The Importance of Legal Translation Services in a Global Economy

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It’s clear to see that the business world is rapidly changing and evolving. Today, with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI), fast internet and globalisation, companies across all industries can approach foreign markets with ease and speed.

On the other hand, although technological improvements help business owners reach their target audience, some obstacles that arise during the business internationalisation process cannot be resolved quite as quickly.

As global markets become more and more intertwined, companies, organisations and businesses trade across borders more often than ever. This consequently results in significant growth in demand for language translation services.

Socio-cultural and linguistic aspects are essential when trading with international consumers and business partners.

Law firms and legal professionals often find themselves at the heart of international business. As a result, legal translation services are today a key element within their operations.

What are legal translations?

Legal translation services consist of translating documents and papers for the legal sector.

According to Translation Services 24 (TS24), which is an expert UK-based translation agency, legal translation services refer to “accurate and reliable language translations for the legal sector, which professional linguists with in-depth legal knowledge conduct. This covers documents and material from different law sectors such as contract law, litigation, contracts, patents or criminal law.”

Impact of Translations on the Global Economy

The translation industry is significantly growing year on year. As a result, according to a recent study by Market Research Future (MRFR), it is expected to hit over USD 47 Billion in 2030!

The impact translation services have on the global economy is evident.

Companies, organisations and businesses now regularly budget translations into their annual budgets. Interestingly, even Government bodies take this approach. For example, between 2019 and 2022, the NHS spent over £113 Billion on both language translation and interpretation services.

What documents should you translate?

Legal translations cover an extremely extensive range of documents, papers and other materials. The type of documentation you or your business need to translate can vary depending on your particular situation.

For example, if you’re a business owner who intends to approach foreign markets, you may need to translate documents such as contracts, terms and conditions, warranties, etc.

On the other hand, law professionals often need to translate documents for legal purposes, such as court orders, financial reports, hearing transcripts, etc.

How to find a legal translation provider?

Finding the best provider to help you legally translate your documents can be a difficult challenge, especially if you have no previous experience in this area.

There are several aspects you should pay close attention to when looking for a translation partner.

Certifications

One of the most significant factors that can directly affect the reliability of your legal translation is the agency’s certification.

In short, in order for the translation to be fully legalised, your chosen provider (agency or freelance translator) needs to be registered with an official translation body in the United Kingdom.

Generally, if you’re working with a professional translation company, they should be registered and recognised by ATC (Association of Translation Companies). This allows them to provide legal translations that can be recognised in Courts of Law, Home Office, Government Institutions, etc.

Freelance translators should be recognised by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) or ITI – Institute of Translation and Interpreting.

Native translators with legal expertise

Although recent developments in Artificial Intelligence allow agencies to use machine translations to convert legal documents, law firms and business owners still prefer native human translators and interpreters.

AI-based translations are generally faster and cheaper than human translators, nonetheless, a translation completed by a native linguist is still more accurate and reliable in a vast majority of cases, and as you can imagine, these aspects can be absolutely crucial when it comes to legal documents.

Consequently, when looking for someone to translate your legal documents or business-essential papers, make sure that your provider works with human translators who are not only native speakers of your target language but also have first-hand experience within the legal sector, as this allows them to pick up on any nuances and jargon which might otherwise be mistranslated.

Secure translation portal

Another essential element to finding the best provider for your legal translation is a secure translation portal. Legal and financial documents are usually extremely sensitive, so it is essential to ensure they are kept fully secure before, during, and after the translation process.

Consequently, when looking for someone to translate your legal documents, ensure that the translator or agency uses custom-built, secure portals where you can access all information when necessary. One of the key protocols to look out for is Cyber Essentials, which guarantees that your provider of choice is able to guarantee the highest security protocols and safety procedures.

Legal Translations vs. legal Interpreting

Despite the increasing popularity of legal translation and interpretation, many individuals still struggle to distinguish between the two professional services.

Luckily, however, it is very easy to understand the difference between the two.

Generally, translation services refer to the translation of text documents and materials.

Within the legal sector, this refers to the translation of text documents, witness statements, court orders, financial reports or official papers and certificates.

Interpretation, also known as oral translation, on the other hand, deals with the spoken word.

Consequently, you’ll need to opt for this service if you need help with procedures such as court hearings, interviews, in-person or remote meetings, business conferences etc.

Conclusion

Simply put – legal translation is the process of turning a source text into a translated text directly in the target language. On the other hand, interpreting deals with the spoken word and is regularly used during, for example, court hearings or when a witness provides spoken testimony.

The skills a translator must possess to convert your documents accurately make legal translation (and interpretation) a specialist field.

All terminology and jargon found within the legal field can be difficult to fully comprehend for translators without previous experience. Therefore, ensuring that your chosen provider is experienced with similar projects is key to ensuring your translation’s highest quality and reliability.

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