Resources for International Legal Practitioners

In today’s globalized market, international legal practitioners represent a wide array of clients spanning borders, cultures, and languages. Whether your client is a foreign party involved in transactions or litigation in the US or a domestic entity engaged in business abroad, access to the relevant jurisdiction’s laws, international treaties, and government databases is necessary to safeguard your client’s best interest. Thankfully, lawyers now have a number of reference databases online to help navigate international legal research, and we hope you find these resources helpful when undertaking these initiatives for your clients in the future.

The United Nations Treaty Collection is a definitive source for all information related to various multilateral agreements promulgated since by the UN Secretariat since 1946. The collection includes dates of accession and ratification for various jurisdictions for over 560 treaties covering a wide range of subject matters including Human Rights, the Environment, the Law of the Sea, Telecommunications, International Trade, and Commercial Transactions. The actual text of the agreements are available in all 6 of the official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, French, Chinese, Russian, English, and Spanish) and includes the official copy of the treaties along with all relevant bibliographical information.

The Eur-Lex portal is another robust database for attorneys involved in any work in which European Union legislation is implicated. The Eur-Lex portal provides access to the legislation promulgated by the EU, including full text of the treaties, regulations, directive, recommendations, and opinions, and provides general information on the governing structure and effect of these acts on domestic law. Practitioners also have access to a searchable archive of decisions from the European Court of Justice, which acts as the highest court in matters of EU law. Both the Eur-Lex EU legislation portal and the case law database are available in all 24 official languages of the EU and maintained by a permanent staff of over 1,750 linguists and 600 interpreters.

Eur-Lex also provides a database of the domestic laws of each member country of the EU through the N-Lex gateway, an integrated searchable interface that incorporates the national legislation of each of the 27 countries. The platform is supported with EuroVoc, a digital multilingual thesaurus that assists users in identifying corresponding legal terminology when looking for foreign terms in the title or text of a document. In addition, these databases were developed in cooperation with a machine translation tool that allows for the search results, which includes the titles, reference, and summaries, to be translated into all of the official languages of the European Union.

For practitioners who are undertaking legal research in a jurisdiction outside of the EU, the Law Library of Congress has provided a resource to aid practitioners in finding both case law and national legislation. The Law Library of Congress has prepared individual reference guides for a selection of countries, including China, Brazil, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, and Lebanon, that provide an introduction to the legal system as well as links to print and web resources. The Law Library of Congress has also published a guide to aid practitioners in locating English versions of various domestic laws in select jurisdictions as well as English translations of decisions from various international courts and tribunals.

While attorneys should undoubtedly undertake preliminary research on issues of foreign law, it is always recommended to work with a trusted partner when foreign documents arise in the course of discovery or transactional practice. The National Center for State Courts has published a thorough handbook for ensuring best practices when selecting a translations partner, including industry specific terminology, quality assurance safeguards, certification templates, professional accreditations, and formatting requirements, providing a roadmap for practitioners when selecting a language service provider. Our team at LingPerfect Translations is always available to provide any linguistic support with the utmost accuracy and confidentiality under tight deadlines across the globe, and we look forward to partnering with you on any language services in the future.

 

Flexible solutions, dependable results.

LingPerfect is a leading provider of translation services, localization and testing services. Our globalization services enable businesses to compete on the international market, allowing our clients to deliver the functionality and linguistic requirements of customers throughout the world.

We always deliver as promised
LingPerfect Translations is a localization company that provides professional quality language solutions. Every service required for the successful completion of your project is fulfilled by the top talent including Project Managers, Testers, Engineers, Attorneys and professional linguists worldwide.

LingPerfect is your one-stop partner
We take care of every aspect of your translation project. LingPerfect offers the most comprehensive list of professional translation services, interpretation services, and transcription services in the industry. For high volume and complex projects, Contact us and we will assign a dedicated project manager to customize a program specific to your requirements. We are ready to be of service at any time.

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Customer Satisfaction

“We were very thankful for the quick turnaround on our translations and will certainly be using LingPerfect for future projects” – Marketing Coordinator at skincare company selling in 20+ countries.

How can you get the most value out of your translations?

So you want to go global? Maybe you are already global and need your website translated, or perhaps some contracts for office space in another country, or it could be you even have some international talent and you need to review qualifications and cover letters in another language. Where do you begin? How do you start things off right?
By this point, most companies realize that an online machine translation is probably not going to give them the level of quality and accuracy they need for making important business decisions. Smart businesses recognize that now is the time to develop a partnership with a top notch language service provider (LSP). The question then becomes– “How do I start this process and how can I be sure that I’ll get the best value out of my translations?”
Budget_Time_Money

Look at the chart – where do you fall? Everyone’s goal is to be right where budget, timing and quality all come together and meet in perfect harmony. How can you be sure you are best positioned to make sure your partnership falls in that area?

It’s all about communication, planning and a little bit of research. These are the key things to keep in mind:

1. What are you trying to accomplish with these translations? : As with many business ventures, keeping your goals in mind helps streamline and focus the process. Translations may seem like a small administrative task to simply get done, but it actually contains the voice, messaging, and branding that is supposed to connect with your audience. Knowing your goals and what you’d like to achieve in the work will direct your translation provider in choosing the right people for the job who will give the text the proper tone and style.

2. How are you reaching those goals? : What processes do you currently have in place to reach your goals? Where do translations fit in this process? Are these translations one small piece of a big puzzle you’re working on? Or is international expansion a key initiative for your business and these translations are at the forefront of gaining access to a global market? Think about your process for completing the initiative and it will become more clear where translations fit within the steps and how high a priority they should be. It will also help you plan your budget and timing to complete them.

3. What impacts your decision making process? : As drawn up in the image diagram, everyone wants to be in the middle where cost, quality, and timing converge. The reality of most situations is that you can only choose two of three. What is most important to you? Fast and cost-effective? High-quality and budget conscience? Fast and exact? Make sure you communicate with your provider where your priorities lie.

4. What factors will come into play when choosing your translation provider? : Beyond the product itself, what other factors are you considering? The industry is such that many companies are free to share the same linguists and can provide comparable quality, pricing, and timing. What is most important to you in choosing the right LSP? Is it 24/7 service? Having someone down the street who will walk into your office at a moment’s notice to fully understand your work? Global offices? Industry experience and customer service? Professional and industry certifications for quality standards and procedures? You industry, your goals, and your priorities will determine which of these factors should be considered. Some of these may be dictated by regulatory requirements, and some may be personal preference, but not all translation companies will have the same characteristics or priorities.

5. What did you like and not like about previous translation work? : Communicating any issues with a previous translation service let’s your new provider know exactly how they can make sure not to let those issues happen again. Regardless of what the situation was, be sure to communicate any problems and keep previous translations on hand to show examples.

We hope you now have some food for thought the next time you have a need for translation services. Best of luck!

Do you need market research translations? Work with a company who understands this industry.

Market research translation services
Many industries see market research translation services as a necessary tool for continued success. Market research translations will be a key component of your growth strategy whether your business is expanding into a new global market or looking to improve its current position in an international setting.

At LingPerfect, we offer market research translations to businesses around the world. Our Project Managers have forged strong relationships with certified, professional linguists, and together they diligently produce high-quality tangible results. Our people will manage your work with native-level understanding of the language and culture of your target market, allowing us to quickly and efficiently achieve your objectives.

Market_Research_Translation

How can market research translation help your business?
If your company conducts market research on behalf of other businesses, then you are already aware of the vast global market your clients are eager to develop. Extending international service offerings to your clients will further enhance your relationship as a global central point of contact.

It’s important to consider that when your target market speaks another language, the response to your messaging may differ from what you experience in your native language. This is perhaps the most important reason to consider building a partnership with a Language Service Provider (LSP) who has experience translating market research materials for use in international markets.

LingPerfect has specialists with the knowledge and experience to best tailor your content for use in new global markets.

What makes a good market research translation?
Accuracy and experience are important for successful implementation of your international needs, but what is the most important factor that should be considered when choosing your translation partner?

Clear communication and project planning with an experienced translation provider who understands the market research industry.
It’s easy enough to take text and have it translated into another language. Making sure your text reflects the right tone and nuances for the target market requires more finesse. A provider who strives to understand your goals, brand image, and requirements will be sure to bring that knowledge into the workflow. This will show that your LSP not only has excellent customer service, but the experience and knowledge to successfully complete your market research translations.

Any individual who is responsible for writing surveys knows how vital it is to get the wording perfect in order to get the most accurate results. You should work with an LSP who understand this well and works with other industry experts who deliver the results you need.

Thinking of relying on Google Translate for your translations? Think again!

There is a lot of buzz out there about Google Translate and other machine or software translations which are cheap and instant. As a translation company we routinely get clients who wonder why translation services cost what they do and take time when you can do everything instantaneously with computers these days.

Well… it’s not that simple. Machine translation can handle some very simple sentences just fine. When you start getting into idiomatic, marketing speak or highly technical, industry specific language, machine translation still falls very short.

Language is dynamic, complex and highly nuanced. No machine or software has been built that can mimic the human brain and how it produces language. On a daily basis individuals produce speech creatively and instantly using more knowledge of tone, style, context and meaning than any software can compute.

Moreover, no software has been created that can capture how a statement needs to be culturally adapted in order to make it relevant for your target audience. Maybe that financial product you’re selling doesn’t have a counterpart in Germany. Perhaps “the grass is always greener” has no value when taken word for word in Chinese. Not to mention the fact that some Asian languages are so different from Western languages, they don’t even have tenses! Google translate isn’t going to tell you that and most of the time it doesn’t handle the line in the right way.

To explain the point, let’s do a little test run. For a recent translation we had a quote from a customer:

It doesn’t make sense to go with anyone else.

The Chinese translation was:

看电影的伴侣非其莫属。

Let’s head over to Google Translate for a demo on how machine translation compares:

google_translation_1

OK… Hm. I’m thinking maybe there was something off in that line? Why don’t I click on the “Did you mean” link since I think that is giving me some sort of auto-correct suggestion.

google_translation_2

Well, that’s clearly not right. At least it got the language right. I once dropped in Japanese and it detected Chinese since there were a couple Kanji characters.

So maybe we have one too many characters here and the period has been misplaced. I wonder how it would change if I deleted one character at a time from the end.

I just want to see something that resembles “doesn’t make sense.” That’s the key phrase here.

google_translation_3

Deleting one character resulted in what? Let’s delete another.

google_translation_4

Wow. One character and two words disappeared? And why is Google Translate giving me a hyphen? What’s that all about?

google_translation_5

Hm. Nothing changed this time.

google_translation_6

I deleted one character and now it went from “Cinema partner non-” to “Couples watching movies!”

google_translation_7

Hmmm…

google_translation_8

To watch vs. to look. OK, those are similar. Fair enough.

google_translation_9

We’re still in sort of the same ball park here even though I deleted three characters. I wonder how “ball park” would translate in Chinese. Of course assuming Google Translate would pick up what I mean.

google_translation_10

Wow. Deleting one character now changed it to “See power!”

google_translation_11

This last image really is the best. It captures the exact reason why machine translation falls short, even today, with all our technological advances. See how one Chinese character has numerous possibilities for how it can be translated and how many different characters could be used for each of those terms.

This demonstration is not meant to say that Google Translate is wrong, but without a person to go through those terms and understand the context and the message you are trying to convey, how can you be sure that the right term will be chosen?

Additionally, when a sentence can change so much by deleting one character, do you really want to leave professional translations up to a machine? Asian languages can be particularly problematic because the structure, grammar and culture is vastly different and mistranslations, especially by a machine, are even more likely.

Document & Website Translation

Communication is a vital component of any business. It is a way to stay “in touch,” and reach your clients, employees, customers and potential customers. Translation broadens your horizons and allows you to reach millions of potential customers around the globe. Translation is about more than simply replacing words with those of another language; it is about preserving the original message and conveying it in a culturally appropriate way. Take humor, for example. It is one of the best ways to grab the attention of an audience, but anyone who is bilingual will tell you how difficult it is to translate a joke. The translators at LingPerfect have know the intricacies of the languages they speak and can convey the essence of any message from one language to another. Our goal is to make impossible translations … possible. Why are our translators so good? We strive to find the best language experts from around the world. Simply knowing English is not good enough. All LingPerfect language experts go through a rigorous testing process before work with our company. Why should a company be so concerned with the quality of their translators and paying for highly professional translations? In the digital age these questions come up often as instantaneous machine translations grow in popularity. It can be difficult to explain the nuances and personal touch that makes all the difference and sometimes that is of little concern to a clients bottom line. Explaining if a certain idea or product doesn’t exist in one culture only a translator can find an appropriate substitution can also be a complex idea. It’s really best just to give a few examples from one of our favorite websites: www.engrish.com

wrong_translation_1

 

Can you blame them? Cheese and dairy products simply were not part of the Asian diet for centuries! Or how about this one:

wrong_translation_2

To be quite honest with you, I’m not even sure what this would be in English but I think the point is made.

Would you want to be one of those companies? Of course not. No one wants to be one of those companies who makes the headlines because an entire ad campaign has to be yanked for offensive material. Certainly don’t want to be a company who fails to file financial documents in a foreign country because one of the concepts was mistranslated.

We offer translation of online and offline texts and documents, both of which are important components to running a successful business. By working with LingPerfect to translate these texts you can rest assured that the only jokes you’ll worry about are the ones that need to be translated and not the jokes made about your translation.

Things to do and not to do when trying to get translation work from a company

Every day I arrive in the office and start off like most people — checking through my emails. After going through my personal inbox, I proceed to check our general email box for the sales team.

This email in-box is generally chocked full of junk and mass emails from individuals selling products and services. More than any other type of mass produced email however are those that come from fellow translation vendors. This is to be expected but the emails and conversations I have with individual translators are sometimes a bit puzzling.

As a goodwill gesture, after seven years in the industry and multiple companies covering a range of specialties, I wanted to write a “how to” guide for getting your foot in the door with a translation agency for translators.

This list will not be complete and will only add to some of the lists I’ve read from professional translators advising those new to the industry. It can be tough to figure out some of the ins-and-outs in the beginning, so I hope some of this advice is useful.

Now remember, this list is from the perspective of an Account/Vendor/Project Manager whose only goal is to find the best person at the right price and the right moment for our clients. While reading this you should try to think of the stress of a Project or Account manager responsible for sending work to a client with our reputation and business on the line.

First let’s address how to get in touch:

1) Mass emails to general in-boxes are ineffective.

2) If the agency has a website there is usually a page for translators to send an inquiry. Read this page and follow it. This seems like an obvious point but we have hundreds of translators contacting us daily who don’t follow this method. The individuals who take the time to know what type of work we do and can follow the instructions on our website are the ones that will stand apart from the crowd. Not only that, it shows an ability to follow instructions and search for information, which are both key aspects of being a good translator.

3) If you must send a mass email which includes the Vendor Manager for a particular company (not a general info box or sales info box) please hide the rest of the companies on the list. Sure, we all know that freelancers work with more than one company but it’s generally not very professional to send mass emails to companies that are in competition with each other.

4) In this mass email you should say more than a few words. Believe it or not I have seen emails that go like this, “My resume.” That’s it. No, I’m not kidding! Other emails have stated, “Translator available for work.” End of story. On the flip side, you shouldn’t write a whole life story or tell a religious one, or apply for a position in our L.A. office when we don’t have one. Believe it or not, I see this every day. The email should be to the right individual, first of all, and second, it should include a friendly hello and a statement about why you’re writing and sending your CV. Always remember, the sales guy, the PM who isn’t looking, and anyone else will most likely delete the email. Unfortunately it would just take too much time for most people who have a lot of other things they have to get done.

5) Calling is a terrible way to try to get your foot in the door, unless you have been contacted by a vendor manager or a project manager who is looking to place a job and you have their direct number. It’s 2013 and unfortunately this is true for most industries and jobs. People are very busy. We have clients for whom we’re trying to complete projects, or at least you hope that we do because then it would mean you’re trying to get in touch with a successful translation company. You really want to read the website and send your credentials by email. I know that doesn’t sound very promising as it feels you are sending your resume out into the ether and will never get any work, but this is simply how it goes. I’ve been in that boat too and I truly sympathize but the truth is, we wouldn’t be able to hire you unless we have a project that requires your language and when you call it’s likely that we don’t have one at that moment and your name will be forgotten. Email is a better way to make sure your contact has been recorded, your details saved.

Now let’s address the resume itself:

6) The actual file name should include your name. Most resumes get dropped into a folder on someone’s computer and it’s best to have your name as the filename for easy identification.

7) It should be updated regularly and tailored for any company for which you want to work. I know this is tedious, but especially for interpretation this is extremely important. Being on this side of the business my advice would be to have one per industry – marketing, legal, financial and medical, etc. These should be updated constantly. Once you complete an interpreting job, add that. So the next time you are contacted and your CV is requested, you can be the first one in the door for the position with the right credentials. Not only will it help you get hired, it helps us land the project with the client. You can also be sure we would contact you again because of the ease of working with you. Always remember, we are looking for the right person and our clients are depending on us to find you. The more organized and up-to-date your resume, the better it is for everyone!

8) The next item to address is the organization of your resume. I see a wide variety of ways that people organize relevant information. It might help to keep in mind what an agency is looking for and what the clients need to see. This information should always be at the top and should go in this general order so that people can quickly look through the stack:

Name and contact details. Services and languages – with native language identified.
Degrees and qualifications and years completed.
Specialties and history of relevant projects as it relates to each industry and years completed.
That’s about it!

9) What shouldn’t go in the previous projects list? Information shouldn’t contain the names of other translation agencies but direct clients are fine. The history of projects doesn’t need extreme detail, just specialism and a brief description such as, “Patent translation, electronic engineering, 5,000 words.” The word count is up to you.

10) Hobbies, goals and personal information aren’t needed. For in-house jobs where you will be working with people they may want a better idea of your personality, but our clients just want your experience and specialty.

11) Information or job history that is not related to the translation industry can be left out. Different resumes for different industries are best, especially as a freelancer. We’re not concerned with gaps in your resume as they are normal for freelancers.

12) I will now round out this list with the biggest, most crucial item not to have in your correspondence (mass or personal email) or resume: spelling errors!! This is crucial for any industry of any type, but in the translations industry it’s extremely vital. When I get an email from a potential vendor offering their translation services and the English is full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes my willingness to work with them disappears. Our business is language; our clients need to know they can trust us with crucial documents. We all need to know that the final deliverables will be perfect and resumes and emails with mistakes project a bad image.

The final note really could sum a lot of this advice. We go through great pains to find the right people. I know that even if you followed all this advice and managed to make contact with the right people, it’s difficult to get project managers to send you work sometimes. The main reason is that our entire industry is based on trust. Our clients trust us to deliver and we have to work with people that we trust. Building trusting relationships with project managers and agencies in the business takes time, personal branding and sometimes your best bet are word of mouth recommendations.

I was a project manager for over 6 years in this industry and I now work in sales and marketing. What I can tell you is that I’m giving this advice because I am in the same exact situation that you are in. I am trying to get new clients to work with me and trust us. Think of your freelance career as if you are starting your own company. Manage your image, your brand, try to network with other freelancers and get their personal recommendations or the names of relevant people such as vendor managers.

I hope you found this information useful. I wish you the best of luck, and we look forward to working with you!!

Is there such a thing as Universal Spanish?

What is Latin American Spanish? Can’t I just get one Spanish translation to work in all countries? Is there such a thing as Universal Spanish? And what is this Spanish for the US?

Although regarded as an easy language to learn, translating into Spanish can turn into one of the most complicated decisions for a company. Believe it or not, some of the most heated debates and discussions over proper terminology I have faced in my 7 years in the translation industry has been for Spanish. I always assumed it would be for much tougher languages like Japanese or Korean. The problem lies in the fact that Spanish is spoken in so many different countries across the globe.

Word Meanings often vary depending on the context and country, and not just for Spanish, but for English too. If I were to ask someone for the meaning of garage, an English speaker from the UK is likely to say this is the place where we get gas for your car. An American, on the other hand, would say it this is where you park your car. For this reason it’s essential to understand who makes up your audience and target market. With just those little differences between England and the US, some of which you are probably familiar with, imagine the multitude of differences that exist in Spanish. There are 21 countries with a total of 423 million people who speak Spanish, making it one of the most difficult languages to translate. Each country has its own unique culture and dialect, which can vary widely depending on the region but are still similar enough to be understood and considered the same language.

So, don’t get confused when you are in a Latin American country and want a straw for your drink and a straw in Colombia and Venezuela is “pitillo” but “popote” in Mexico and ”pajita” or “pajilla” in Spain but “bombilla” in Chile and Bolivia, even though “bombilla” means light bulb in most Spanish-speaking countries, and “caña” in Peru which is some slang term in Venezuela. Also, when looking for a swimming pool in most Spanish-speaking countries you should ask about the “piscina” but in Mexico you’ll need to ask about the “alberca” and the “pileta” in Argentina. Wow. With all that said, I hope on a hot day in some Latin American country we helped you find a pool and get a straw for that cold drink you’ll need.

With this being said, ask yourselves what is universal Spanish? Or what about US Spanish when we do not only have Mexicans who make up the US Spanish speaking population, but also many Cubans, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans? And how is it possible to have Latin America Spanish when there are over 15 countries with 15 or more different cultures on the entire continent that spans a vast region.

Therefore, it’s critical to know your audience in order to transmit an accurate message. It’s also critical that if you want to use one translation to reach many different Spanish speaking regions and countries, it’s best to work with a professional translation agency who understands the challenges and can provide you with experts and leading translators from multiple countries. Working with speakers for several countries ensures that terminology for is specific to one country would be flagged and amended in favor of a more neutral one. This is just one tactic that LingPerfect employs when completing “Universal Spanish” translations.

 

We are finally ISO Certified!

After many months of hard work we are very happy to announce… LingPerfect is now ISO certified!

What is ISO Certification? Why does it matter? Why do people pull their hair out for months on ends checking off boxes and jumping through hoops to get it? For those of you who aren’t aware, we’ve put together a very short overview below.

The International Organization for Standardization or better known as ISO was founded in 1947. It is an international standard-setting body formed by representatives from various national standards organizations.

When ISO began in 1926 as the International Federation of the National Standardizing Associations (ISA), it only concentrated in mechanical engineering. These days they have published more than 19,500 International Standards covering almost all aspects of technology and business, from food safety to computers, agriculture to healthcare. Once a company is ISO certified it ensures that products and services are safe, reliable and high quality.

ISO certification is not easy to obtain and there are eight very important steps a company must perform to acquire this certification:

Get commitment from top management to ensure success.

Train all employees on the basics of quality.

Prepare your quality policy manual.

Document operating procedures.

Perform an internal audit.

Select an ISO certification agency to use.

Have the certification agency perform the audit.

If you pass the audit, congratulations!

With our ISO 9001 certification, you will be guaranteed a high level of quality assurance at every stage of your project. Our ISO 9001 certification qualifies that our internal systems are effective, consistent and efficient. The second certification, EN 15038, reflects the dedication to customer service that is built into our systems. It shows that we strive to meet the highest expectations and requirements for all our customers with every project.

An additional reason ISO certification is significant, is that in certain industries, such as pharmaceuticals, translations must be completed be ISO certified companies. This requirement is laid out in the regulatory guidelines for this industry. The reasons behind the guidelines are perfectly understandable if you recognize this industry is one that must follow strict processes and procedures to produce high quality, safe, effective products. Working with an ISO certified company gives the added reassurance that there won’t be extremely dangerous or costly mistakes from mistranslations.