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46446970_MUnderstanding differences between everyday words and nuances between cultures can be challenging enough to the person translating a document. Now imagine legal documents, with their highly precise and technical language, and the pressure to perform like an Olympic athlete in translation ramps up exponentially.

After all, the devil is in the details, right?

When it’s time to translate legal or medical documents from English, make sure you’ve chosen the right provider by getting answers to these six questions:

  1. What expertise does the translator bring to the table? Make sure that the person translating your legal document has a fluent understanding of the legal terms as well as the nuances of a country’s preferred writing style. For example, in Italy, active voice permeates legal documents; in English, these documents would be characterized by passive language. (See what we did there?)
  2. Does the translated document follow the same structure as the original? Are all sections fully intact and translated? Did the translator get “into the weeds” and use the resources available to them, such as reference materials (e.g., legal codes and regulations, bills of laws, legal consult documents, amendments, etc.) and secondary resources (e.g., court cases)?
  3. Was the document translated by a recognized professional? Courts often require that a translated document is certified or authenticated and that the person who translated it is recognized, by the court, as a professional expert with a valid license.
  4. Will your translated document be seen as credible? The misuse of a legal term can cause confusion and negatively impact the quality of your document.
  5. Have you sought the expertise of local attorneys? It can’t hurt to ask legal experts in your targeted region or location for their assistance or advice. And, it never hurts to have a second and even third set of eyes – belonging to an attorney or another translator – review the final translation.
  6. Is the translation 100% accurate? This might be the most important of all, as legal terminology needs to be exact in order to be legally binding. The tiniest misinterpretation or ambiguity could cost a client millions of dollars. And, since bad news travels fast, attorneys won’t want to make this mistake and risk losing business.

Legal documents are complicated. Translating legal documents is even more complicated, requiring the mental gymnastics of an Olympiad as the translator alternates between two languages. We can help. Reach out today to learn how our linguists and subject matter experts can help translate documents efficiently, accurately and confidentially.

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