5 Legal Translation Mistakes to Avoid

Business is more global now than it’s ever been, and with that comes a global market of legal documents that need translating. Unfortunately, most people who don’t have experience in translation think that a literal translation is enough.

5 Legal Translation Mistakes to Avoid

Literal translation is almost never going to give you a meaningful document in your target language, even if you’re translating a short story. However, when you’re translating a legal document, the stakes are even higher due to the specific and technical nature of legal documents. Here are five common legal translation mistakes you should avoid at all costs. Visit our blog.

Never fall prey to these mistakes!

1. Using Machine Translation Services

While technology can make many areas of business efficient and do so effectively, there isn’t much a machine can do for you when it comes to legal translation. The level of understanding, background, accuracy, and knowledge of cultural customs and idioms that you need in order to translate a legal document is something only a human being can provide you with.

2. Using Linguistic Expertise Only

You might be able to get a beautiful linguistic translation of your legal document by someone who is knowledgeable in your target language. However, if that person doesn’t have extensive legal knowledge in that country, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. There’s no way for someone without legal experience to understand the idiomatic language and subtle phrasing that needs to be accurately and technically translated.

3. Falling Prey to the Literal Translation Trap

While it’s true that language alone isn’t going to help you, neither is someone who has a lot of legal knowledge but doesn’t understand how to translate the language accurately and effectively. Literal translation doesn’t just sound odd in the target language, it usually produces a legal document that’s largely inaccurate. That can have serious repercussions that range from embarrassing yourself to obtaining steep legal fees.

4. Waiting Until the Last Minute to Translate

You can help the translation job go much faster, as well as make it more cost-effective, by planning ahead. Working with a translator or translation service from the outset can help you standardise the language you use, avoiding terminology and phrasing that will be difficult to translate or unacceptable from stage one. Your best bet is to work with your transcreation service as soon as possible so you can make sure you produce documents that are translation-ready.

5. Failing to Plan Ahead

It’s unlikely that you’re only going to need translation services once, so make sure you find an agency or translation service that you can work with long-term. They’ll get to know you and what you need, making future projects go much more quickly. Planning ahead for future projects can help you speed up the process and get back to business as quickly as possible.

Translation Mistakes: 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.

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