The language of legal documents often seems foreign to a lay person, even when it is written in English. Legal documents are written in a very precise, deliberate way in order to meet the legal requirements of the issue they address. Because the language and wording is so important and exact, it is doubly important that a legal translation of the document is done by an expert who is familiar with legal verbiage and is able to translate not only the words but the meaning of the text into the new language.
Across all disciplines and specialties, there is an inherent need for accurate legal document translation. Experts in legal translation services understand the details and challenges of handling legal document translation. This article points out numerous considerations that legal professionals must be aware of when considering legal language services.
1. Different Legal Systems in the World have Different Laws, Regulations and Due Process
A good legal translation agency knows that each country has its own laws, regulations and due process. Rules and procedures differ greatly from one country to another. For example, in the United Kingdom an employer can specify a gender when posting a job opening. In Spain it is perfectly legal to do a stop and search on any individual, both citizen and non-citizen alike, who may look suspicious. Both of these practices are illegal in the United States. Legal document translation should be done by professionals who are educated and well versed in the laws, regulations and due process of the country for which the documents are being translated.
2. Subject Matter of Legal Documents Requires Strict Language and Specific Expertise
When seeking legal advice on a real estate matter, one does not go to a patent attorney. Expertise of subject matter, as well as the appropriate legal language, differs greatly from one legal discipline to another. Each legal professional has a specialty and one would seek the appropriate expert to get the best advice and service. The same holds true when seeking a legal translation from a legal translation agency. Quality legal document translation agencies will provide native speakers in the language to be translated to, who also have knowledge and experience in the subject matter and legal language of the document.
3. A Word in One Language Might not Exist in Another
The Latin term “quid pro quo” did not gain its current meaning until the late 1500s. The term originally referred to substituting one medicine for another. In 1654, “quid pro quo” took on another meaning “one good turn deserves another.” Today this term is often used in legal documents and proceedings of sexual harassment cases in both the U. S. and the U. K. It is essential to hire a legal translation agency that is aware of these issues and addresses them properly by appropriately translating the “untranslatable” terms to the correct equivalent.
4. Will the Document Hold up in Court?
There are many factors to consider when submitting legal documents. If it’s a written contract, is it thorough and include what both parties agreed to? Are witnesses required to sign the document? One or two? Is a Notary Public required to sign it? A successful legal translation agency will ensure that all these considerations are taken, and completed for all the translated documents.
5. Independent Certification
A Certificate of Independent Legal Advice is often required in legal matters. This is a document that attests that a person has received legal advice on a proposed contract or pending matter from a lawyer not associated with the other party. Experienced legal document translation services provide required certifications, and also guarantee their legal translation work.
Legal document translation has many considerations, just a few of which are outlined here. It is of utmost importance to keep consistency of voice when completing a legal, relevant, discipline-specific document with all the appropriate court mandates and certifications. Rapport International employs vetted, qualified native speakers who have the expertise to complete your legal translation, and ensure that they are thorough, and precise. Legal entities that work with Rapport International receive legal document translations that meets all of these requirements, and are 100% guaranteed.