What Mistakes to Avoid when Translating Legal Documents

Translating your documents and other pieces of written content is a crucial step in globalizing a business. No matter which industry you’re in, it’s impossible to skip this step when you’re going to target new, foreign markets.

Unlike other types of written content like articles and blogs, legal documents have no room for error. Even a small dispute in your document’s translation can puzzle you into major issues which could be hard to overcome.

While the term “translation” is sometimes underestimated and is considered to be an easy job — it’s not. Translation, especially for legal documents, requires professional help from agencies that specialize in such services. Here are 5 mistakes that people and businesses often make while getting their legal documents translated.

Relying on machine translation

Artificial intelligence, automation, and machine learning are taking up the world by storm. While these technologies can be extremely accurate in performing various tasks, translating is often not one of them. Don’t get me wrong, machine translation is really good for small pieces of social media and blog post text, but not for actual legal documents that can pose lawsuits on you.

In all cases, the ideal way is to get help from trusted and reliable translation services or having professionals who can make use of simultaneous translation equipment. While freelance and self-employed translators on various websites can be very useful for translating articles, newsletters, or emails — they’re not an ideal fit for the translation of legal documents, especially if they don’t have the right linguistic expertise and experience in such matters.

Translating word-for-word

Getting your legal documents translated word-for-word is one of the most common mistakes you can make. While this approach could come in handy for simpler pieces of content, it’s not the ideal choice for legal text.

When you translate a sentence word by word in another language, its meaning could sometimes alter drastically. Tons of phrases and words are prone to such errors while getting translated word-to-word, and can ultimately result in major legal issues. If you want to avoid such problems, make sure to learn Mandarin Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, or whatever language from the right teacher.

Insufficient communication

No translation service can meet the necessary standards if there’s not enough communication from you. The translators won’t figure out the necessary details needed to be kept in mind while translating the document, resulting in ineffective end-results that don’t meet the expectations.

Many lower-quality translators would go with their default service if you don’t provide them with the details they normally require. However, Legal Language Services is eager to communicate with you in every step of the process, so your expectations are met, and even exceeded.

Not planning ahead

Many people make the mistake of trying to skip the step of document translation, thinking it’s not compulsory and they can get away with it. However, here’s a simple rule of thumb: legal document translation is compulsory if you’re trying to step into foreign markets.

The ideal method is to start working on this step as early as you can. It will save you from having to impulsively work on getting the service, which could run you into high-cost errors during the translation process. Moreover, potential errors and flaws could slip under your nose when you’re hasty about the service and don’t invest the necessary time and other resources into it.

Plan ahead and get in touch with a professional translation service as early as possible. If you’re not satisfied with the results and end up having to get the work revised, you’d have plenty of time to get it done without being hasty.

Not getting help from professional legal translators

Many believe investing in professional translation services is an unnecessary burden on their wallets, but it’s not. In fact, using cheaper and unprofessional methods could end up costing you huge amounts in the long run.

By getting your legal documents translated by a professional translation service, you’re essentially making sure you don’t run into unexpected problems and end up paying massive amounts trying to fix them.

Final word

Legal text translation is often underestimated by people and businesses and is considered an unnecessary financial burden. However, legal translation is inevitable and is best done by professional translation services.