The Unique Challenges Of Translating Legal Documents

Business man rock climbingLegal documents aren’t exactly light reading, even in English. There are numerous documents that require legal translation, including birth certificates, deposition records, evidence documents, litigation materials, and business contracts. So, how do you overcome the challenges associated with the translation of these complex documents?

Well, the first step is to find a translation company that has years of experience in working with legal document translation and appreciates how the smallest errors affect cases and contracts. Translators should not only display a commanding knowledge of legal terminology, but they should also be well versed in legislative requirements and the legal nuances of foreign cultural and legal systems.

In this post, we will discuss five unique challenges related to legal document translation.

Strict Deadlines & Necessary Experience

Legal translation jobs demand strict deadlines. When documents are needed in a court case, a delay could nullify the document. As you may imagine, translations of legal documents may require more time than regular translations, so it is important to seek out a company with verifiable experience in the field.

Accurate legal translations depend on solid sentence structure, appropriate syntax and word selection, which is another reason why legal translators must have the necessary experience and knowledge of legal terminology (for both the source and target languages). You simply can’t afford to work with a freelance translator for such important detailed work. Language service providers take the leg work out of translation by qualifying linguists and choosing the correct person for each project. They have experience working with groups of translators and will be able to match the project with the best suited translator.

Maintaining Confidentiality

All involved parties must handle documents with strict confidentiality, as improper handling of documents can affect the outcome of a court case or a business transaction.

Law professionals must ensure that they have selected a CT translation company that hires trustworthy individuals in order to main the confidentiality of sensitive information. By the same merit, it is also essential for all parties to use secure technologies for the back-and-forth transfer of documents. Unfortunately, email is not as secure as you would think. Ideally, you should utilize document transfer tools in conjunction with secure services to upload and download private files.

Translating From English

Documents originally created in English often feature impersonal and formal tones, characterized by detailed compound sentence structures. While this writing style is often necessary to express the complexity of the subject matter, it makes legal document translation a difficult endeavor. When the target language has a different syntactical base, the challenges grow exponentially. For example, legal documents (in English) are often constructed in the passive voice, using complex structures and prepositional phrases; inevitably, this can cause confusion when translating into a language that primarily uses the active voice.

No Room For Error

Of course, no translator wants to make a mistake, regardless of industry; however, even a minuscule mistake in a legal document can have a devastating impact. Poor legal translations can delay business deals, damage working relationships, and render documents invalid. When you have invested a measurable amount of time and money towards negotiating an important contract, any of these setbacks can be disheartening.

Nuanced Translations & Legal Situations

While most people assume that legal documents are only required in courts, there are numerous situations that require legal document translation. People from around the globe are migrating, marrying into different cultures, and starting families in other corners of the world, which inevitably leads to legal problems for businesses and individuals.

iTi | Legal Document Translation

iTi’s dedicated and experienced teams offer a wide range of multilingual solutions for domestic and global corporations in a variety of industries. With our expansive resources, you can take advantage of communication services on a global scale, creating, managing, and distributing your content in any format. You are welcome to contact us to request a quote for your language translation project.


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