Watch out for mistranslations! When translating legal documents from one language to another (Key Legal Definitions), it is very important to ensure certain legal terminology is not mistranslated, as an incorrect translation could change the meaning of the word. With that in mind, here are ten legal definitions you must never mistranslate.
10 Key Legal Definitions You Need to Be Aware of
When two parties come to a legal agreement about a property, product or service, it usually takes the form of a contract. During a translation, it is very important to ensure the terms of the contract are being appropriately worded in each language, so there is no confusion about the terms.
When filing a complaint to dismiss a lawsuit, the attorneys who wish to dismiss will file a demurrer, highlighting why there is no legal basis for the case. Not every country has such a law, which is why it is important to ensure the meaning of the phrase and document is not mistranslated in any way.
When someone is deposed, it means they must submit a sworn affidavit. This is different from a regular witness statement, or a general statement about the case. When translating, ensure there is no confusion about whether the person in question was legally deposed or merely making a statement.
- Due Diligence
In civil suits, diligence often plays an important role, as it highlights whether a person took appropriate care before performing an action.
However, the legal basis for determining whether due diligence was performed may differ in each country, and a translation must reflect this.
- Felonies vs. Misdemeanors
In the United States, crimes are split up into misdemeanors and felonies, based on severity. Each country has its own laws, and any legal translation must reflect those laws when drawing up legal paperwork or translating a statement about the charges faced by an individual.
Malfeasance refers to any illegal or morally wrong action, which includes dishonesty or abusing authority. It is a term that may find its way into many legal documents, which is why it is important to translate its true meaning depending on the languages and countries involved in the translation.
- Punitive Damages
These are damages that go above and beyond the compensatory damages, and they are often used to highlight how a person should not act in a situation. They serve as a deterrent to others who may cause similar damages, and it is a good idea to appropriately translate the word so its meaning is not lost in another language.
Tort is a French word, which is translated to mean a wrongful or illegal act where someone is injured. Intentional torts are crimes, and torts are often a major part of civil cases.
A title is a legal document that determines who owns a specific property. For instance, real estate deeds, titles for cars, and other ownership documents qualify. Ownership documents are common types of documents that may require translation, especially when a business is operating in multiple countries.
- Mens Rea
A Latin word that translates to “guilty mind,” and reveals whether a person had a criminal intent in their mind when committing an unlawful act.
How We Can Help
Semiotic Transfer is a Swiss translation agency in the heart of Europe. We provide legal translation services to marketing firms worldwide. We know how to effectively translate and transform legal documents across countries and cultures. Contact us today to find out how we can help your marketing firm break into new markets. Visit our blog.
Do you have an upcoming project already planned?
Request a non-binding quote today.
Further details can be discussed with us directly by telephone.
We look forward to receiving your call on +41 56 470 40 40 or you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.