Translation of legal documents involves replacing the source language with the target language, much like any other type of translation. Legal translation, however, is different because the law is a cultural expression.
The source document uses terms and content based on the prevailing legal system in the country where it originates. In an increasingly globalized world, legal translation becomes more necessary.
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What is Legal Translation?
It requires more time and effort than standard or regular translation, which requires straightforward (translation) writing.
Translating into an official language of jurisdiction requires using that language, so the various texts that are translated cover a wide range of topics. For example, it could include identity documentation, financial documents, official reports, transcripts, filed patents, precedents, and testimony. Translation services are also required for immigration documents, litigation papers, articles of incorporation, and wills and trusts.
To avoid mistranslations, professional legal document translations must be handled by subject matter experts (SMEs) with a thorough understanding of the laws of the countries and languages of the source and target.
What Makes Legal Translation Different?
- No matter how minor, errors, ambiguity or misinterpretation is not permitted in legal translation, they can render the translated document void. In addition, even a simple mistake can cause huge legal and financial complications.
- The unique terminology of legal translation and cultural influences, and language differences add to its complexity. Providing legal translations doesn’t just mean substituting one word for another. To translate the legal concepts, the translator must translate them into another language. Due to the differences in legal expression and tradition, the translator must be particular about which language to use within the target jurisdiction.
There is a need For Human Translators
- Machine translation can’t deliver legal translations with the required accuracy. The reason is that legal documents are used for legal documentation of any kind, such as scholarly writings, contracts, birth certificates, declarations, affidavits, etc. Therefore, a mistranslation or a lack of translation can alter the outcome of a case or hearing.
- A translator needs to be capable of performing a variety of tasks, particularly when translating legal documents. As a result, serious challenges are often faced by translators when assigned a legal project. When it comes to such texts, there simply is no room for error: even the smallest error can have serious consequences and can be very costly for the client.
- Legal translation takes a lot of time because it is not an easy form of translating. In this case, accuracy is paramount. Therefore, choosing a translation service provider with legal experience that has legal translation expertise is crucial.
The following skills are critical to the successful translation of legal documents, as it is one of the most complex and challenging translation projects:
- Be familiar with the legal writing style of the target language.
- Understanding of the legal systems of the sources and targets of the languages.
- The ability to research and understand the legal definition of a term in the source language if the equivalent term in the target language is not readily apparent.
- Be familiar with the terminology used in the original document
- First, when translating a segment of a document, it is useful to have the ability to decode the source language.
- Second, the ability to express as much of the original meaning of the text segment as possible in the target language.