The process of translating legal content is more sensitive than majority of other form of translation. In some cases, an accurate legal translation can make a direct difference in the outcome of a case and a small mistake in the translation process can cause damages. As a result, the translator must ensure that the exact meaning of all the words and phrases is conveyed in the translated document. For an accurate and reliable translation of legal documents, the translator must not only be a native speaker of both the target language, but must also have a previous first-hand experience and knowledge within the legal sector itself. If you need to translate any legal content, here are some tips to ensure that the translation process is smooth and accurate.
1. Define the Content that Needs Translating
Legal documents are, in most cases, lengthy but not all sections require translation. For instance, the signature pages, handwritten notes or cover pages may not need to be translated. Be clear about omitting such content to save on costs. A recent case where a court depended on Google translations in order to communicate with a person shows just how important legal translation services really are.
2. Determine the Required Languages
One geographical region or territory may have the same law but different dialects and languages. The people living in one area may speak the same language but in different dialects. Understand the variations in language and dialect before hiring a translator. This step should guide you to hiring an expert in all the required languages.
3. Choose the Right Translation Service
Defining the dialects and languages required helps in narrowing down your options of a legal translation service. The person or company should be an experienced and officially certified linguist. Be willing to pay more to get an accurate translation because there simply isn’t any room for errors in this process. Choose a translator with vast experience in translation and knowledge of the country’s specific laws and regulations.
4. Define a Glossary of Terms
A glossary of terms is important for words that have more than one equivalent in the target language. You can choose the equivalent in the foreign language that should be used throughout the document. A glossary of terms minimizes the chances of errors in the translated document. It ensures that the meaning of each term is clear in the final document.
- Work with a legal translations provider
Ensuring that your legal documents are accurately translated can often be a very stressful and time-consuming process. In order to ensure the high quality of translation, it’s highly recommended to work with a professional agency offering legal translation services. Such company will be able not only to translate your documents, but will additionally help you throughout the entire translation process. In a number of cases, an experienced legal linguist will also be able to advise you in regards to for example, the type of official certification you may require for different purposes of your documents. Another benefit of working with a professional provider of legal translations is the advantage of working with a dedicated project manager. If your work is based on regular basis, such person will be able to better understand your requirements and therefore ensure that your expectations are met each time you wish to translate a document.
6. Agree on the Formatting Style
The translation services may provide a monolingual or bilingual document after completing the translation. A monolingual document has all the information translated into the foreign language but maintains some specifications. For instance, the translating service may keep the format and font of the original document. With a bilingual document, the translation service presents the original and translated documents side-by-side. Choose your preferred formatting style and communicate to your translation partner clearly.
7. Understand the Law and Track Any Changes
You cannot rely on the knowledge of your translating partner concerning the applicable law. Understand the law and double check the final document to ensure that all the dialects are accurately translated. In addition, stay updated of any changes in the law that should be considered in the legal transaction process. Ensure that your partner understands and incorporates the changes in the translated document.
It is important to pick the right translation service provider and communicate constantly throughout the translation process. Before you decide on a service, make sure that you and your translator are on the same page and that they are truly attentive to your needs.