Global Careers: Translation in the Legal Field

As specialists in legal translation, we at LingPerfect often get asked when translations are necessary and what matters in the legal field. This blog will focus on the various types of legal translations, the reason someone may need a specialized legal translation and the importance translation brings to the legal field.

What types of clients come to us looking for legal translations? This depends on the type of content they are working with. Legal translation encompasses several content types. The vast majority of legal translations that are done are contracts. With the rise in global business, we see contracts between businesses such as sales contracts, contracts with customers such as end-user license agreements (EULAs) and contracts with employees. The most important aspects of translating legal contracts are accuracy of terminology and adherence to local laws. Using terminology that doesn’t work in the target language or breaks regional laws will invalidate the intent of the contract and create loopholes and misunderstandings which are costly to your organization.

Outside of corporate translations, we also see customers who are coming from the legal field for other types of translations. Lawyers, paralegals and other legal support service companies are often required to translate the content of their lawsuits into the language of the participants in the lawsuit or of the country where the lawsuit will be served. There are protocols outlined in the Hague Service Convention (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hague_Service_Convention), which details the requirements for delivering, or serving, legal papers outside of the United States or between countries that are signatories. While translation is not a requirement according to the Hague Service Convention, it is left up to individual member countries, which generally require translating. The EU requires all content to be available in all member-country languages it impacts. This would include legal policies as well as information that may end up in courts.

Other than translating documents for contracts and for lawsuits, legal translators are offered in wraparound services for the legal community, including interpreting services and research in the form of discovery. Interpreters might be asked to participate in court proceedings or in depositions, or statements, made by individuals participating in those proceedings. The research done by legal teams, known as discovery, often includes materials that are written in a language other than English or need to be made available in another language. Legal teams often hire translators to help with the research or translating the findings. Looking for a supplier that specializes in legal translation will ensure that you will get the right translator for your content.

Are you looking for a supplier for legal translations or wraparound services? What are the  most important things to look for? If you are responsible to find a legal supplier, you will want to identify what kind of content you have and the purpose of translating. After you have found a supplier, you will want to let them know what you are looking for and ask for their experience in working with the content types you need, including the experience of the translators as well as important ISO process certification to ensure accuracy in translation and terminology. Ask your vendor to provide references and ask the references how the services worked for them. Maintain communication with your legal translation supplier and make sure someone on your team is available to answer questions the translators may have about your corporate terminology or legal intent, depending on your function. If you would like to discuss legal services provided by LingPerfect Translations, contact us here to get immediate assistance or request a quote.