Expert Legal Translators – Your Top 3 Reasons for Hiring One|
Do you want to feel more confident in your new business expansion endeavours? There are two things you’re concerned with most right now: expanding your business overseas and doing it as fast as humanely possible.
If you’re wondering what type of translator you should hire to assist you during your global expansion efforts, the answer is crystal clear: they should be a legal translator that’s an expert in their field. Truth is, you can’t rely on a generic translator when translating documents of legal nature. You wouldn’t want to get yourself in legal trouble due to a minor misinterpretation of a clause, for example.
Below, we’ve outlined what makes an expert legal translator and why hiring one is your key to smooth sailing through even the most complex and urgent legal translation challenges.
The 4 qualities that define an expert legal translator
Knowing what traits to look our for in a legal translator can mean the difference between receiving an accurate and reliable legal translation or facing potential misunderstandings and complications down the road.
They’re fluent speakers of both languages and are native speakers of the target language
It goes without saying that the legal translators should have bilingual proficiency, so as to be able to accurately convey the legal documents’ contents. This covers more than simply knowing the language well, however – it also includes knowing the cultural intricacies imbedded in the language, as this enables the translators to adapt legal terms that don’t hold a direct translated equivalent from one language to the other.
This brings us to another key point: the translator that you hire should ideally be a native speaker of the target language as well. Native speakers possess an innate understanding of the language’s idiomatic expressions and cultural nuances, allowing them to provide you with a more accurate translation.
They are well-versed with both the source and target legal systems
Another key trait to an expert legal translator is that they have a deep and thorough understanding of both the legal system in which the original document is written, as well as the system it’s being translated into.
Legal systems can vary significantly from one jurisdiction to another. The translator needs to account for even the slightest modifications in the meaning of legal terms and concepts that are relevant to each system in order to appropriately interpret and translate them.
Take a contract term like “force majeure”, for example. This term might be straightforward in one legal system but could have a different interpretation or even an entirely unique term in another. If a legal translator isn’t well-versed in both systems, they can easily overlook such details, which can lead to misinterpretations, and ultimately translation errors.
They have a legal or language background education
Although not really a standard requirement, legal translators should ideally have a languages or law degree (or, even better, a combination of both). When looking for a legal translator, you should consider not only their level of experience, but also their qualifications and educational background.
They possess domain-specific expertise
For an even higher quality final result, you might also like to take the translator’s area of specialization in consideration. This is especially important in cases where you’re dealing with a highly complex document that calls for specialized knowledge. There are a range of areas you might require legal translations for, including contracts, intellectual property, or real estate, among others. At the end of the day, your best bet is to hire a translator who’s an expert in your legal area of interest.
For example, if you wish to translate a complex international business contract, a legal translator who’s an expert in contract law in particular (rather than a non-specialized legal translator) will be more suited to the task.
Why hiring expert legal translators can put your company at an advantage
If you’re planning on taking your company global, hiring a legal translator or legal translation agency whose translators meet the above criteria is a must. Here’s why:
1. You’ll guarantee the accuracy of your legal documents and stay out of legal trouble’s way
The accuracy of your legal documents’ translation should be your number one priority.
First and foremost, translating your documents properly can help you understand the contract/agreement’s contents before you agree to legally bind yourself to them. You need to know what you’re signing up for before you do, after all.
Similarly, accurate legal translation can help you stay compliant with the laws and regulations that are specific to the jurisdiction you’re expanding to. Having a clear understanding of what your local obligations are will help you align your business practices accordingly, preventing unintentional deviations.
It’s also key to remember that in international business, translation accuracy is paramount, as without it, your documents might lose their legal effect.
In the unfortunate case scenario where you end up with a mistranslated document, you run the risk of breaching a contract or agreement. Such breaches can result in legal disputes which can potentially cause irreversible damage to your company’s reputation.
Moreover, translation inaccuracies can have a significant financial implications, since the other party might choose to take legal action against you. Lawsuits related to contract and agreement breaches can be complex and time-consuming and not to mention financially draining.
Essentially, investing in expert legal translators is an investment in risk mitigation.
2. You’ll manage to grab commercial opportunities on time
In the world of business, time is of the essence – and the same is true when it comes to the translation of legal documents.
When you’re in the process of moving your business overseas, you typically need documents like patents, contracts, or agreements translated not only accurately but also quickly. Expert legal translators who match the criteria outlined above are very fast at what they do – which means that, with their help, you can remain on track with your expansion goals.
Translation delays might result in your business missing out on key opportunities, such as failing to secure a strategic partnership in a new market. Having a legal translator who’s constantly in your corner can ensure that opportunities like this won’t go amiss.
3. You’ll be able to keep up with sudden shifts in business law
Given that legal laws, regulations, and market dynamics are in a state of flux, business law undergoes modifications from time to time. These changes can alter the meaning and interpretation of legal concepts, which can impact their translation.
Expert legal translators are mindful of this fact and remain up-to-date with any potential modifications that have taken place within the legal systems they are working in. In this way, they can ensure that the translated documents reflect their current legal implications.
Remove the hustle out of global expansion with Pangea’s legal translation services
As we’ve seen, legal document translation can’t be undertaken by just anyone – it’s only an expert legal translator that can do it right and without errors in sight. Most importantly, the translators that you hire should be fluent native speakers of the target language, aware of the differences between the legal systems that they’re working in and have degrees/qualifications respective to their field.
If you want to know more about legal translation and what other aspects it entails, make sure to check out our Legal Translation and Localization Definitive Guide.
At Pangea Global, we treat your legal documents with the serious attention they deserve. We’re a team of legal experts and local, native speaker translators with vast experience translating legal documents, from contracts and agreements all the way to powers of attorney and affidavits.
Contact us today to receive tailored assistance that addresses your unique legal circumstances – we’re always here to help!