Translation of legal texts or legal translation is a fascinating and complex area of the Translation and Interpretation Services industry.
In order to translate specialized texts that belong to the field of law, fluency in both source and target languages, and familiarity with the legal terms are necessary. However, professional legal translation requires not only knowledge of languages, but also legal experience.
To ensure the accuracy and quality of the translation, the translator of legal texts must be a lawyer with experience in the practice of law and extensive experience providing reliable legal translations. A translator who is a lawyer but does not have work experience is like a doctor who has not had his first patient and has to operate. Very risky!
A legal translator has many challenges that experience helps him or her to overcome. A legal translator translates a variety of documents which include contracts of all kinds, laws, and regulations, lawsuits, judgments and the various proceedings in civil, commercial or criminal proceedings. In each translation, the translator’s task is not to interpret or transform the texts that are submitted for translation but rather to resolve words and sentences with the correct meaning within the legal context to which they belong. Thus, the terms of an administrative procedure are not the same as those used in a civil suit; and, the terms that correspond to the actions in the phases of the process – civil, commercial or criminal – may not be the same for each type of process. When translating, one should try not only to know which words to use but also to assure that the concept transmitted by those words is the one presented in the original text.
As for legal and law idioms, even if the translator is a lawyer but does not have enough experience in legal practice, it will be difficult for him to translate these adequately. For example, the Legal idiom: “Bonafide”, means in good faith, without any element of dishonesty or fraud. Another example is “goods and chattels”, a legal idiom which means personal property (as opposed to land and buildings).
Legal texts always have consequences, they create rights or obligations, contain sanctions or exemptions, create guarantees or limit them, grant or deny benefits, prove identity or a civil status, etc., which is why it is important to translate the words that convey these situations and to do it in a correct way so that, the parties that require the legal translation, effectively obtain the correct sense of the words in the legal context of the document.
JR Language Translation Services has experienced lawyers for your legal translation needs and we can assure you that your contracts, judgments and document translations will accurately reflect the original version in meaning and concept.