Studies have shown that 21 percent of legal errors were connected to flawed document preparation. The potential risk of error is even greater in the case of legal translation, as the stakes are much higher for both businesses and individuals.
Legal document translation is a vital part of businesses that work with people who use different languages. Legal translations may be necessary for reasons such as being approved for a local business license, being allowed to merge the business with another, or bringing in an employee from another part of the world. Individuals may need contracts, academic transcripts, medical and other certificates, or immigration documents translated.
If you’re faced with the need for a legal translation, the best way to protect yourself against these risks is to seek the help of certified legal document translation services.
Not convinced? Here are five big reasons why your legal translation needs can only be met by a professional translation service.
1. Legal translations require specific domain knowledge
There’s a reason why the language of law is called “legalese:” legal documents often feature terminology and phrases that the average individual doesn’t recognize or understand. The content of legal documents is so domain-specific that if you’re not an expert in law, you may not even grasp it even when it is written in your native language. Moreover, translations need to be every bit as precise and relevant to the legal context as the original document.
This accuracy can’t be achieved by someone who doesn’t have a strong understanding of legal language and legal subject matter—both in the original source document’s language and in the language into which the document is being translated. This combination of required specialities requires professional legal document translation services.
2. Legal documents must adhere to specialized formats
Many types of legal documents feature consistent characteristics or standard features and formats that need to be accurately incorporated into a translated document. This can include legal disclaimers, boilerplate language, provisions, and amendments, all of which need precise translations in order to ensure the strength of that document. Legal experts regularly dealing with these documents can quickly detect inaccuracies or inconsistencies which can complicate any legal process.
Immigration forms and applications, for example, tend to be very specific in their instructions for how these forms are completed. Even after those forms have been filled, certified legal translation services must ensure that the proper instructions and formatting are carried over from the source document to its translated version.
3. Legal translations require a certificate of accuracy
When legal documents are translated, many governments, courts, and businesses will require those documents to be certified for accuracy. This certification benefits both sides of the legal process because it offers the assurance of accuracy to the courts or government agencies as well as to the document owners.
For organizations and individuals receiving these documents, legal translation services streamline document processing and eliminate problems that can disrupt business proceedings, increase the risk of application denials, and even create additional legal issues resulting from inaccuracies and errors introduced by a poor translation.
4. Localization is essential for legal translations
Small translation errors and oversights can lead to huge problems if the legitimacy of legal documents is called into question. Lawyers and other professionals may attempt to single out turns of phrase, or even individual words, to question the intentions of a legal document.
Localization plays an important role in producing iron-clad legal translations that hold up under the scrutiny of a foreign audience. Localization supplements legal translation by ensuring that unintended interpretations aren’t caused by language that hasn’t been localized to the region where documents are being received. Without localization, there’s a risk that innocuous phrases and words used in legal translation will carry unintended political or cultural connotations that may offend its recipients, or may even be used to discredit your legal documents altogether.
5. Legal translation errors can have serious consequences
The risk of inaccurate legal translations should not be underestimated. Depending on the type of legal document being translated, as well as the type of mistake created during translation, inaccuracies can bring severe consequences to an individual or business.
You could find yourself or your business facing financial penalties, court disputes, contested lawsuits, and/or criminal charges resulting from these translation errors. At best, such slip-ups can impose a material cost in the form of penalties and/or delays created by having to resubmit new translations of these documents. In severe cases, you could be facing lost business opportunities, legal judgments, or even jail time.
Given these risks, individuals and businesses have plenty of incentive to find a qualified certified translator that can handle these legal documents and deliver results you can count on. Protranslating has more than 45 years of experience providing legal document translation and localization for more than 200 language combinations. Our translations are certified for accuracy, providing you with the peace of mind you need when tending to legal matters.
If you’re in need of legal document translation, our linguistic experts are always ready to help. Contact us today to tell us about your translation needs.