All the important points when translating legal texts
Legal texts require a maximum of accuracy in their translation. Therefore, the translators who work with them must know the basics of jurisprudence, legal and cultural traditions of the country whose language is being translated. They need to keep abreast of the developments in the field, because new laws may be passed, amendments may be made, etc.
Challenges of legal translation
It is not enough to know the legal terminology in order to translate documents professionally. You need to understand how the source text is constructed. For example, in legal documents the same noun can be repeated several times in a row in the same sentence or in several adjacent sentences. This is not a tautology. It is intended to make the document as precise as possible in order to avoid possible ambiguities and different interpretations. Transparency is one of the main requirements for legal translation.
In any country, normative documents are drawn up according to standards that have been developed over decades. The translator must retain the structure of the document and follow these rules wherever possible.
A legal translation requires retention of an official style, objective presentation of information without any emotional connotations. The translator must remember that although the document was created in one system, it must also work well in another. Therefore, all of the information in the source document must be copied into the target text as fully as possible.
To do a good job, a translator uses not only legal dictionaries but also reference books. He must understand not only the law but also peculiarities of commercial, banking and insurance operations if he translates contracts. As in other fields, knowledge of generally accepted international and national abbreviations, acronyms and units of measurement is a must.
What documents does a translator work with
Legal translation is a work with:
- legal acts, irrespective of whether they have been passed or are in a draft stage;
- agreements and contracts;
- notarial certificates and documents of civil status or title deeds;
- Statutory documents.
Each of these types has its own characteristics, scope of application, and nuances of execution. The translator is required to know all these rules and subtleties. You need to be very attentive and responsible. Even a small mistake or a misprint can lead to millions in damages or lawsuits. That is why our translation company has an editor who checks the text of the document after it has been handled by a team of translators. In complex cases lawyers can be involved.
What is required of a translator
A professional translation requires:
- accuracy (in the case of legal documents – verbatim);
- compliance with accepted rules for document formatting.
Translators working in this field require not only linguistic but also legal education. Our translation agency cooperates with such specialists. Our translators are well-versed in the major categories of Russian, international and continental law. This enables them to draw parallels between foreign and domestic terms even when there is no exact match between them.