Legal Translation

Closer international cooperation and the advantages that globalization brings to state economies enable enterprises to operate on more than one market. This results in the generation of large quantities of legal documentation, which then need to be translated into many languages. Therefore, legal translation is becoming increasingly important for enterprises. As the translation of by-laws, contracts, directives or other legal texts is considered specialist translation, it should not be provided by people chosen at random.

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Who should translate legal texts?

Translators who translate legal documents are selected not only for their language fluency, but mostly for their knowledge of law in a given country or region and their experience in this field. They should also have a number of other skills – e.g. the ability to analyze the material, recognize the legal context, correctly interpret regulations and accurately translate the material into a foreign language while maintaining the format of the documents.

Legal translations account for a large part of all translations provided by Summa Linguae, which is why we have built a large database of translators specializing in this field.

What are the characteristics of legal translation and translation of legislative texts?

Legal translation is the translation of documents such as contracts, powers of attorney, court documentation, standards or resolutions. What distinguishes it from other types of translation is its highly specialized vocabulary, which requires the translator to have an excellent knowledge of the law. A person who is fluent in a foreign language but does not provide such translations on a daily basis may not be able to translate even a simple contract due to the occurrence of terms that are not commonly known. Moreover, even if an expression seems commonplace, people unfamiliar with legalese may interpret it incorrectly.

Another characteristic feature of legal translation is the responsibility that it entails, of which the translator must be aware.

When translating court or stock exchange documentation for a particular company, the translator must remember that each word has a specific meaning. The use of a different term or expression may have dire consequences for the company. Moreover, they must also have a perfect knowledge of the legal system of the country of the target language. One should keep in mind that formats and structures of documents may differ from those with which Poles are familiar. The knowledge of the legal system of the target country is therefore a key competence that legal translators must have.

Why invest in proper legal translation and translation of legislative texts?

Because it generally applies to documents that are crucial for businesses (and for individuals). They are often vital for safeguarding the company’s operations. Professional translation is required for contracts, powers of attorney, notarial deeds, reports, regulations, directives and standards, court documentation, patents or acts of law.

Managing the flow of multilingual documents in an enterprise is a very responsible and time-consuming task. It is therefore worth finding an experienced partner in the form of a translation agency. Communication with partners or auditing bodies abroad will be much more efficient and effective if you entrust the task to project managers and translators specializing in legal translation.

Translation of legal texts is often confidential – all translators cooperating with Summa Linguae Technologies sign a non-disclosure agreement to that effect.

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Contact us now to get started with legal translation at Summa Linguae Technologies.

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