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Understanding Legal Document Translation

Cases involving parties from different countries whose national languages differ, require translation of legal documents. Translation is effected to ensure that all parties understand rulings, court proceedings and orders. For easier understanding of legal documents, courts are obliged to accept documents compiled in their countries’ native language. Therefore, legal document translation is mandatory when presenting language contradicting cases in any law court.

Legal document translation is compulsory when a legally binding or official document needs to be presented in a foreign country. For translated documents to retain their legal status in foreign jurisdictions, they must be translated in accordance to set procedures. Translated documents must adopt the legal terminologies, structure and syntax applied by the foreign target courts. To ensure quality and accuracy, all translated documents must be certified by country specific legal translators. The most common reasons for document translation are;

– A business agreement to build a factory on foreign soil.
– Assigning employees duties that should be executed across national borders.
– Business disagreements that must be resolved in courts across national borders.
– Patent application in another country.
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Quality control procedures
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All courts despites their location follow strict and rigorous standards that leave no room for inaccurate data when dealing with legally translated documents.
Validate accuracy through;

– Verifying that your document is compiled using the terminologies, format, and syntax acceptable at the foreign law court.
– Confirming that your documents are free of any linguistic and syntax errors.
– Having your documents notarized under your target country’s legal requirements.

Issues associated with unprofessional document translation

Language barriers have for long been associated with incorrect legal interpretations and undesirable legal outcomes. Poorly translated legal documents are the cause of indecorous and sometimes unfair legal conclusions. According to legal systems, poorly written legal documents depict the lack of seriousness and commitment among the involved parties. Poorly translated documents are mainly a result of hiring unqualified translators or a team that is unfamiliar with the legalese of your specific legal translation requirements. Crucial cases are lost simply because parties fail to work with professional and certified legal translators due to cost barriers.


Legal document translation is a highly engaging and demanding job that should only be granted to experienced translators. Every jurisdiction has exclusive law and rules that are based on its culture and local beliefs. Therefore, legal document translation requires mastery of jurisdiction specific lingo. Hence, the need to work with established legal translation service providers who hire native, professional, experienced and certified translators who understand the law. Translated documents that are legally binding in courts are put together by experts who proof-read, recheck and perfect the documents before presenting them before a court of law.