There are certain industries where following the rules is of utmost importance. In the medical industry, it’s necessary that patient records be kept confidential. In the legal industry, the documents must be written correctly to be admissible in court. There are certain rules and regulations to consider in the work of legal translations.
There are strict rules that must be followed when creating or editing legal documents. Not following the rules will lead to litigation, similar to when someone makes a breach of contract. For this reason, most legal translations are handled by trained specialists in the field.
Legal translators are not lawyers. They don’t need to understand the specific laws that they’re writing about. So, reviewing a business contract does not require any type of interpretation or explanation.
Legal translators must know the technical language, also known as legal terminology. There are specific words and phrases that are often used in the court of law. Knowing these terms is the first and most important step to translate legal documents successfully. Once the translator becomes familiar with certain words, the translations are done more quickly and easily.
Source Text vs. Target Text
Legal source text is translated differently from legal target text. The client may want the target text to be in a completely different format. For instance, a client may want handwritten notes to be converted into a professional business contract. Translators have to abide by their clients’ requirements exactly and know how to make major changes to text.
Types of Legal Documents
Most legal documents are written down on paper and legally binding. The average legal document defines the rights and obligations that one party has to fulfill for another party. It is concluded with the signatures of both parties. If the rights of one party are violated, the document can be taken into court and used as the basis for a lawsuit.
A contract is the most common type of legal document that is used in every industry. If a breach of contract occurs, the damaged party can seek damages in the form of money, the contract’s cancellation or a revision. Other types of documents used in the court of law are property deeds, wills, notaries and bills.
Translators do not all work in one big general field. There are translators who have different areas of expertise that differ significantly. They work for companies that provide a wide range of legal, medical, government and business conference translation services.