At some point in your life, whether it is a personal need or one of a professional nature, it is possible that you will need to have legal documents translated. This can be anything from a simple birth certificate to something more complex such as court transcripts. Translating legal documents includes document types such as contracts, corporate or government proposals, court transcripts, confidentially agreements, laws, witness statements, regulations, wills and testaments, birth certificates, bank deposits, immigration documents, and notarized documents, among others.
When actions require the involvement of two countries with different languages, any documents that must be exchanged between them both in order to be acted upon must be translated.
You might find someone who has heard of a few words or phrases in a specific language to which the document has to be translated. This person might be good at speaking the language and can easily communicate with a native speaker, but legal documents are complicated and there are many unfamiliar and technical terms, which are not easy for a non-experienced person to handle.
The translation of legal documents is not an easy process. Accurate legal translations depend on solid sentence structure, appropriate syntax and word selection, which is another reason why legal translators must have the necessary experience and knowledge of legal terminology (for both the source and target languages). Translating legal documents should always be done accurately, and should follow the particular writing style of the target language. The slightest mistake could lead to a complicated or reversed legal process, which makes it unlike any other type of translation work.
A document that has been translated by an expert is, of course, more credible. Moreover, not all courts accept documents that are not certified or authenticated by a professional translator.
All involved parties must handle documents with strict confidentiality, as improper handling of documents can affect the outcome of a court case or a business transaction.
Useful tips for legal documents translation:
- The original document should be clearly scripted and well-organized, while ensuring that the similar structure and style is followed through the translated document.
- Fee stamps, official seals and stamps in the source text should be mentioned in the translation within square brackets (e.g. [seal] or [stamp]). Relevant text contained within official seals and stamps may be translated within square brackets, or explained in a note.
- It is imperative that you keep in mind your own country’s rules and terminologies related to the ones that are mentioned across the document.
- Another important tip is to research and find out more on where the document would be applied. Try to understand where the document will be used and how, which will help you to furnish it in line with the actual needs.
- Follow the target country’s writing style when translating the document in order to avoid any kind of confusion for the reader. Any error could actually be crucial as the reverse process or redo could cost you more of your time and money.
- It is highly recommended that you always seek expert help.
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