Common Problems with Legal Translation Services

Legal translation is very important as a minor problem can create a huge issue for the related person. Therefore, this article is all about some of the common problems or challenging parts while working with legal documents or projects.

Who is Eligible to Translate Legal Documents?

Translating legal documents is open to anyone, but for such translations to be legally recognized, they must meet certain criteria. These translations should ideally be done by legal counsel or certified professional interpreters, often accredited by a government organization. Even in-house translations by language professionals need notary confirmation to be admissible in court or official institutions. The law mandates that these translations be accurate, precise, and consistent.

Professional agencies specializing in translation services ensure high-quality standards and confidentiality, often protected by non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Linguists working in these agencies, whether as translators or project managers, possess the necessary training and experience to provide precise legal translations. They are well-versed in specific language pairs and are equipped to handle legal complexities. This expertise applies to any reputable legal translation agency, ensuring that legal documents are translated with the utmost accuracy and professionalism.

Differences Between Legal Systems

Legal systems worldwide differ significantly, making legal translation a complex field. Linguists must possess practical and theoretical skills, often backed by certification. They must comprehend the judicial system, culture, and customs of the target country or region. Legal departments within different governments and their target audiences can vary widely.

Legal translation encompasses translations used in legal or institutional contexts, such as legal processes, business ventures, healthcare emergencies, or insurance claims involving foreign documents. Globalization has led to increased cross-border activities, necessitating the translation of thousands of official documents daily, including contracts, patents, birth certificates, diplomas, forms, privacy policies, intellectual property licenses, email correspondence, and more.

Legal translation services benefit companies, governments, and individuals globally. While legal linguists don’t necessarily require a legal degree, they must have the legal training and experience to ensure accurate and consistent translations. Although working with legal interpreters may require an investment, their expertise is invaluable for businesses and legal proceedings where precision is paramount.

Types of Legal Translations

Certified translators are accredited by a professional body, ensuring the accuracy and quality of the translation. These translations are often used for legal documents requiring precision and reliability.

1. Sworn Translation

Sworn translation services are conducted by legal language professionals who have taken official oaths to guarantee the accuracy and authenticity of the translation. These are typically required for documents intended for legal proceedings.

2. Notarized Translation

Notarized translations involve a legal language expert who provides the translation, and then a notary public verifies the identity of the translator and confirms the accuracy of the documents. This type of translation is often used for important legal documents, such as affidavits and contracts, to enhance their credibility and legality.

Common Issues in Legal Translation in Abu Dhabi

Translations within the legal sphere are of utmost importance in international business and law. Due to the precise language and regulations involved, they require more precision. Legal translators must possess unique skills and a keen eye for detail, as they are tasked with navigating complex terminology and rules. These professionals should exhibit competence and confidence when addressing challenges within various legal domains, drawing upon their years of experience.

Common challenges in Legal Translation in Abu Dhabi are listed here:

1. Understanding the Context and Law

Translators often encounter difficulties in grasping the legal context and intricacies of both the source and target legal systems, which can impact the accuracy of translations.

2. Culture-specific Challenges

Legal documents can contain culturally specific elements or references that may not have direct equivalents in the target language, requiring careful adaptation.

3. Terms and Concepts that Can’t Be Compared

Some legal terms and concepts have no direct equivalents in other languages, necessitating explanations or paraphrasing, which can be challenging.

4. Literal vs. Conceptual Translation

Striking a balance between literal and conceptual translation is a constant challenge. Overly literal translations can result in inaccuracies, while overly conceptual ones may lose legal nuances.

5. Lack of Specific Tools at Hand

Legal translators may not always have access to specialized legal dictionaries or databases, making research and terminology accuracy a hurdle.

6. Mixing Style Guides

Mixing different style guides, terminology preferences, or legal writing conventions can lead to inconsistencies and confusion within translated legal documents.

7. The Autocorrect

Autocorrect or spell-check features in translation software can inadvertently change legal terms, leading to errors that may go unnoticed without careful proofreading.

Addressing these issues requires a deep understanding of both legal systems involved, linguistic proficiency, and attention to detail to produce accurate and legally valid translations.

How to Prevent Problems in Legal Translation Services?

It is important to recognize potential problems when seeking legal translation services. When engaging with translation professionals, ask pertinent questions.

  • First, ensure you’re not paying for services you don’t require; some providers promise legal translation but only offer interpretation. Request a document translator capable of delivering high-quality legal translation services.
  • Inquire about the translator’s qualifications, certifications, and legal expertise. Verify documentation accuracy and adherence to style guides. Seek clarification if anything appears amiss, and maintain well-labeled, precise translations for effective project tracking.
  • Certified translations may involve specific cases and delays. Clarify delivery times and establish realistic deadlines. Document the translation process to ensure accuracy, legality, and alignment with your needs.
  • Be cautious of vague responses on pricing and deadlines; demand a transparent quote with clear billing terms, taxes, fees, and itemized costs for complete transparency.