The secrets of legal translation

There are as many types of translation as fields to which texts belong. The contents of each specialisation have their own unique, exclusive connotations, which means that transcriptions must be treated in a specialised, independent way. Specific terms or idioms should be taken into account when carrying out these translations. But, what is so special about legal translations?

When you translate a website, a restaurant menu, a storybook, or any other material, you must assume the responsibility that this entails, as readers must be able to read them and understand the same meaning that the author tried to convey. This responsibility also extends to legal translations, but the connotation that makes them “different” lies in their legal nature. Basically, legal translations are translations of legal texts. Hence the consequences of a bad translation, which can be very serious, and even dramatic.

What type of documents are legal texts? Well, any document of a legal nature. They can be public (official documents issued by an administration or public body) or private (wills, notarial deeds, etc.)

But are these translations really so complex? Yes, they are, as the original document has been usually drafted by a specialist – a lawyer, economist, or a similar professional, including highly technical terms that are far from everyday language. Their exact counterparts must be found – not only their literal translations, but also within the relevant context, in order correctly interpret the full text.

Can any translator carry out legal translations? This question may seem ambiguous, but perhaps the best answer is that the best translator for a legal translation is someone who is a lawyer as well as a translator. A person who spans both professions and can provide a high-quality text. It is even better if he or she can localise the text as a native speaker of the language of origin.

Companies and people that require a legal translation need a high-quality service that generates no doubts about the reliability of contents. This can only be achieved by contacting agencies that specialise in this kind of translation, which can also guarantee that their documents will be correctly translated and that no tiny error will lead to problems. Trusting a specialist will ensure the best translation for your intellectual property documents, contracts, insurance policies, expert reports, legal proceedings, and any other legal document.


(CC Image) Daniela M.