Types Of Legal Translation

    Danilo Coviello

    Legal translation is a broad field, and to people outside of the industry, it can seem very confusing. What place does translation have in the field of law? Can the same translator work on writing refund policies for foreign markets as well as help prepare documents for legal action? Let’s have a look at some of the different types of legal translation.

    First of all, for anyone not familiar with legal translation, what exactly is it, and what are some good examples of it?

    Legal translation is when any legal documents, files, or recordings get translated from the source language to a target language. Some of the most common items to get translated are marriage, death, and birth certificates for immigration or employment needs.

    Legal translators are responsible for translating a wide range of items. The translation process is similar whether you are using in-house translators, a freelance language service provider, or a translation agency.

    First, a translator will carefully make an accurate translation of the document. The translation should then be proofread for accuracy. Many court documents or certificates also need to be properly formatted according to the preferences of different legal systems.

    While this may sound simple, legal linguistic specialists need a lot of legal expertise and excellent knowledge of the source language and target language in order to get legal translations right.

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    Legal translation includes work for a wide range of fields. Some of the most common types of translation are:

    Contract translation

    Contracts underpin almost everything that businesses do. In order to protect businesses and customers from any negative legal consequences, contract translation is very important. This can include contracts for any type of domestic or foreign business, tenancy agreements, property documents, employment contracts, and more.

    Technology and design

    Intellectual property translations are another huge aspect of legal translation work. Within technology and design, it is vital to make sure that your intellectual property rights are protected.

    Legal translation can also help a lot with making sure you have all the relevant information to help you sell to more markets – for example, you can get documents translated to make sure your products meet international standards before signing them. Once you are in business, you can get a range of important legal text translated, such as product safety information, refund policies, and text for marketing campaigns.


    Marketing is a huge factor of any business itself, but there are some legal differences when trying to advertise to a new target market. This means that it is wise to get a properly trained translator when you want to try marketing for different countries. A marketing department is only as good as the information they are given.

    Certificate translation

    As already mentioned, certificate translations are hugely important. If you want to seek employment in a foreign country, you will almost certainly need your certificates translated and formatted for the area you are in. Certificate translations often need to be certified. Certified translations mean that the translator has done an accurate sworn translation of the certificates.

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    There is a lot of difficulting in getting the right translated document. A lot of documents are used for legal purposes and a lot of government bodies, employers, or healthcare providers will only accept an original document or sworn translations of documents as proof of identity, residency, or education. This is why legal document translation is vital.

    Some of the most common documents that get translated are birth certificates, marriage certifications, and diploma supplements, However, any document needed for legal processes can be translated, including business documents or education documents.

    There are various things that differentiate the types of legal translation from a regular translation service.

    The need to understand specific legal meaning and terminologies makes legal translation services far harder than regular translation. A lot of legal terms are in Latin, even though the rest of a document may be in English. These specialist terms have to be accurately translated to ensure that all the legal information is intact.

    Most people who do legal translations are sworn translators, who say that their translation is accurate and correct. This means that the document can be used as an official translation for a company to use.

    However, there are consequences to having even a small error in any document translated for legal uses. If a company was to inform customers in foreign countries of a special offer by accident, from a bad translation, it could cause a range of different problems.

    Translation of legal documents is vital when navigating the legal field. Getting the proper language services can help make sure that you keep good legal relationships with other companies, law firms, or individuals.

    Having all your legal texts translated by a sworn translator and signed by a notary public means that you can guarantee the accuracy of the translated documents. This means that there is no room for confusion or miscommunication.

    As well as offering linguistic accuracy, a good translation company will also help format information in a logical structure, which can help make sure that the documents work with the legal systems in any country.

    From contracts to marriage licenses, to intellectual property translations, linguistic services make sure that the legal system can be accessed and navigated by everyone, regardless of what languages they speak.

    Since legal translation is so important, all the different types of legal translation are under strict control. A lot of legal translations are usually what are called sworn translations. This is sometimes called a certified translation, where a professional linguist with language qualifications swears that the translation is true and accurate to the original document.

    Getting a certified translation is important because even a minor inadequacy of translation can cause major problems in the legal field.

    Anyone who offers legal translation services should also be a first-class linguist. Generally, the best translations come from someone who is translating the text into their own native language. When looking for an official translation, most people will find that it requires native familiarity with a language. If the translator is not native to the language, there could be a range of small inaccuracies.

    Beyond this, you will find that some people specialize in a certain type of legal document. While any expert in legal language services should be able to help, the very best translation will always come from an expert in the field.

    Almost any document can be translated by a legal translator. There are a lot of documents that can help businesses understand the legal aspect of their international relations with other countries, help guide their business decisions, or help marketing departments make the right marketing decisions – and all of these can help an international brand avoid legal trouble while working in a different country.

    It is not surprising that companies want to avoid having legal action taken against their sales teams, marketing teams, or product designers. This is why having the legal backup of a trained legal translator can be so helpful to a range of industries.

    Final thoughts

    While it is simple to give a list of different types of legal translation, the truth is that translation services for the legal field are not on-size-fits-all. Just as people use legal services for a range of reasons, translation of legal documents needs to be flexible to work for what people need – whether that is contracts to help steer key business decisions, intellectual property translation to help protect people’s inventions, or preparing of certificates for immigration, the types of legal linguistic services are endless.