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All You Need to Know Before Considering Legal Translation Services for Your Business

It is little wonder that Latin American countries are continuing to make headlines at the world’s most prestigious news portals. That is because their emerging economies are coming from behind and their social and political woes are igniting widespread controversies and making interesting stories to be told. Amid such a sophisticated context of growing businesses, continual political conflicts, and complex social contradictions, the need for an adequate and flexible legislative framework to regulate the business environment and settle disputes sounds inevitable.

In another vein, giant companies digging for further expansion opportunities across Latin America have come to realize the significance of developing a rigorous understanding of the local legal sphere and imposed an urgent demand on professional legal translation services.

Here is a list of must-knows before opting for a particular language service provider(LSP) and it will take you through the following topics:

1-What is legal translation?

2- Accuracy is not an option!

3- Pressing challenges in legal translation services

What is legal translation?

The term “legal translation” basically refers to the translation of a legislative or law-related text by a certified translator, or the so-called sworn translator, who has a considerable academic history and demonstrated professional experience in both linguistics and law or legal studies.

This unique type of translation covers a broad array of legal documents that range from contracts, wills, pleadings, witness statements and affidavit, patents, all the way to statutes and official legislation.

At its core, the offering of legal translation services implies the fact that it is, unlike other branches of translation, not only about transposing the words into the local language of the target country. It also involves the adaptation of the text to the legal system and cultural perceptions in the respective locale.

Additionally, legal translation requires an impeccable knowledge of the full gamut of legal jargon, since the lines stipulated in the legal documents are mostly long and multi-part sentences that are filled with complex and double-meaning terms. Nevertheless, structures and patterns may differ from one language to another.

Following suit of the developed world, the fertile business environment in Latin America has fueled the demand for quality legal translation services. As a result, it brought forth more professional players in the market and propelled the emergence of higher quality and more competitive services.

Accuracy is not an option!

Emphasizing on the accuracy and precision might sound like a repetitive sweet talk. However, when it comes to legal translation, translators must be sure that every single word conveys the same meaning of the original text. Otherwise, disastrous inconveniences could happen due to a small misinterpretation. 

Errors and unintentional mistakes in legal translation might result in catastrophic and extended damages, ranging from destroyed credibility and unlawful sentences to unfair court judgements and fierce legal disputes.

Matter-of-factly, avoiding ambiguity and misuses in legal translation requires professionals to find equivalent terms in the target language that arouse identical interpretation in the locals’ minds, which is not simple.

This can be guaranteed by various activities, such as referring to official references depicting the official legal tone of the state, including constitutions and laws, or conducting multiple review phases to triple-check the text and ensure no flaws.

Pressing challenges in legal translation services

Although the legal translation industry is flourishing in Central and South America, some pitfalls are confronting the tremendous efforts exerted by leading LSPs to provide world-class legal translation services. Beware of the following challenges and make sure you partner with a reputable translation agency that knows how to handle them properly.

  • Multiple Dialects and Sub-Cultures

The vast majority of South American nations are speaking Spanish. However, the locally-spoken cultures and legal systems differ significantly from one country to another, making it more challenging to translate and localize the texts according to each context.

As for the legal system, each Latin country has its own jurisdiction and regulatory legislation. Most of the region countries, yet, derive their legal system from the rules of the civil law, while some others adopt the common law systems and base their laws and regulations on past cases.

Legal translators must be knowledgeable and fully aware of the target locale as well as the nuances of the target language. This will help them conduct a flawless version of the legal documents they are assigned to translate. They also should be able to get a full grasp of the legal system details as well as an in-depth training in translating legal documents across all types of laws.

  • Unqualified Translators

Nobody can ignore the fact that the translation market in Latin America, and all across the globe, is crowded by amateurs and uncertified translators who offer their work for unmatched prices. But once you realize how critical legal document translation services are, you will instantly resort to a certified translation service provider which specializes in legal translations for the particular country.

Also, it is important to double check the translators’ track record so you can rest assured that the tasks and assignments are set to get done properly. Make sure you get well-oriented with the translation and review process along with the delivery schedules before proceeding with the tasks.

  • Confidentiality

Confidentiality is vital for legal documents, and unlike freelancers, recruiting a renowned agency is a guarantee for data privacy and information security. This occurs through the signing of a non-disclosure agreement(NDA) with the translation service provider.

  • Low speed

Due to the scarcity of acknowledged legal translation service providers, companies started to prefer getting an exhaustive service over getting a fast one. Acquiring quick and accurate translation services have become a far-fetched dream. Be picky when selecting a translation firm so as to avoid the tedious and prolonged processes.


Sweet Spot

It all comes down to choosing the right legal translation service provider that best matches your needs. In legal translation, careful selection is extremely fundamental. All in all, sticking to the world’s approved legal translation standards is no less important than abiding by the law itself. A tiny single mistake might ruin the entire translation and, in extreme cases, create some serious troubles.

The bad news is transposing legal words into a different language is not an easy task to do, especially when it comes to a developing region like Latin America, yet the good news is we have got you covered. LatinoBridge presents the finest translation services from or into Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese by a team of experienced adepts with unceasing capabilities and skills. Get a free quote now!