Legal translation

Legal translation requires a great deal of specialisation and expertise as well as a keen eye for accuracy and a sophisticated understanding of legal terminology. This is because legal texts are not only being translated between languages, but between cultures as well, and even between legal systems, too. Word-for-word translations are therefore often insufficient, and multiple factors need to be brought into consideration in order to ensure that the final text accurately reflects the very precise meanings and often legally binding definitions established by the original.

Small mistakes can have big consequences in this context. Take for example the recent case of a police officer in the United States. As part of an investigation into narcotics trafficking, the officer in question had to collect consent from a Hispanic motorist in order to search his car. He used Google Translate for this, but the resulting machine translation was unclear and literally meant “can I search for your car?” rather than “can I search inside your car”. A court later ruled that the officer had consequently not met his burden to collect consent and no charges could be brought against the driver.

This is of course an extreme example, but the same principle nonetheless applies to all kinds of situations and texts, whether it be a GDPR-compliant privacy policy, a returns policy, or a set of terms and conditions. If your legal texts are not clear and readily understandable to customers in all of the markets you do business in, you might fail to meet your legal obligations and end up having to deal with the consequences. In the case of service contracts, supplier agreements or tender documents, this might mean lengthy and costly arbitration proceedings or dispute settlements.

Clear and accurate legal translation is also important when it comes to building and retaining customer confidence. Clients in foreign markets will need to study and understand your returns procedures and terms of service, and they may become frustrated, if the texts you provide are unclear or inaccessible. Misunderstandings can easily erode brand confidence and result in customers looking elsewhere for more reliable alternatives.

Here at COMUNICA, our mother-tongue legal translators are highly skilled both in the art of translation and the use of legal terminology. They have the competencies and resources they need to bring your texts into new cultures and legal contexts, and to make sure that your texts retain their meaning and legal force. So don’t take chances when it comes to your needs for legal translation and use a professional mother-tongue legal translator to ensure that your texts are professional, accurate and clear.

Give us a call or send us an email for more information about how we can help you.