8 Reasons We Need Legal Translation Service

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Written by: pTranslate Contributors


The nature of legal documentation is proprietary and sensitive. No one wants to face legal consequences. However, the world of Law is very complex. When a company reaches the international expansion stage and enters foreign markets, they will have to face even more complicated legal matters.

In this article, we will explore the reasons for why companies need to find a good legal translation service if they want to establish a multi-market, cross-border presence.

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1. It is legally required by the law.

Many courts, banks, and other govermental institutions require that any official document from another country be translated and certified by a professional.

And not everyone can be a certified translator.

To become a certified translator, the person must obtain many qualifications and work experience, as well as join translators’ associations. Years of experience in the Translation industry is a must.

Finding a certified translator can be challenging. Therefore, many clients go straight to a  legal translation company to save themselves from the trouble of hiring and managing an in-house translator. The Language Service Provider (LSP) has connections with a lot of certified translators who can accurately translate, sign, seal, and guarantee that your document will meet the approval of the authority requiring it.

2. Legal translation is very nuanced, and only professionals can undertake these sensitive projects

When dealing with documents used for legal purposes, the translator must be careful in every single word they translate.

Little do people know, the world of Law hinges on words.

One single word changed is enough to divert the case to an entirely different direction.

There have been cases where the parties involved can’t settle the dispute due to a few words, or phrases. In fact, a war between the United States and the UK almost broke out due to ambiguity in the wording.

That’s when the legal papers are written in one language – English. Can you imagine the consequences of a mistranslation?

That’s why legal translation is a very challenging branch of Translation. It’s hard, nuanced, and requires extreme attention to detail.

3. Legal translation requires both knowledge in Law and language competence

It makes sense. Law is a challenging field, and it takes years of study and real-life experience to be a professional. 

It takes even more years to combine that legal knowledge with Translation skills and master both of them. 

That’s why legal translation is such a highly valued branch in translation. Legal translators, especially experienced legal translators, can command a high price for the services they offer. After all, not many people can do what they do. Legal translation has even been described as the “ultimate linguistic challenge”. There is no linguistic activity that matches the difficulty of legal translation.

4. Legal translation is risky

When it comes to legal matters, everything has to be done accurately and precisely. There is absolutely no room for error. Errors in Law mean injustice.

One wrong word can get you into serious trouble.

Confusion and misunderstanding can be resolved, but it takes a lot of time and effort to do so.

More serious mistakes can be very costly, and can potentially ruin the reputation of the company. The parties involved are also very financially and emotionally drained when the litigation drags on for too long due to some wording mistakes.

No one wants to ruin what they have worked so hard for by handling their critical documents into the hands of an amateur.

That’s why it’s better to find a high-quality, professional translator when you need to have your legal papers translated. That’s one of the best investments you could have ever made.

5. Legal Translation takes into account the differences in legal environment between the countries

Translation is a “global” industry that deals with “global” matters, and Legal Translation is not at all different.

When a client wants to translate a legal document, they are probably involved in an international legal activity where at least one party comes from a foreign country.

It’s where the complexity of the law comes into play.

We must acknowledge the fact that countries don’t share the same legal system. Countries with the best-developed legal framework are Scandinavian and other European countries. When entrepreneurs from these countries enter countries outside of Europe, they must try to understand the differences in the way the law works there.

When translating legal documents from one language to another, translators must be aware of the differences in the legal environment and account them in their translation. Sometimes the translator has to invent a name for the concepts available in the source language but unavailable in the target language.

French legal system and English legal system shares no common origin. The approach to law in France and the UK isn’t similar, either, and, as a consequence, legal terminological difficulties are likely to arise between French to English or English to French legal translations.

6. Professional Legal Translation Service Providers are trustworthy

Due to all of the challenges of legal translation, nobody wants to find a mistake in their translation.

By working with a professional legal translation service provider, you can rest assured that your legal translator has been carefully vetted. Many agencies, especially legal translation agencies, are very careful with who they employ, since they understand the sensitive nature of law and legal translation.

Moreover, legal translation agencies usually take things one step further. They add extra layers of quality assurance to make sure that there is no errors in the translation. Your translated file will be put under a fresh pair of eyes to ensure that there is no terminology misuse.

7. Professional legal translators have access to tools that improve the accuracy of the translation

Legal papers tend to be formulaic and repetitive.

Many documents tend to be written as a “form”, and there are a lot of frequently used words. Translators will encounter these words so many times when working on legal documents.

This nature makes legal translation boring and monotonous, but there is cutting-edge technology that turns this feature into an advantage.

It’s Translation Memory (TM)

Translation Memory saves frequently encountered words and suggests the meaning of those words to the translator.

The translator can choose to use that meaning or re-translate it completely, depending on the context.

The more translation projects put into the Translation Memory, the bigger the terminology database. And the bigger the database, the faster and more accurate the translator can be.

That also means experienced translators and established translation agencies will have a bigger database, allowing them to offer better translations for their clients.

Most legal advisory service providers also offer legal translation, yet many of them don’t have a Translation Memory, which can be a competitive disadvantage compared to legal translation agencies that specialize in Legal Translation.

Want to have your Legal document translated?

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8. Good Legal Translation respects confidentiality

Confidentiality is a must-have for all legal services. The information that legal translators and agencies work with is highly critical. If not properly managed, there can be disastrous consequences.

Many translation agencies employ a lot of measures to protect your privacy, including bounding translators by non-disclosure agreements, in which all translators agree that they will protect their customers’ data and content.


Legal Translation is a challenging yet fascinating branch of Translation. The translator must not only have good linguistic proficiency but also a deep understanding of the legal system in both countries to handle Legal Translation tasks.

Do you have anything to ask, or share about Legal Translation? Feel free to comment down below. We are eager to hear your thoughts!

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