The ins and outs of legal document translation services
No matter which sector your company operates in, the chances are you’re going to be dealing with legal documents at some point. From sales agreements to work contracts and terms and conditions – no company can function without them. And, if you’re doing business internationally, you’ll need to get them translated too! So, let’s take a look at the world of legal document translation and how to get everything in place.
A brief intro to legal document translation services
No matter what languages you need to deal with, legal texts are sure to involve their usual complex mix of local rules and ‘legalese’. It takes time and expertise to properly understand legal texts, and that’s what makes legal document translation such a complex job. If someone without proper legal training attempted to draft the most complex of your company’s texts, would you trust them? Not really. The same can surely be said for legal document translation services.
How to select a legal translation provider
Although it may seem self-evident, the translation of legal documents really does require an expert. You need someone who understands the legal terminology in both languages, but also the legal systems involved. The reason for this is that each country has its own laws, and so you need to make sure that your translations are compliant with where they are going to be used, hence the need for legal training.
What risks lie in legal document translation services?
Legal documentation has a number of key roles, including acting as a deterrent and protecting you when things go wrong. You really don’t want to risk being unprotected in a country far away from home, where you’re not 100% sure of the legal system. This is what can happen when dealing with legal document translation services – there’s simply no room for error as a small mistranslation could ruin your reputation, see you facing considerable legal costs or – even worse – legal action. As the saying goes, going for the cheap option really doesn’t pay.
Top tips to bear in mind
Before looking at certification, here’s a quick round-up of what to look out for to ensure you get the legal document translation services you need:
- Select an experienced translator
- Make sure they have the requisite legal training
- Ask them about their training and how they keep up to date with legal changes in both the source and target country
- Have NDAs in place to protect confidentiality
Certified legal translation services
Finally, let’s consider certified legal translation services. They work in a similar way to the legal translations discussed above but go one step further as the translator will need to certify the accuracy of the translation.
This type of legal translations can only be completed by certified professionals, and are only usually requested by government bodies or for other official purposes. If you’re not sure whether you need a standard legal translation or a certified one, your best bet is to get in touch with the party requesting it and clarify it with them.