As globalisation takes hold an increasing amount of companies across the world are needing translation services to enable them to carry out international business. It may be to translate their website or manuals for products and services but probably one of the most challenging translations is legal documents.

It is essential you hire a specialist legal translator for the translation of documents such as contracts, legal correspondence, certificates and patent related documentation because they are legally binding and if not translated properly there could be repercussions for you and your business in the long term.

You may be looking for a timely service and delivery of the work, a good price and accuracy but what should you really expect from your legal translator?

A 100 per cent accurate legal translation is imperative, not only lexically but syntactically as well. High levels of attention have to be paid to every single word and punctuation mark in a legal document because the smallest of changes can change the meaning of the legal phrase.

Your legal translator has to have a thorough knowledge of legal terminology and although it is not essential – many translators who work in the legal service often have first-hand experience of working in the industry. This allows them to be better translators because they have a complete understanding of the text they are translating and this comprehension often leads to less errors. By working in the field they will also grasp the difference between the legal systems of countries for both the source and target language. For example, it would be near on impossible to translate a legal document from French to English without knowing how the legal systems of the two countries work.

You also should expect confidentiality from your translator, legal document often contain personal data which should always be treated carefully. Often a translation firm will offer a non-disclosure agreement, to give you peace of mind.

Timely delivery of translated legal documents is also vital as in the majority of cases a project cannot continue without the distribution of these documents. Make sure the translation company you choose to use are aware of the deadlines, but that they also have enough time to translate and proof the document – you don’t want them to be rushing.

The need for legal translation services is constantly growing, but this doesn’t mean that you should expect a lower quality of service, research your supplier carefully to make sure you will be receiving the service you deserve.

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