6 Aspects to consider when translating legal documents

What To Remember When Translating Legal Documents

The understanding of professional translation services among the general public is extremely varied. From believing that translation is nothing more than simply replacing words with words in another language to deeming the procedure extremely complicated and perhaps even daunting. Today, however, translation agencies, such as ours, have streamlined their processes and developed bespoke software in order to make the translation process as easy and straightforward as possible for the end user.

Nonetheless, when translating your documents or choosing the language supplier, there are still several different factors that you must consider before actually going ahead with converting your content, which can directly affect the quality and suitability of the translated document. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the factors that can influence the quality of a translation when working with legal documents.


Aspects to remember when translating legal documents:

  • Linguist is a native speaker of the target language
  • They understand your particular business sector
  • They have knowledge of the legal sector
  • The translator can fully understand the legal jargon
  • They recognize judiciary differences between countries
  • The translation agency is officially registered

What to remember when translating legal document


Native Translators

Making sure that your legal documents are translated by a native speaker of the target language is generally strongly recommended. Although this doesn’t apply solely and specifically to legal documents, but rather any content, typically, a native speaker will be able to translate your documents more accurately and ensure that the language used sounds natural for the target audience.

In many cases, cultural factors can also play an important part when translating legal documents. Customs, political situations or even religion can all affect the reliability of a translation. By working with an agency that is able to provide translation by a native speaker of your target language, you ensure that all of these factors will also be carefully considered and involved in the process of translating your legal materials.

Sector & Industry Knowledge

A reliable translation consists of much more than simply replacing words with their equivalents in another language. As previously mentioned, culture, for example, is something that must also be considered to ensure that the translated documents are suitable for the target market or audience.

Another aspect worth paying close attention to when choosing a translation supplier, especially if you’re working on behalf of a law firm or a business, is whether the linguists involved in converting your documents fully understand your specific business sector or the sector of a client you represent.

In many cases, businesses from different sectors use terminology specific to them, which may not be easily understood by linguists without previous experience or knowledge within the particular area, and as a result, the outcome of a translation may not be completely accurate. Consequently, when choosing a supplier for translating your legal documents, make sure that the linguists converting your materials fully understand your specific corporate sector.

In-depth Understanding Of Legal Jargon

Similarly to any other business sector, the legal has specific language, jargon and terminology used exclusively within it. Although this ‘lingo’ is easily and widely understood by people within the sector itself, it may be difficult to grasp by people who do not have first-hand experience. When translating your legal documents, ensure that the person working on your material is fully aware of the legal jargon and can translate it accurately into the target language.

Law & Policies Understanding

Legal knowledge and understanding of the sector are key aspects to look for in a linguist when translating documents intended for official use e.g. in the court of law, home office etc.

It’s important to keep in mind that different countries may have different legal systems. A great example of this could be the different levels of courts. Is the High Country in the United Kingdom on the same judiciary level as it is in the U.S or should it be substituted by an appropriate replacement in the documents?  A professional legal translator needs to be fully aware of these differences and translate your documents accordingly.

Certifying Your Translated Documents

In order to be fully recognized by official bodies, such as courts of law, legal documents must be certified. As a result, only authorised providers can offer certified translation services. When choosing a translation agency to work with, regardless of whether you’re a private customer or approaching the supplier on behalf of an organization, make sure that your chosen translation agency is an accredited member of an authoritative association, such as the ATC. This guarantees that your translated legal documents will be suitable for official use and widely recognized and accepted.

As you can see, translating legal documents is a complex process that involves paying very close attention to several factors, many of which can directly influence the quality and reliability of your documents or materials. Fortunately, however, professional translation agencies have streamlined their process to provide a straightforward solution to the end users.

If you require legal translation services, you can get in touch with us today, and we’ll be more than happy to discuss your particular requirements.


About TS24

Translation Services 24 (TS24) is a professional translation agency offering expert services in over 200 languages. We work with clients in all corporate and public industries and specialise in sector-specific linguistic solutions. With over a decade of experience in the industry, 15+ million words converted every year and 100,000+ projects completed, TS24 is a leading provider of expert translations and interpretation services and an officially certified member of the ATC. Contact TS24 here. You can also read all of our recent articles here.

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