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Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Legal Translation Services

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Legal translations require expert care. Whether you are an attorney seeking legal translation online, or a party to some sort of legal action, selecting a translator is an important job. This means you must seek information beyond, ‘how much does a legal translation cost’. If you are in the market for help with legal translations or are a translator who is interested in specializing in this field there are things that you should know. Keep reading to learn more.

Learn How The Translation Service Selects Its Legal Translation Professionals

It is extremely important to verify how a translation company selects its legal translation specialists. This is an area of translation that requires specialized skills and experience. If a translation service normally requires a certain level of education and experience for more generalized translation jobs, the standards for a legal translator should be even higher. They should include relevant experience and education as related to the law and legal services.

Certification Through a Credible School is Key For Legal translators

Anyone who wishes to become a legal translator should work to obtain credentials through a reputable certifying agency such as the ATA. The ATA has a legal translation certification program in place that involves taking a course and sitting for tests that prove the translator possesses the knowledge needed to work in this niche. This includes familiarity with legal systems and the ability to translate and interpret legal documents.

Consumers should steer clear of legal translation service who hire translators that are not certified. Those who wish to work as translators in legal fields should know their ability to find work will be limited if they are not certified.

Ensure That The Translation Company Has a Stellar Reputation

There can be a lot at stake when it comes to legal translation services. This includes patents, contracts, even sensitive issues such as adoption or child custody. A service that has failed to build a stellar reputation isn’t likely to have legal translators on staff who can be trusted with these important jobs. Consumers should read reviews from various sources as well as assess companies to ensure they are picking only the best.

It is Imperative to Have an Accurate Source File

Keep in mind that a translator can only create a translated document that is as accurate as the original source file. A legal document that is ambiguous or simply incorrect in one language is going to be just as ambiguous or incorrect after it is translated. It is the responsibility of the consumer to deliver an original document that is free from errors, in the proper format, and as clear as they need the translated version to be.

Cultural Understanding is Vastly Important in Legal Translation

Legal systems arise from cultural values and traditions. This impacts not only how laws are written, but also how they are interpreted. A good legal translator will be familiar with the cultural norms and traditions of the culture, and not just the language. Keep in mind that translation is not an exact science. In order to retain intent and meaning, translators must be able to make some changes.

Translators Are Not Lawyers

The primary job of a legal translator is to accurately translate legal documents from one language to another. While some may be able to detect certain errors in discrepancies, customers should not expect that from them. Only a lawyer who speaks the target language and is experienced with legal matters in a specific jurisdiction is qualified to verify the accuracy of any legal document.

This is Never a Process That Should be Automated

In some areas, automated translations are necessary. This is never the case when it comes to legal translations. There are no reputable translators who would rely on a legal translation app or other machine-based tools.


The process of finding the best, legal translator is a serious one. Hiring the wrong service can have long-reaching and devastating effects. You needed someone you can rely on who is uniquely qualified to do this work. The last thing you need is to work with a service who has hired someone whose qualifications consist of having taken a beginner’s course in legal translation.