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Legal Document Translation: Everything You Need to Know

By Neil Gauld, 

An inaccurate translation of a word from Maori to English caused a dispute in the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi that is still being argued today. Even a single syllable that is mistranslated in a legal document could result in a crisis that can take years to resolve.

Enlisting the services of thorough professionals who commit to a high level of accuracy can be the difference between drawn-out legal battles that bleed your finances dry and the peace of mind that comes with knowing all your legal documents have been accurately translated.

Legal professionals, law firms and compliance corporate legal departments trust Brightlines’ legal translation team as experts in the translation of legal documents for every jurisdiction.

Brightlines delivers top-notch translation services that come with a solid understanding of legal systems in both target and source countries. With wide-ranging expertise that includes legal document translation, commercial contracts, legal contracts, patents, certified translations and more, Brightlines is one of the top choices for legal translation services.

When Does A Legal Document Need Translation

Law firms work with language daily and often deal with cases that come with the added complication of a language barrier between parties.

Avoiding confusion and misinterpretation is important for businesses that have multinational corporations. This can be achieved with the help of legal translators.

Contracts signed in different countries need to take laws in both the source and the target country into account while communicating the same thing in all languages. Legal jargon alone can cast enough of a shadow of doubt on one’s own understanding of words, ensuring that you’re relaying a consistent message in another language is a skill that requires expert finesse.

How To Choose The Right Legal Translation Agency

Firstly, ensure that the legal translation agency you are considering is experienced with the type of documentation you need to be translated.

Legal translators need to have an in-depth understanding of the subject area, as well as a legal academic background that enables them to navigate the intricacies of making precise translations of each document.

At Brightlines, we work with a large pool of expert legal translators from across the globe. As a result, we can match the legal skills of the translator with the project at hand. As legal professionals specialise in specific aspects of law, so do our translators. Making the right match for each project is essential.

Types of Legal Document Translation

The legal paperwork that gets used in hearings or trials almost always needs translation – these range from witness statements, deposition records, and litigation materials, to evidence documents and court transcripts.

Companies with multiple international offices usually need business contracts, corporate and government proposals, patent filings, legal disclaimers and terms of service, confidentiality agreements, financial statements and reports translated when expanding and leveraging global visibility.

The legal translation agency that you choose to go with should promise you a team that will reflect the intended meaning of the initial material with precision while using the correct legal terms and writing style.

That’s why it’s essential to go with a reputable agency that has a team of experts with years of experience, which are not only well versed in legalese but are linguists who have an awareness of cultural nuances in different places.

Legal Document Translation: Factors Not to Compromise On

Deadlines and confidentiality are high priorities. A delay in submitting a document needed in court could render it null and void, and so you need professionals who have experience in getting jobs done on a quick turnaround. Additionally, most legal documents have highly sensitive information that should be entrusted in the hands of a translation agency with security features.

Legal translations need to keep to the tone of the original material. Getting the terminology correct means very little when you don’t capture the exact tone of an urgent notice, as this could result in a misunderstanding where the reader does not take the required action.

Translators also need an understanding of each language’s linguistic structure and an ability to find a suitable substitute when the target language doesn’t have the source material’s direct equivalent. Lastly, make sure your legal translator is up-to-date with the ever-changing laws.

Brightlines guarantees an exceptional level of quality with every project. Our global translation teams are fluent in their native language and have expert legal know-how in a range of legal areas.

Contact us if you are looking for legal document translation services from a company that will deliver your success with the highest care.


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