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What is Legal Translation?

Translating a business’s marketing materials and documents has become more common than ever. With increased globalization and awareness regarding the importance of inclusivity, businesses must consider translating all kinds of essential contracts and legal booklets.

However, it can be challenging to translate the document yourself unless you’re proficient in the languages you’re targeting. You would also need to be specialized in legal terms in both languages.

Therefore, legal translation has become an essential service for businesses today. But what is it exactly? This guide will discuss the ins and outs of legal translation, including its importance, process, and formatting requirements.

Legal Translation: Definition and Explanation

Legal translation is the process of translating legal materials, including contracts, depositions, policies, legal statements, licenses, and legal disclaimers, among others. This translation ensures the original message remains intact in the translated document. An individual can only carry out this legal translation with proficiency in both languages and a legal research background.

Uses of Legal Translation

Legal translation is done for several reasons, such as to provide a better understanding of a legal document or contract. It is often used in the event of an international legal proceeding or business transaction to make negotiations between two or more parties smoother.

Requirements for Legal Translation

Legal translations should be carried out by certified professionals with a comprehensive understanding of the legal terminologies and linguistics in both languages.

Moreover, they must have extensive translation experience. When selecting a translation service, ask about the number of projects they have completed. You can also look for customer reviews to make sure you select the right service provider.

The Importance of Legal Translation

The nature of legal documents is very sensitive, and the wording used is quite academic and complex. Therefore, accurate translation is crucial if you need to share them with someone who doesn’t speak the language the document is in.

Legal translators ensure that essential documents still have binding legal terms intact, so they are legitimized for use in any court. Here are some reasons why legal translation services are important for all businesses:

Aids Globalization Efforts

When your business is going global, legal transactions will be required, which will need to be in accordance with the laws and languages of the countries you’re expanding to. Hiring legal translation services in the USA can make the globalization process much smoother.

Ensures Cultural Sensitivity

Legal translation is essential to get the message across to people who have different cultural and ethnic backgrounds and speak another language. It ensures that cultural sensitivities and nuances are considered when translating important legal documents.

Assists with Legal Compliance

In most cases, you’ll find that each nation has unique and different legal systems. Therefore, entrepreneurs need to understand the differences, especially if they plan to expand. Using legal translators, you can ensure compliance with both local and international laws. This can help you avoid getting into trouble with the law or ruining your business’s image.

The Kinds of Legal Documents That Need To Be Translated

Most commonly, for individuals, the legal documents that need to be translated are:

  • Licenses
  • Transcripts
  • Death, birth, divorce, and marriage certificates
  • Financial statements
  • Diplomas
  • Property deeds
  • Will.

In court, documents like court proceedings, expert testimonies, and witness transcripts are included. Therefore, businesses usually require legal translation for several kinds of contracts and documents, such as:

  • Privacy policies
  • Insurance claims
  • Intellectual property
  • Copyrights and trademarks
  • Tax declarations
  • Merger and acquisition contracts

Moreover, you can find different types of content that may require the expertise of a legal translator. For instance, you should work with a professional legal translator if you want to develop a bi or trilingual website with translated and localized contracts, terms and conditions, user agreements, and more.

Furthermore, if you file a patent internationally, you will need to translate it into different languages, necessitating legal and technical translators to ensure accuracy.

How to Format a Legal Translation

For legal translation, the business or law firm must format its documents in a specific way so that everything is in order. Essentially, the translated document must match the original, with all seals, signatures, and stamps in the same place.

Even the page breaks need to be maintained. For example, if there is a sentence break on page 2 of the original contract, the translated one needs to have one in the same place as well. However, this can be difficult and tedious, as each language has different spellings, lengths of sentences, and other variations. Therefore, it is best to hire legal translation services online, as they keep the following things in mind:

Design the Document in accordance with the New Langauge’s Requirement

When preparing legal documents you want to be translated, the key tip is to design the document in a way that it matches the requirement of the translated language. For instance, the sentences in Spanish are longer than that in English. So, ensure there is ample space if the form or contract needs to be filled.

Narrow Tables and Columns

Though some legal documents require the inclusion of tables and columns, it’s best practice to avoid making them too narrow. If your column or table fits perfectly in the original document, assume that it won’t be the case for the translated document.

Text Direction

Not all languages read from left to right. Many scripts, such as Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, and Hebrew, read right to left; some are even written vertically! Therefore, as a rule of thumb, you should prioritize leaving blank spaces within your legal documents so that there is no issue when formatting.

Text Expansion

You will likely see the document expand when you translate it into Spanish or German. This is because you’ll come across long words, and more terms must be used to explain concepts than in English. So, the translated document and design should take that into account.

Final Words

Legal translation is different in several ways, as it requires experts who understand specialist terminologies and their translated versions in the target language. You can use these services to expand your business or to sign international agreements.

However, it is best practice to hire experienced and professional legal translation services in USA so that you do not get into financial or legal trouble. LatinoBridge is one of the leading translation services, which is dedicated to creating a more inclusive society with no language barriers. Contact us today to learn more about our legal translation services online.


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