Today we continue our tips for getting the best legal translations by starting with the best copy and knowing what to expect from your professional translation agency.
Plan for Expansion
Remember that translating from one language into another is not as simple as changing each word in a document to the new language. Translation expands the written copy, and it can be 20 – 30% longer depending on the language. Often legal documents are fairly long in English, just imagine the length they may expand to in another language. To get the highest quality, most concise legal translation it is best for the copy to be as non-verbose as possible.
Use Repeat Copy Across Materials
To maintain consistency and to save costs it is a good practice is to use repeat copy across all your materials. This will provide consistency of message in English as well as in the other languages you translate your documents into. Costs are saved when you use an experienced legal translation agency which uses a translation memory tool. What a translation memory tool, or TM tool, does is it stores “segments” (phrases, words, or short sentences) that have been translated previously for your firm, either in the current document or previously translated documents. When a new document is submitted for translation it is added to the TM tool which then matches the segments to previously translated copy and provides the previous translation to the linguist. This not only helps keep your translations consistent but it helps reduce the number of words that need to be manually translated each time – thus reducing cost.
Only Submit Finalized Copy
Finally, the materials given to the legal translation service should not only be well written and concise, they should be the FINAL copy. If words are removed or changed from the original copy after the legal translation is complete, it is not just a matter of removing or changing the same words in the translation. Last minute changes complicate the translation process and make keeping a clear message, and accurate version control, very difficult. To avoid this, always wait till the copy is final before sending it to a legal translation service.
Working with a professional agency that has the experience and expertise in legal translation services, like Rapport International, is the best way to get the highest-quality translation for your legal documents. We offer free consultations if you have questions, and free quotes if you are ready to move forward.
Join us for the next installment in our legal translation series, Culturally Appropriate Legal Translation.