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Legal Translation Services: A Deeper Dive

closer look legal translation

Last updated on August 12th, 2022 at 03:18 pm

legal translation closer lookLegal Translation in Action

Today, we’d like to show you more about how legal translation works. We’re going to look at how it impacts the work of attorneys, business owners, and international affairs. Legal translation can seem like a complex field of work far removed from daily life, but legal translation is a part of daily life for many people and corporations around the world.

Law firms rely on legal translation services to help them serve multilingual individuals, entities, and communities. Businesses use legal translation to market to multiple language groups, conduct international commerce, and comply with government regulations.

No matter where you fit in, you’ll find out just how important it is to have a quality translation agency in your contact list for these needs. Needing legal translation can be stressful, but we’re here to make the process easy and understandable for you. Read on and you’ll learn about the many ways legal translation affects our lives and work, and how you can make sure that you’re getting the best language translation services.

On Legal Translators

The work legal translators do is of vital importance. Every day they protect law firms, businesses, and governments against misunderstandings, wasted time, and errors that can produce problems. Legal translation is a job that carries high stakes and requires specialized training. Legal translators must not only be fluent in both languages, but in both legal systems. Legal systems are deeply ingrained in culture, and language is how we express our ideas. Our thoughts and our language are deeply linked, and it takes much study to be able to effectively translate one from the other. The final legal document translation must still be just as clear and legally valid as the original.

Here are some features that an experienced and proven legal translator should have:

  • Certification. A professional translator will have the right credentials to prove they have the necessary skills and education. This way, the client knows that the translator has had their abilities tested through rigorous training and years of experience.
  • Impartiality. A legal translator’s concern is accuracy. They will not tweak the documents to make them more compelling, or even for better syntax. Legal translators do not make assumptions.
  • Reliability. A professional legal translator can be counted on to provide a fair estimate on turnaround and abide by it.

A translation agency must have a reliable team to handle legal document translation with confidentiality and handle your project with discretion.

Translation Services for Law Firms

Translation services are crucial for law firms from the inception of a case to the final ruling, plus thousands of pages of documentation. Law is a wordy discipline, with some cases involving amounts of written text that would be prohibitively enormous without the aid of digital technology and data storage. Legal document translation has been a need for attorneys and law firms for many years.

Let’s break down a few of the practical ways a language translation company fits into the work of a law firm.

Translation for Legal Research

Legal translation gives law firms vastly increased access to information. With legal translation, attorneys can reach into databases, online publications, reports, and more that would otherwise be useless to them. Translation makes sure that juries can reach a well-informed decision. Professional legal translators help all participants understand and abide by each legal system involved. They help the clients and witnesses understand what to expect during proceedings.

legal translation information access

Legal Translation for Multilingual Community Access

Legal document translation helps law firms serve a much larger group of people. Brief research yields information about the linguistic demographics of a location. Using document translation services for those language groups results in a significantly increased audience.

Legal Document Translation for Validity

Legal Translation Services for law firms, companies and government help justice be done by ensuring accuracy in the case’s documents. Nothing is left out and nothing is misrepresented. Professional legal document translation sees that people’s rights are upheld and that everyone is informed and prepared. Our legal translators are selected and vetted for each assignment. Certification, notarization, and apostille can be provided if necessary.

Legal Document Translation for Workflow

Translation helps provide fair access to information and documents in multilingual cases. There is a great incentive for a case not to go to trial, but to settle out of court, and professional legal document translation is needed to make sure that all wording is precise. Reaching a compromise between all parties can’t happen unless proper channels of communication are set up and language barriers are broken.

Legal Translation Services for Businesses

Any business that wants to sell internationally has to have its legal documents translated to be able to conduct business. Any business that wants to serve a multilingual market should have its legal documents translated to serve that market.

What kinds of documents need legal translation? How far into a company’s operations does legal translation go? Let’s find out.

Formation Documents

A company’s formation documents define that company and the statutes under which it must operate. Depending on the nature of the business, these documents go by different names. They may be called articles of incorporation, certificate of formation, articles of organization, certificate of limited partnership, etc. These must be translated so that a business can readily prove its legitimacy to multilingual authorities.

Business Licenses

A business license is a document issued by a government stating that an individual or group may engage in commerce in a defined geographical area. It is important to have a business license translated if you want to move your office abroad, set up international ecommerce, or install a remote office or sales rep. A translated business license is among the first items needed to set up an international or multilingual presence. Contracts, for instance, cannot move forward without proof of a valid business license. business license translate


A patent states that only the patent holder owns the rights to an invention for a specified period of time. During that time, no one else may manufacture, sell, or distribute the invention. Patent translation protects intellectual property, but the language of patent law is exceedingly specific and must not be unclear in any aspect. Only a professional translator dedicated to legal translation and skilled in patent law can produce a translated patent that will pass in an international court.


A business contract legally binds two or more parties to the actions and conditions agreed upon in that document. Poorly translated contracts can be costly, destroy relationships, and land businesses in legal trouble. Or, a well-translated contract can lead to a greater referral network, expanded market, and an improved brand. Deciding to have your business contracts translated shows the other party or parties that you are proactive when it comes to meeting needs, respectful, and deliberate in your actions.

Financial Documents

Many of a company’s financial documents serve as both internal records and outward-facing data. These external financial documents include balance sheets, expense reports, prospectuses, and forecasts. These might be provided for examination by tax authorities or placed in a business plan to show investors. A company cannot afford to be lax about making sure that the information presented in these documents is correct, no matter what language it is presented in. Certified legal translation with a focus on finance gives the client peace of mind and the ability to focus on what they’re good at: securing the deal.

Understanding the Laws of the Land

Besides protecting their interests, legal translation also gives our clients a better understanding of the legal systems they do business with. Knowing the gist of how a foreign government’s tax system operates or their attitudes on commercial insurance can help a business owner make wise decisions and notice opportunities. This is essential to form strong business relationships with international and multilingual entities. You’ll not only speak their language with words but with actions. Legal translation also helps clients work with their attorneys and helps the attorneys on either side of a deal to work with each other.

Discovery for International Litigation

Let’s switch gears for a moment. What is international litigation? It is legal action taken for or against individuals, entities, or governments placed in different national jurisdictions. International litigation is a detailed, often lengthy process in which close attention must be paid to local laws in each jurisdiction pertaining to the case at hand. Since so much legal data is now digital, virtual and physical data rooms are now sources for much of the legal documents needed for international litigation. Thus, e-discovery has become a major part of discovery for domestic and international cases and has greatly improved the process.

International litigation begins and ends with legal documents. To start litigation, the plaintiff files a written complaint with the court, which the defendant answers. All documents filed or served during litigation are called “pleadings.” Discovery is the initial phase of a court case, where information pertinent to the case is gathered and exchanged between the parties and their legal teams. Information is acquired from the other party using written requests called “interrogatories.” Discovery can be time-consuming, but court deadlines must be followed. Missing a document submission date could render that information inadmissible, which can damage or even destroy a case. This is yet another reason to use professional legal translation services so that each document says exactly what it should say and is filed in a timely manner. legal document submission

JR Language Translation provides certified legal translation services and legal interpretation services for domestic and international litigation. Our Language Services are tailored according to requirements set by the client, and we select the best resources to each case. We will satisfy any compliance and can furnish an apostille to validate your document in an international court.

JR Language Discovers

In our company’s legal translation work, you might be surprised to learn that we involve machine translation in our process. For an e-discovery project, JR Language performs an initial sweep to gather up all documents that might need legal translation, then runs them through translation software. The client and attorneys choose the documents they need and return them to us to refine the translation work.

Now, even the best legal translation AI is inferior to a skilled human, but it speeds up the project by using algorithms to weed out documents that are not needed for the project at hand. Software memory can also enable the translation of “boilerplate” phrases, which always mean the same thing no matter the context. This saves time and effort while the professionals make the translation perfect. Some documents are not fit for machine translation from the start. They might be faded, written by hand, or have seals obscuring some of the wording. A legal translator will tackle these documents from the ground up.

Legal Translation for You

We listed a lot of legal documents that need translating in this article, but we’ve only scratched the surface. Translation services are deeply entrenched in the legal world; it helps us as understand each other better so that we can be safer, healthier, and more prosperous. How many other services expand your market, strengthen your brand, and keep you in good standing with international law the way legal translation does?

Invest in language services for improvement on every front. Protect yourself, your company, and your employees. You’ll make your international dealings more efficient, expand your reach, and make more clients happy.

Call JR Language today to discuss your legal translation needs, and we’ll give you the same care we would want for ourselves.

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.