Challenges of Legal Translation

April 7, 2022 |

Challenges of Legal TranslationLegal translation is probably one of the most complicated types of translation in this day and age. Anyone who has skimmed over any legal document will know that the writing style used is not the easiest to grasp without years of study and practice. Beyond that, there are a number of other factors that end up making translating a legal text into another language quite the challenge. This is why only the best and most qualified translators should be hired to do this sort of translation work.

Challenge #1:

Do you really need to translate that entire stack of documents?

This may be more of a challenge for the client than the translator, but an inexperienced translator wouldn’t know how to deal with the sheer volume of documents that go into just one court case. A translator qualified and experienced in legal translation is fluent in law as well as the source and target languages. Being able to tell which documents are superfluous or simply don’t need to be translated is a skill that saves both time and money. Not just any translator can do this, so make sure you work with one that specializes in legal translation.

Challenge #2:

How different are the legal systems of the countries involved?

While most countries share a lot of the same features in their legal systems, assuming that certain things don’t change can lead to very bad consequences. The legal language of a text or document is influenced greatly by the culture of the country, which also influences the structure of the legal system. This means that an understanding of both the culture of the source and target languages as well as the legal systems of both is necessary to even begin a legal translation. Certain legal concepts can be phrased completely differently from one country to the next, but an in-depth knowledge of both legal systems as well as the terminologies in both languages makes for accurate translations.

Challenge #3:

What is a “verbatim” legal translation?

Often, legal translators will be asked by lawyers, judges, and anyone else involved in a case to render a “verbatim” translation of a document. For anyone who knows a bit about translation, it becomes clear here that many people who work in the legal field don’t quite understand how translation works. A verbatim translation would mean the translator would have to look at every single word and translate them all individually, ignoring the overall concepts and meanings in the source text. Luckily, translators know that what these lawyers and judges mean is they want a translation that is accurate and faithful to the meaning and context of the original. This is what legal translators do best.

Alpha Omega Translations recognizes all of these challenges and more, having years of experience in the translation services industry. Legal translation just happens to be one of the many areas that Alpha Omega Translations specializes in, with a team of the best and most qualified and experienced translators on call at all times.

Category: Translation Services