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5 Things to Know About Legal Translation for Business

— June 12, 2020

Unlike translation of poetry and fiction, legal translation always deals with official documents that revolve around particular laws and areas of the law.

Legal translation is considered as one of the most demanding and challenging tasks among translators. A reason for that is that it is required by all kinds of businesses. For example, it may be an official document required for sale or purchase of property, a list of documents that are necessary for visa application, or the cases when a company wants to offer their services abroad. Even if you want to get employment overseas, chances are high that you will face a necessity to translate your certificates or a copy of a foreign agreement. All of these cases require an expert legal translator with relevant certification that grants a right to complete such work requests. 

Unlike translation of poetry and the fiction books, legal translation always deals with official documents that revolve around particular legislation like it is with the contracts, patents, legal correspondence, business transactions, court documents, complaints, certification papers, investment agreements, and so on. Since such translations are time-consuming and require expert knowledge, always approach a professional translator with experience in the legal translations field. It may be necessary to consult your legal advisor before placing a translation request to stay within the corporate data privacy rules. 

5 Important Facts About Legal Translation for Business Purposes 

In addition to the cases when an individual or a company may require a professional legal translation, there are other reasons when it is crucial to provide the business partners with a high-quality expert translation. It is especially important when one is just starting a business relationship with a foreign partner and there are socio-cultural challenges or lack of understanding of the specific legal slang. It is where professional legal translators offer their help. If you are not sure about what services may be necessary for your particular case, have a look through the best translation sites where you can find an extensive list of services that offer legal translation help. Remember that in certain cases it may be necessary to request a verbal translation with a detailed glossary. 

As the practice shows, there are at least five things to know about legal translations for business: 

  • Socio-cultural aspect. Even though the talk goes about the legal documents, there is a mentality of every country and the cultural elements that make the translation specific even within the legislative field. Therefore, only an expert translator can transpose each detail of the business contract and let the foreign client see the purpose and vision of the company. 
  • The accurate portrayal of the specific legal field. It is not enough to know the grammar and understand several languages because the legal translations should use accurate wording and the legal terms that are used in foreign countries. It is a reason why legal translators always have additional training. When you or your company’s employees apply for a work permit overseas, it is also necessary to understand the target country’s laws to provide the details that may not appear in the original document.

    Gavel; image by Bill Oxford, via
    Gavel; image by Bill Oxford, via
  • Correction of the possible format mistakes. The legal translators also help to keep the necessary format of the document and even correct the mistakes that may occur if the talk goes about a business communication or a document that has been composed by a person without legal paperwork experience. Always ask your legal advisor for help if there are any concerns or if the final document does not look right. For example, the Arabic legislative system uses specific legal terms that will be unfamiliar for the American business partners, which is a reason why a legal translator’s final work may contain additional chapters. 
  • Contracts partnership. When there is a legal contract that deals with more than one foreign country, it is best to approach the same translation company and several specialists who are already familiar with your company and the business aims. It will help the investors or international partners to contact the translation company in question if there are any minor omissions or additional questions. 
  • Transliteration and country-specific elements. Turning to legal translation help, always check your documents and translations twice. It is especially relevant for personal names, company titles, and the words that are not a part of the vocabulary. Check the transliteration and ensure that there are no mistakes. If there are other elements specific for a certain country, discuss the issue with a chosen expert, and ask for an explanation or a glossary of all legal terms in question. It will help to avoid revisions and save your precious time. 

Do I Need Certified Legal Translation for Business? 

When dealing with legal documents, it is a golden rule to work with a certified translator since it will guarantee that what you receive is an official document that can be used in court or a legal international dispute. In other words, when there is a certificate of translation, you have an authenticity proof that confirms that you have a legal copy of the original document in another language. When there is no certification, such work represents a translation and may appear accurate, yet it will not act as a paper for an agreement or a document that is sufficient for visa application or a tourist trip. 

The certified translation may also be completed by a freelance translator, so the price may be lower, yet it is crucial to ask for relevant credentials. If there is a large translation and you want to keep your business safe, try several companies to see their prices and the turnaround. Remember that if you are applying for a foreign conference or work in a time-critical environment, keep your papers ready, and discuss the request with the managers in advance to fit within the planned deadlines. 

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