Are there native speakers of English, German, or any other language among your team? Do you ever wonder if it would just be quicker and cheaper to have them translate your documents?
In this article, we are going to explore the aspects and the stakes of legal and sworn translation. The ACSTraduction team are going to explain why it is best to contact a specialised translation agency for getting your legal documents translated!
The fundamentals of official document translation
Law and translation… These are two fields that are both often not that well-known. The legal sector and the translation sector are not very accessible to outsiders, and they are very often misunderstood. Therefore, when venturing into the area of legal translation… you may face a lot of challenges!
Translation of official documents
Legal translation is a voyage into the unexplored cultural and linguistic system. Like in every voyage, the traveller is faced with two major difficulties: the culture and the foreign language. The first thing to know: the law changes according to the country, and each country has its own culturally specific laws. This seems obvious, but the consequence for translation is fundamental. Because the concepts, which vary from country to country, can be very different, as in, may not even exist in the host country culture. But a concept that does not exist is by nature untranslatable. The first obstacle. In terms of the conceptual (cultural) aspect there is also a formal (linguistic) aspect: the wording and specific terminology are unique to the legal language in every language… (a real head-scratcher!). The second obstacle.
The difficulty in legal translation is therefore double the usual, translate the “untranslatable” into a codified linguistic system. The translator does not only have to have great knowledge of the law in both countries, but also must perfectly master each of the two languages, as well as the legal jargon in the target language. Precise terminological research and analyses of comparative law are necessary in order to produce a target text that is faithful to the original and understandable in the target language.
Therefore, it is easy to understand why the task of translating this type of document, can in itself, turn out to be insurmountable and potentially have significant implications.
The possible consequences of having a non-professional or non-certified translation
Imagine being in a country in which the culture is very different to yours, and you do not speak the language fluently. A simple word, gesture, or an attitude that seem totally suitable to you can, in reality, upset the person you are speaking to because of a cultural difference. Imagine this in the context of legal translation: if the translator does not know the judicial system (culture) nor the legal jargon (language) of the target language, a misunderstanding is bound to occur.
But what does this really mean?
A terminological mistake of incorrect wording could have various impacts in depending on which document it concerns.
– A client or supplier’s contract incorrectly translated? The invalidation of a contract and the potential cancellation of your transaction.
– A company registration certificate and company registry incorrectly translated? The delaying or potential invalidation of your administrative processes in terms of the internationalisation of your company, for example.
– Legal notes, general terms and conditions of sales, or service provisions incorrectly translated? This runs the risk of legal disputes of all kinds with your personal and professional acquaintances.
For official document translation, you need professionals
Call a translation agency who specialise in legal and sworn translation, this will help you in avoiding administrative problems, as well as legal. It will also ensure that your administrative processes are carried out on time, and the official recognition of your translated documents, thanks to the sworn translator, since this procedure certifies that the translated document is a faithful rendition of the source text and complies with the original content. Finally, it is a guarantee that the confidentiality of your documents will be respected.
So, follow our guide!
As you will have realised, while travelling and in other situations, it is sometimes necessary to seek the help of a third party to advise us, especially if we want to avoid tricky and stressful situations. In terms of the translation of your legal documents, you can confide in our translation agency. We are specialised in legal and sworn translation and can guide you throughout the entire process, from the beginning (the quote) to the very end (the delivery).*
We are at your disposal to answer any and all questions that you may have!
Our multinational and multilingual team offer you the highest level of translation quality by putting all of their legal and linguistic knowledge and skills at your disposition, which allows them to translate your documents to the highest standard.
Here at ACSTraduction, our experienced legal translators are very capable of providing expert legal translations which allows us to cater to the huge demand in the specific field.Contact us today to see how we can assist you.
By Annika Buslaps and Sandra Munaretto, for ACS Traduction.
Sources (for further information on sworn and legal translation):