Business Translation Center

Legal translation for businesses - what you need to know

by OFER TIROSH 06/04/2017

Legal translation is required by many kinds of businesses. If your company has offices overseas, or sells goods in more than one country, or simply employs staff who work abroad, you may well find yourself in need of a legal translator at some point. 

What is legal translation?

Legal translation covers a broad spectrum of documents, all of which relate to the field of law. This includes contracts, deeds, patents, litigation documents, immigration papers, letters of credit, legal correspondence, affidavits and much, much more. 

Why does my company need legal translation?

There are many reasons why companies require legal translation. If, for example, you plan to sell goods in another country, you need to understand that country’s laws regarding the sale of goods, taxation, importing and so forth. Or if you are developing a partnership with an overseas investor, he may wish to review your patent in his native language. Or perhaps a member of your staff moved overseas and will be working remotely, but needs her employment contract translated as part of her residency application paperwork. 

Whatever the reason, it’s important to use a professional translation service, as a mistake in converting legal documents from one language to another can prove very costly – in both financial and reputational terms! 

Do I need a specialist legal translator?

Yes, absolutely. Legal translators must understand legal terms in two languages – it’s not enough that they simply speak both languages. This is a highly skilled area of professional translation, as legal translators have to convey information incredibly accurately, with no room for ambiguity. Be sure to find out about your translator’s experience and specialism before asking him/her to work on your legal documents. 

What does legal translation cost?

Legal translation is a specialist field, which is reflected in the price of the service. However, the actual cost will be determined not just by the translation specialism but by the languages that you need your documents translated to and from, and the length of the documents themselves. The Tomedes instant quote tool is a good place to start if you want to find out the approximate cost of your legal translation. 

What about certified translation? 

With legal documents, it is often a good idea to request certified translation as part of the translation process. A certificate of translation is like a stamp of authenticity for your document – it confirms that the document is a true copy of the original, just in another language. Certified translation is often required in relation to legal paperwork, so be sure to ask your legal translation agency to provide a certificate of translation for each and every document that it translates. 

More information on legal translation

Is your company in need of legal translation? If so, speak to the Tomedes team today. We will be delighted to help.