Legal translations require a level of precision and accuracy that exceeds most standard document translation services. When dealing with matters of the law, it’s not only necessary for the interpreter to have the right level of knowledge of the languages involved, but it’s also vital for them to be conversant when it comes to legal terminology and practices.
• Consecutive Interpreting
In the instance of consecutive interpretation, where the translation occurs at the same time as the original content, there’s an even greater risk of misinterpretation, which can be highly problematic in legal terms.
In this instance, translators not only need to have a good working knowledge of the legal terms relevant to the project, but also must be able to process the information quickly, in order to translate quickly.
• Legal Discrepancies from Country to Country Another potential problem with legal translations is the diversity in the law. The source content, naturally, is structured to adhere to the legal system of its own country of origin. However, when translated into another language, another set of legalities comes into action, which may contradict the original source content. In this instance, it’s especially important that the translator is specialised in the field of expertise to deliver information that is precise and identify where any contradictions may occur.
• Flexibility with Language
Of course, it’s likely that there will be differences in terminology from country to country; and some terms may not have an equivalent in the target language. In this instance, it’s vital to source a translator who is able to come up with practical solutions, adopting a linguistic alternative which is as similar to the original content as possible, and preserves the original meaning.
Many legal documents to carry with them tight deadlines; particularly those required in court. In such instances, flexibility on timing is not an option; and it’s important to locate a translation service that appreciates the necessity for fast turnaround.
Of course, it goes without saying that confidentiality should be a top priority when seeking a legal translation service. The majority of all legal content contains some form of sensitive data, and leakage of information could cause major problems for all parties involved. Ensure that your translator adheres to a strict code of confidentiality before entrusting the job.
Questions to Ask When Hiring a Legal Translator
When working with legal translations, language is only one aspect of the task at hand. The translator must also have a high level of knowledge in terms of relevant legal terminology; ideally in both the country of origin and the target country. They should also be able to demonstrate knowledge of the legal systems.
Sensitivity and adaptability when using appropriate wording is a necessity, as some phrases will not be able to be translated on a word-for-word basis.