Legal translations are the translations of texts in the area of law and are used to exchange legal information between people who speak different languages. As the legal system can relate to particular social, political and cultural characteristics in each state, legal translations can often become complex and involved. Translated legal text must be clear, precise and reliable. Mistakes made in the conversion of any contract may result in material or financial damage and could mean legal action being taken.
Legal translations: types of
Depending on the type of legal document being translated, legal translations are divided into different types.
Those most commonly translated by us are:
- translations of laws, other legal acts, as well as the projects to which they correspond;
- translations of transactions, contracts;
- translations of memoranda, legal opinions;
- translations of apostilles and various testimonies;
- translations of documents of legal entities;
- translations of power of attorney, etc.
Legal translations: other peculiarities
Legal documents and theoretical works can only be translated by professional translators specialising in legal translations. These specialist translators must have had a legal education or broad experience in translating texts of a legal nature. Increasingly, these translators also have a grounding in economics or finance.
The difficulty in translating legal texts lies in the fact that each legal text is drafted in the light of the legal system in force in a particular country – it is this which determines certain legalities. Translators may often encounter the problem of a lack of knowledge of legal terms in the source document. The translator’s task is then to translate the text so that, in the framework of other legal systems, the essence of the text would remain the same – even though the exact wording might differ.
Translators often use legal dictionaries which are bilingual. Even these specialist dictionaries need to be used with extreme caution by translators, as most bilingual dictionaries present the wording without specifying the field of law in which they are used. Too much dependence on these tools may lead to translation errors. The wording of terms may not even be related to the section of law being translated. It should be emphasised that translators of legal texts should not rely solely upon legal bilingual dictionaries.
Translation services for legal texts not only need high-quality translations – but two other important considerations should to be taken into account as well: the terms and confidentiality. Legal texts must be translated within a prescribed time limit, as there are situations where, if the translator causes delays to the translated text, it may no longer be required, and the translator may potentially be liable for any losses incurred by the person who ordered the job. In general, all legal texts must be translated as soon as possible – but always within a reasonable time frame. Inevitably, every translation company will make special offers to their customers about the timeframe.
The translator must maintain the privacy of all information received under their duty of confidentiality. Translators often need to interpret and paraphrase business documents containing information that cannot be made available to third parties, especially potential competitors. A non-disclosure, or confidentiality agreement, is usually a standard requirement.
Legal translations: how much do they cost?
Find out how much your legal translation to another language will cost. Find out