Firstly, the translation of legal documents includes the translation of documents that have a legal value in terms of the legal sector. Therefore, a very specific sector, because the culture of a country hugely affects the legal sector in said country. Certain terms have no equivalent in other languages.

There are many types of legal documents that need to be translated

  • Business start-ups: statutes, general terms, and conditions of sales, sworn statements
  • The human resources department: work contracts – fixed-term or permanent contracts
  • Business management: confidentiality agreements, payment notices, official meeting reports…
  • Insurance
  • Real estate
  • Civil documents: birth certificates, marriage certificates
  • Commercial property
  • Concerning business employees: letters of resignation, contractual termination
  • Team management: invitations to interview, training certificates, end of trials
  • Insurance
  • For renters: lease agreements , tax exemption applications

What are the timeframes for the translation of legal documents of more than 200 different types?

The need for a speedy legal document translation

These documents all have similar translation turnaround times. That being said, this does not refer to limitation periods for legal documents. Limitation periods being the length of time these translations remain valid before being considered useless. Depending on the importance of the document this period can range from 3 months (for legal sections concerning the freedom of press) to 70 years (for copyright documents).

Here we will discuss the importance of respecting the timeframes of legal translation. In fact, each jurisdiction has strict timeframes in place for sending documents. A delay in producing these documents may lead to the suspension of your legal procedures, and possibly lead to penalties. Sometimes, it is just a simple fine and a delay in your procedure. But in some cases, the consequences are are lot more severe.

The consequences for submitting a translation of a legal document late

If a document is not sent in the indicated timeframe, all of the administrative engines are jammed, and the procedure can even be stopped. Several Justice Courts can even decide not to reschedule the case if there has been an delay in providing the required elements, no matter how important the case is to you.

Additionally, in business law, not providing the required documents on time can also lead to severe consequences. In this case, the company is showing that it isn’t reliable, and that they cannot be trusted. This could potentially lead to them losing a case, which could have serious financial consequences. In general, it is their professionalism and reputation that will be called into question by these delays.

The role of translation agencies

Every translation agency that deals with the translation of legal documents will understand the importance of respecting the timeframes of legal translation. A translation agency that specialises in legal translation must adhere to the agreed timeframe. Even if this is a well-known translation agency, each agency must be able to quickly communicate within these limitation periods and adhere to them in a professional manner.

If a translation agency does not adhere to these limitation periods the entire case suffers as well as the chief legal officers threatening the involved parties. The financial consequences can cost much more than a simple translation because it is the value of the entire operation that is at risk. The involved parties can even claim compensation from the company. This will also negatively affect the company and its public image will suffer because of this.

ACSTraduction is well aware of the stakes of translating in the legal sector and the importance of respecting these limitation periods for legal translation. We are very strict on:

  • respecting these translation limitation periods: we notify our clients when their translation will be ready in the early stages of the translation process, and we respect it.
  • the choice of translator: as well as being native in the target language of the document, the translator must also be an expert in the legal sector as well. You will have the same translator for any future work, in order to guarantee consistency.