Translating legal text requires a highly-specialised skillset. Our translators are natives in your language and always have specific legal translation backgrounds. Our native English editors have a thorough understanding of the unusual features of ‘legalese’ that differ from standard English, specific features that mainly relate to terminology, linguistic structure, linguistic conventions and punctuation.

Of course, when translating legal documents, the translation should merely be the first stage and a professional lawyer/solicitor should always review your finished text in a high level of detail and amend where necessary before the document can be used for its intended purpose.

  • Contracts
  • Terms and conditions
  • Certificates
  • Certified/notarised documents
  • Legislation
  • Court documents
  • Trade agreements

Legal translation into English

Our bi-lingual translators for this work have specific legal translation backgrounds. Post translation, during the editing and proof reading phase, our native English editors have a thorough understanding of the unusual features of ‘legalese’ that differ from standard English where specific legal language constructs relate to terminology, linguistic structure, legal conventions and punctuation.

Of course, when translating legal documents, the translation should merely be the first stage and a professional lawyer/solicitor should always review your finished text in a high level of detail and amend where necessary before the document can be used for its intended purpose. It should be noted that requirements to prove the authenticity of legal translations vary from country to country and legal representation should be consulted in cases of doubt.

We specialise in the following:

  • Contracts
  • Terms and conditions
  • Certificates
  • Certified/notarised documents
  • Legislation
  • Court documents
  • Trade agreements

 

The legal translation process

The translation of legal documents into an ‘English equivalent’ by English Monitor requires a specific and highly-specialised skillset. An essential part of translating legal text is that, not only should the person be a trained technical translator, but also they must be familiar with the legal systems in both jurisdictions. The concept of translating legal text on a word-by-word verbatim method is not usually valid because simple word substitution is unlikely to make any sense in a target legal text. We know that the language structures and grammatical constructs in most languages do not directly read across to another and therefore some reconstruction and paraphrasing in the target text is necessary to preserve meaning. So, it is much more important to use the source legal text to try to formulate acceptable phrases in the target text in order to adequately preserve the intended legal constructs. This aspect is particularly evident here and is clearly where the skill and knowledge base of the legal translator are critically important. Nevertheless, ambiguities may be unavoidable and in such cases our approach is to offer alternative interpretations of tersely worded sections as additional commentary where ever possible.

Types of legal translation

English Monitor has expertise in the following areas of legal translation:

  • Sworn translations

Some jurisdictions require legal translators to pass examinations over and above their normal legal qualifications to provide translated legal documents that are acceptable to be presented in a court of law. Such translations are described as ‘official’ and ‘sworn’. Translators operating under this system have their qualifications endorsed by local/national judiciaries and documents produced in this way are considered ‘original’ in the sense that they will carry equal legal weight to the source texts. Sworn translations normally carry an official stamp, registration number, signature and date to ensure authenticity and in some jurisdictions require the translator to swear an oath to certify the validity of the translation.

  • Certified translations

Certified translations carry a certificate to say that a given translation is ‘certified’ to be accurate to the best of the translators knowledge ability and the translation carries a signed, dated certificate to say so.  Certified translations may not be legally valid and a sworn translation should be sought if in doubt. Courts will generally work only with sworn translations. However, certified translations can be used for the translations of birth, marriage, death certificates, immigration papers, contracts etc. It is always best to check the particular jurisdiction for specific requirements.

  • Notarised translations

Under specific circumstances, and particular jurisdictions, translations need to be ‘notarised’. This means that a translator has to swear an oath in the presence of a Notary Public to attest the accuracy of the translation. For validation, the translator has to sign an affidavit containing the signature and official stamp of the Notary Public. The translation then carries legal weight. The notarising process may apply to ‘sworn’ or ‘certified’ translations.

In summary, legal translation is a highly specialised field requiring a combination of legal, translation and technical skills. Our expert translators have in-depth knowledge of the legal systems across the language pairs we support combined with proficiency in both source and target languages.