Almost every day we must deal with certain legal documents. When moving to another country, we will be required to translate a passport, marriage certificate or birth certificate for children. If you have a small company and you decide to bring it to the international arena, then you will need to translate a whole list of constituent documents. There are many reasons why you might need a legal translation, but there are far fewer good specialists who can help you.
HOW IS LEGAL TRANSLATION DIFFERENT FROM OTHER TYPES OF TRANSLATION?
Let’s assume that you have a document in your hands, on which there are seals and signatures, dates, names, and names of the bodies that issued this document. It is possible that this document refers to the rights and obligations of the parties (you and your partners). In this case, you hold a legal document in your hands.
A legal document is a material carrier drawn up and drawn up in accordance with the requirements of the current legislation, creating rights and obligations for persons.
Now suppose that you are the owner of a small company and intend to enter into an agreement with a foreign partner. You and your lawyer have drawn up a contract. However, to conclude an agreement, the document must be translated into the language of the partner. In international practice, the “language of business”, that is, English, is most often used. This is where you will need the services of a professional translator to carry out a competent legal translation of the text. Here are some types of legal documents that you may need to translate:
translation of laws, regulations, and their drafts,
translation of contracts,
translation of legal opinions and memorandums,
- translation of notarial certificates,
translation of constituent documents of legal entities,
translation of documents required for the implementation of various international projects and others.
When translating legal documents, the translator must pay special attention to many aspects, for example, the number of the document, the place and time of signing, full name, names, and details of the parties. When working with legal (legal) documents, the translator will have two tasks: 1) the translation itself and 2) adaptation of the material in accordance with foreign legal practice. What does it mean? When drawing up any document, the lawyer acts in accordance with the legislation of the country in which he is located. When translating a document into a foreign language, some concepts may lose their force, since they simply do not exist in foreign practice. In such cases, it is necessary to find an analogue used by foreign lawyers.
PITFALLS OF LEGAL TRANSLATION
Legal specificity leaves a certain imprint on the terminological, stylistic, and semantic component of the text. In the original language, specific structures, combinations of terms and set expressions, characteristic of the legal sphere, are formed, and their formation takes place at the highest legislative level. In this regard, the translation of such documents is highly recommended to be entrusted to a translator who has significant experience in translating legal documents. Just like in the case of medical translation, legal translation requires a certain level of knowledge, experience and painstaking work when choosing terminology.
TRANSLATION OF LEGAL TERMS
The first and most common problem that a translator faces is the special words that are used in a certain area, in our case, in the field of law, i.e., legal terms. Recently, many online translators and dictionaries have appeared on the Internet offering translation of legal terms. Of course, this helps to choose a more suitable translation option, but often only through experience will the translator know which translation of the word is needed in your document and in this context.
SEARCH FOR EQUIVALENTS
Legal translation of documents requires the
translator to have a special linguistic flair, experience in the field of legal translations and perseverance in terminological search to find equivalents to those concepts that are used in the original text. So, in German, most agreements are called a contract. But in English, each type of contract can have a separate name. For example:
Lease Agreement – lease agreement for premises
International Treaty – international treaty
Deed of Amendment
Added to this is the specificity of each country. Thus, the concept of “memorandum of association” in the United States is called “Certificate of Incorporation”, in England – “Memorandum of Association”, in the Czech Republic – “Deed of Association”.
TRANSLATION OF NUMERICAL VALUES
Much attention is paid to various figures and amounts in contracts, because everyday companies and corporations enter contracts for millions of dollars. Numbers do not need to be translated like words and concepts. However, when writing numbers in different countries they use their own system. For example, in English documents, when specifying numeric values, thousands are separated by commas, decimal fractions by dots, in English documents thousands are separated by spaces, decimal fractions by commas.
Not the last role in the translation of a legal document is played by the structure of the text. For a foreign party to understand the essence of the document as clearly as you, it is necessary to pay special attention to the translation of subheadings, for example:
Scope of the Agreement
Rights and Obligations of the Parties
Force majeure circumstances (Force Majeure)
Details of the Parties