5 Things Everyone Should Know About Legal Translation

by Sheron M. Author

The process of transposing a legal document from one language to another, keeping in mind the judicial and linguistic specificities of the target region, is known as legal translation. Unlike most translation types wherein we can witness a word-to-word conversion of the content, translating a legal text is an intricate process that requires the translator to be patient, experienced, and possess intense subject-matter expertise on law and linguistics. Dynamism is a crucial pillar of legal translation services as law, itself, is erratic and unstable. As such, constant revisions and regular familiarization with new concepts are a part of the domain. 

Interesting Facts about Translating a Legal Document

  1. Some of the most commonly translated legal documents are Intellectual property translations, legal market research, contracts, licenses, and wills.

  1. Legal translators convert not only the language of a legal document but also the legal systems. Therefore, it is fundamental for them to have in-depth knowledge about the socio-cultural norms of the target region.

  1. Some experts believe that the increasing precedence of European law and International law will lead to the standardization of law in the future.

  1. Some of the must-have qualities in a legal translator are professionalism, flexibility, diligence, knowledge of law and languages, research skills, and certification.

  1. Four aspects characterize legal translation: the nature of the legal discourse, a system-bound discipline, fidelity, and ambiguity and interpretation. (Malcolm Harvey, 2002)

  • The nature of legal discourse implies that legal documents are bifurcated into descriptive, prescriptive, and hybrid texts. The target text has no inherent or abstract foundation; instead, it is the communicative situation that reigns supreme while translating.

  • A system-bound discipline illustrates that legal translators must curate equivalent culture-specific terminologies as the law is, usually, marked by national and regional uniqueness.

  • Fidelity in legal translation can be grasped as attaining an equivalent influence on the target reader, which may justify critical alterations to the original text to revere the stylized conventions of the target region. (Sparer 1979, Covacs 1982) Therefore, the legal translator is not just a bilingual typist but a text producer with an agency.

  • Lastly, ambiguity and interpretation mean that the language of law exists within the realm of rhetoric and relies on natural language. In simple terms, translating a legal text is fraught with ambiguities that the perseverance of the translator can only mar.

As such, legal translation services are profoundly unique that necessitate a high level of specialization.

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About Sheron M. Advanced   Author

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Joined APSense since, July 22nd, 2020, From Goa, India.

Created on Jun 18th 2021 23:54. Viewed 175 times.


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