If we had two bucks for every legal contract that came across our collective desks for a translation quote, we'd be millionaires. Sure, that implies that not all the translation quotes requested by clients turn into translation services - but that is true for any business. But that's besides the point. This is about a recent legal translation of a finder's fee contract a client needed, for English to Russian translation that was directed at Urkrainian partners. Of course, we can't provide the really good juicy details about exactly who and why, but it the client is a fairly well-known water and power company - one who can obviously afford to send out head-hunters in various regions around the world. If it sounds like we are tooting our own collective horns - well, we kind of are.
The legal document translation in mind is one that again, combines both business translation and legal translation skill requirements. Meaning, a professional Russian translation must be rendered by a translator who is skilled and experienced in both business and legal translation - or legal-business translation - takes on the task of translating the contract from English to Russian. And, make no mistake - agreements and contracts can often be very tricky to translate in totality from one language to another. It is not just that the vocabulary itself is often jargon and industry-specific, in addition to other technical translation challenges, but legal terms more often than not - do not translate word for word. In other words, what we have named "first-degree murder" in English is called something else in Russian. Of course, this was not that kind of legal translation service, but you get the point. As hard as it may sound to have to look up and/or memorize all the more well-known legal terms in both languages, imagine having to know the language translation of really technical legal terms that we don't even know in our own language, let alone a foreign one.
All of this is just to try to illustrate how very knowledgeable and experienced a legal translator must be in order to accurately and precisely translate something like a legal agreement or contract. What's more is, they flood into our offices and get assigned to our translators in multiple languages, industries, forms and a whole bunch of other variables - on a daily basis. Years of a translator's learning, studying, translating, interpreting and learning some more - all goes into the production of a proper business contract translation, behind the scenes, so to speak.
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