7 Tips To Ensure High-Quality Legal Translation
Legal document translation is one discipline that demands a good understanding of legal lingo and mastery of the source as well as target languages. Familiarity with the practice area/subject matter as well as the legal system where the translation is to be submitted is also of great importance. Clear communication with the translation service, including any details that you provide concerning the case along with where and how the translation is to be used, helps ensure that the legal translation received is both accurate and relevant to one’s needs.
Here are 7 things you need to remember when your brief the legal translator so that the end product meets your expectations:
Having Clarity About What Is to Be Translated
Legal documents are usually lengthy and may contain information that does not necessarily have to be translated. Signature pages, address information, signature pages, and handwritten notes on the margins may or may not require translation. Be clear on the sections of the document that require translation to save money. Try these guys if you’re looking for financial translations in London.
Talk to the Translation Provider About the Use of the Documents
Document translations are sometimes required for information purposes only. In other situations, the translations are to be submitted in court and require certification. Understanding the purpose of the translation as well as the intended audience helps ensure that its cost and quality both meet your expectations.
Agree on a Glossary of Important Terms
If a legal term is English has multiple foreign language equivalents, it can be a good idea to designate a preferred foreign language term so that it is consistently used throughout the document as well as throughout all documents related to your specific legal issue. Doing this at the beginning of the process of translation can help reduce the scope for error later on.
Double-Check the Dialect
Just as variations in spelling and style exist across Anglophile countries, the same applies to other languages. In some instances, like Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese, the differences can be quite major and potentially of great importance in legal content. If you are translating a legal document into Spanish for a Mexican audience, you need to ensure that the translator understands this as well as the difference between European and Latin American Spanish.
Understand the Legal System
One of the most overlooked but important aspects of legal document translation is understanding the legal system of the target country, particularly when the documents in question related to complex litigation. The legal system in each country includes culturally-dependent concepts reflected in the legal language in agreements, contracts, etc. In particular, legal documents translated for court should use the precise legal terminology that country employs.
Clarity About Formatting of the Document
Legal documents are generally either presented in a bilingual format, where the original text and translated text are side-by-side, or in monolingual format, which follows the original document’s format but is separate. You may prefer one format to the other depending on how you plan to use the translated document. In case the documents include graphs, tables, or images, ensure that you specify whether you would like formatting that resembles the original document exactly, or whether simply translating the text will be enough. Remember that recreating the images and tables with the translated text is likely to incur some DTP/formatting fees.
Keep the Translator in the Loop
Deadlines may change quickly, particularly during litigation. Court dates may get pushed up, additional documentation may be unearthed during discovery, and the legal document that was due next week suddenly needs reviewing tomorrow. Keeping the translator in the loop about your changing needs as well as timeframes can help make sure that they end up providing you with the best legal translation possible.