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Legal translations

Legal translations

Legal translations involve the translation of legal documents and texts used in law field and these require expert knowledge. This type of translations is not a simple task so the language must be exact and without ambiguity; otherwise, a bad translation could cause lawsuits and economic problems.

Translators of legal texts often consult specialized bilingual law dictionaries but these dictionaries have poor quality; for that reason, when they translate, they must understand that the legal system of the source text is structured according its culture and it must be reflect similarly on the target text essential to ensure precise correspondence in the source text and in the translation.

Professional translators specializing in legal translation are needed to translate different types of legal documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, contracts, laws, treaties, etc. that is why legal translators need to know terminologies about laws, to ensure an accurate and consistent translation, but apart from terminology, the translator might focus on other aspects such as:
  • Textual conventions: these are culture-dependent of the source language and they might not be similar to conventions in the target culture.
  • Linguistic structures: these are found in the source language and they could not have direct equivalent structures in the target language.
Keeping in mind these aspects; translators must use certain standards of linguistic, social and cultural equivalence between the source text and the target language to produce a comprehensive text. Those standards include a variety of different principles which are defined as different approaches in Translation theory, there are 2 types of standards:
  • The former: these are used by translators in their trade.
  • The latter: these are different paradigms used in developing Translation theory.
Some universities offer Legal Translation studies to provide practicing translators with essential skills to become legal translators.

These universities offer courses focused on providing an overview of terminology and legal systems, and also an extensive training in translating key documents in a wide range of legal fields due to the process of globalization has created new opportunities for local and regional businesses this way they can expand into the world of international business today.