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7 Reasons Why You Need Legal Document Translation

reasons you need legal translation

Last updated on October 9th, 2018 at 03:35 pm

why you need legal translation
Ok, so you have a legal document that’s in another language. If your plan is to just go to Google and type into a translation site, think again.

Legal documents certainly aren’t something you want to screw up. One small mistake could be costly. And undoing that mistake will waste time, money, and, could even be harmful to the parties involved.

When it comes to legal document translation, it’s best not to take any risks. In order to make sure your document is accurate, your best choice is to hire a legal documentation translation service.

Yes, there is more effort and money involved in this than there is with using a website, but trust us, it’s the best way to go.

If you’re not entirely convinced, read this article to discover seven reasons why you need a legal document translation service. 

Reason #1: Machine Translation Isn’t that Accurate

Computers are getting more sophisticated by the day, but they still have a long way to go when it comes to accurately translating documents.

Yes, Google translate has received some massive updates in recent years and is getting better. But it still struggles to pick up on things like nuances, idioms, expressions, and innuendos.

Maybe in the future, it will be entirely accurate. But for now, your best bet is to make use of a human who knows all the subtleties and complexities of both the languages you are working with.

Reason #2: Complex Terminology and Vocabulary

Ok, Google translate might make do for a high school student’s Spanish homework, but legal documents are obviously much more complex than that.

Beyond nuances of language, legal documents are riddled with unfamiliar words and complicated, technical vocabulary.

These words are often too difficult for a computer to translate accurately. Not to mention, they may translate differently depending on the region.

Reason #3: Your Friend is Good, But Probably Not That Good

So you’ve got a bilingual friend who always gets compliments on how good their accent is anytime you see them speaking with a native speaker.

Even if your friend has been speaking this second language for decades, it is not wise to use them as your legal translator.

While they probably know all the slang and conversational nuances, legal terminology probably doesn’t come up in their everyday chit chat. There’s a good chance they’ll struggle with the more complex, unfamiliar language.

Plus, speaking a language and reading a language are two different things. There are many people who can speak another language fluently but can only read it at an elementary level.

Also, what if your friend makes a mistake or misses the deadline? Who is to be held accountable in that situation?

To avoid a potentially damaging situation, hiring a legal document translation service is your best bet.

Reason #4: It May Be Required By Court

Depending on your jurisdiction, some courts may actually require that your documents be certified and authenticated by a professional.

So, don’t leave it up to chance. Avoid the hassle of having to backtrack and go with a legal document translation service from the get-go.

Reason #5: It Protects You From Malpractice

Getting slammed with a malpractice lawsuit is absolutely, without a doubt, zero fun.

A legal malpractice lawsuit can be extremely costly. They are a huge use of time and resources. And not to mention, they can be rather embarrassing and potentially damaging to your reputation.

If something is inaccurate with your translation, there is certainly a chance that you will be held liable.

Hiring a quality legal document translation service completely erases this issue and will certainly give you some peace of mind.

Reason #6: Jurors Find It More Credible

If your court case involves a jury, a legal document that has been professionally translated could make or break your case.

This is because anything that is deemed expert or credible always holds more weight in the juries mind.

Just think about it. What looks better?

Some page you printed from Google or an authenticated document with expert backing.

Plus, your professional translator may come in handy if the other firm has an inaccurate translation. It could mean a lot if your expert catches their mistake.

Reason #7: It Allows for Personal Help

Think about when you have a question about a product or service you use.

When you contact customer service, are you ever happy about getting an automated machine instead of a human?

No, of course not. This is because machines can only go so far when it comes to answering our questions.

Apply this same concept to your legal documents. If you have a question about a portion of the translation, a professional translator will be able to answer them thoroughly, accurately, and in words you understand.

A quality legal document translation service doesn’t just do an in-and-out job. They provide assistance throughout the whole process should any issues or questions arise with the documents.

Legal Document Translation Service Wrap Up

Hopefully, these seven reasons now have you convinced that hiring a professional for translating your legal documents is the way to go.

But, not all legal document translators are created equal. To make sure your documents aren’t getting lost in translation, you’ll want to:

  • Make sure your translator is a native speaker of the target language, not the language of the document
  • Make sure your translator has a professional certification (In the United States, the only organization currently recognized is the American Translators Association)
  • Verify the credentials and expertise of the translation services company
  • Make sure the translation company  has expertise in your specific industry
  • Get information about the going rate for your type of legal translation project, either through internet search or requesting multiple price quotes

This may seem like a lengthy process, but trust us, it’s a whole lot easier of a process than dealing with the repercussions of an inaccurate legal translation.

Also, if you have many documents that need translating, you can talk to the translation company about offering a reduced fee for redundant packages.

If you have any questions about the legal translation service process, drop us a comment below or request a free quote if you are interested in hiring a professional translator.

Sergio Ruffolo
Sergio Ruffolo
Sergio has more than 25 years of multinational experience providing consulting services and leading IT organizations in Africa, Asia and America, which has given him plenty interesting and insightful lessons to teach about global business. He is fluent in Spanish and English, in addition to conversational Portuguese. He has lived in more than 12 cities around the world, moving around and working in different cultures has left him with a real global perspective. Sergio is a real citizen of the world.