Have you ever thought that legal translators can be in trouble due to mistranslations? If yes, let’s delve into this popular domain. Many commercial companies and individuals badly need to have a translated copy of their legal documents and contracts. These documents are conducted with other international parties. In this article, legal translation services and the various aspects concerning their quality assurance are comprehensively dealt with.
What’s legal translation?
Legal translation is the process of translating legal manuscripts, documents, papers, and official authorities-used credentials from one language to another. It’s noteworthy that the content and the meaning of the original document have to be maintained. The legal documents should be translated by a legal expert or a specialist in this field. These legal documents include the following:
- Legal contracts translation.
- Courts documents translation.
- Work license translation.
- International treaties translation.
- Commercial registers translation.
- Personal documents translation.
- Scientific certificate translation.
- Official correspondence translation.
- Travel and immigration documents translation.
The importance of legal translation.
Having a mistake in legal translation isn’t confined to being a mere linguistic error, but it can either badly affect or completely waste people’s rights. The importance of legal translation lies in that either the assigned company or the translator should accurately and authentically do the legal translation as much as possible. It’s necessary to have a familiarized translation team with the laws, the legislations, and the commercial regulations of the country to which the translation is conducted under its umbrella. To ensure the quality of the translation, the reviewed copy can be delivered to your attorney to accurately double-check it and make sure that it’s a spitting image of the original copy.
The rules and the strategies of legal translation
Several guidelines should be kept in mind while translating legal texts. These guidelines include the following:
- Maintain the commonly used legal terms:
The powerfulness of expressions and words in one language varies among different words. One meaning can be expressed by more than one word, but each one gives diverse connotations to the readers.
It’s, thus, very important that the translator should fully understand how powerful the word is in the source text before translating it into other languages. This affects the way the document maintains its original meaning and, at the same time, requires refined skills and capabilities of the translator.
- Maintain the original meaning:
Sometimes, there aren’t synonymous equivalents in the target language, the translator, therefore, has to search for a proper equivalent that can match the meaning of the source text. This skill demands that the translator should be acquainted with the culture, the rules, and the laws of the country whose language is being translated into.
- Matching the formatting of the legally translated documents with the target language document:
Each country maintains a specified format for its legal documents. The translation team, thus, has to fully conform to this format. At the end of the day, it’s sought to have two identical copies in form, but only different in the language.
- Consistent familiarity with the legal changes:
One of the characteristics of the laws is that they always change. The translator, hence, is asked to keep himself updated with the new laws lest he commit a mistake in the translation that causes problems later on.
Advantages of legal translation and how it differ from other translations?
Legal translation is unique and if an experienced translator moves from translating general texts to legal ones, he is obliged to exert more effort to understand it despite its difficulty. Here, we mention some of the advantages of legal translation that make it stand head and shoulders over the other translation domains:
- The official and strict text that’s free of emotions and enthusiasm.
- The legal translation uses obsolete words and archaic linguistic structures but they can still be understood in the legal context.
- Repetition is always there in a way the subject is used consistently with no pronouns to replace it, such as he or she.
- The sentence structure is complicated, vague, and long.
- The translation language is based on verbs and what either must or should be done. This labels it as something away from being an ordinary descriptive language, but it goes by the purposes of the legal text.
Characteristics and requirements of legal translation:
There are several characteristics of legal translation and they are all in the legal translations conducted by fast Trans accredited legal translators. These characteristics include the following:
- Confidentiality: the translation of the official legal documents kept in secrecy. It’s noteworthy that Fast Trans has its protocol to deal with legal translation information confidentiality.
- Errors-free translations: The translated legal texts should be accurate and error-free to be a valid translation. It’s noteworthy that a single linguistic error can either render the official document translation invalid or do certain harm. A simple error, for example, manifested in having similar names of the accused and the innocent by adding or deleting one letter of the names can lead to a catastrophe.
- Similarity: It has to be made sure that the translated text meaning has to be similar to the source text meaning. One of the characteristics of legal translation is the keenness of having an accurate translated text that’s a spitting image of the source text. This means that the legal translator isn’t allowed to either add or delete something that affects the intended meaning. For example, there is a difference between possible and probable on one hand and common, known and famous on the other.
- Commitment to the legal terminologies and formulas: every type of legal document and manuscript has a certain formula by which the translator is obliged to conduct a spitting image translation of the source text. Keep in mind that no governmental body can accept a legal document that doesn’t conform to the legal formula of the source text as it’s an inseparable part of it.
- Punctuality: the time frame given by the client should be prioritized. Most of the time, the legal documents translation should be delivered in a certain time or this will harm the client if time is missed.
- Flexibility: there should be some flexibility as per the text because this is vital in legal translation. The translator, thus, needs to change the way he deals with the text and translate it as per the general context.
- Legal differences: the legal differences among the diverse systems should be fully comprehended either in the same country or the same language.
- Honesty of translation: the honesty and accuracy of text translation should be taken care of. This is done without paying attention to the text’s aesthetics or literary aspects while honing the text style.
- Complexity: the legal translation is so complicated, difficult, and important at the same time. There should be some methods in mind to follow while translating the text’s meaning, clarifying it as much as possible and overcoming the legal translation challenges.
Legal translation steps in the accredited translation companies:
The process of legal translation has to follow certain steps that go hand in hand to finally have a valid translation document to be used by the official authorities. It’s noteworthy that Fast Trans is totally committed to an organized and full-fledged translation system. Its steps can be summed up in the following:
- Understanding the document’s purpose:
The first step of the valid legal translation is to know the purpose of the document and the institution that needs it. This basic step will help you to know the trajectory in which you should abide, guide you to the laws you should be familiar with, and follow the best strategies of legal translation.
- Familiarization with the country’s constitution and laws to which the translation should be delivered:
The legal translation company should familiarize itself with the country’s constitution and laws to which the translation should be delivered to one of its institutions. This is done to know the legal terminologies used in this field and act accordingly.
- Using the proper references to conduct legal translation
It’s necessary, during conducting legal translation, to use various dictionaries regarding the target language in addition to having a look at the legal manuscripts, documents, and previous translations regarding the subject matter of the document.
- Reviewing legal translation by a specialized translator/reviewer:
It’s important that no one completely takes over the translation process in the legal translation companies. It’s noteworthy that text-reviewing processes should be conducted by experienced individuals in the field of translated documents. The reviewing process should be done to ensure that the document is accurate and similar to the source text regarding the content and the format.
Why is legal translation different from other types of translation?
Legal translation stands head and shoulders over the other types of translations because a small mistake can render the legal document invalid. The legal translation, thus, has so many requirements and it, mostly, has to be accredited before being accepted.
How Fast Trans can help with legal translation?
Legal translation is one of the well-known domains that need to be accurately conducted. A small error can cause problems to people’s rights. If you need assistance to get your documents translated, look no more as Fast Trans of legal accredited translation can do all types of legal documents and manuscripts professionally and accurately. It’s noteworthy that Fast Trans issues a translation validity certificate to testify to the correctness of its legal translations. This certificate is an accredited and sealed one that to the correctness and the similarity of the translation to the source text.