John is a workaholic, always working, giving his best to the organization that helped boost his career. An outstanding employee, his relation with his juniors and other colleagues keeps him motivated enough to do the best.
Little did he know that his workaholicism will become his downfall. Instead of hiring a translation agency as he was asked for, he thought he is good enough in Spanish, so why not translate the legal document on his own? Well, John, you don’t have to be a one-do-it-all-kind-of-a-man.
He got fired the next day. Reason? In his ambition to translate the document, he misinterpreted some crucial sentences and emailed the translated document to the clients. The client’s reaction was contrary to his expectations and they withdrew the merger.
Well, some lessons are learned a hard way.
Language is no child’s game in the legal world
Language translation is a vital phase every business has to go through. It is unavoidable. Despite his maintained work record, John was not a professional translator, let alone an experienced one. Understanding a language and to be able to translate a language are two different ends. To accommodate businesses, human translators are in high demand these days, because business just cannot stick to the home country.
With the help of the right legal translation service, a company can enter different sectors with the translated legal information in their pockets. Although English has rooted itself as the core language for most businesses around the world, some traditional insight still sticks to their native language and some keep a record in a native and foreign language as well.
Best way to opt for a translation company
At best, English is still the second language in the business world, despite of its international stature. To extract legal information, businesses usually do not rely on automated translation due to its varying quality, instead, they choose to hire professional translation companies to fulfill the requirements. But the main question is; how to be sure which legal translation service is the right one for you?
Who said doing business is easy? It’s not, now let’s keep an eye on some of the tips to remember when looking for the right translation agency;
Each translation agency has its goodwill preceding the quality work. Sometimes, your requirements are a tad bit different concerning legal terms. So you need to be sure whether the recommended translation agency is the right choice for your business or not.
Make a list of top translation agencies with good ratings and make a secondary list as well (it’s always good to have a plan B). Focus on the legal expertise and how accurate translation service do they offer. Whether they will be able to convert the legal document in the targeted language or not. With no room for error, legal documents if translated wrongly can put you in a suspicious position (nobody wants to be a John now do they?).
Have a face to face meet up and if not possible, do ask for how a translator is hired in the respective translation agency. The range of skills, accuracy, turnaround time, etc. all of that matters so be conclusive with the translation agency. A good translation agency should be able to recruit translators who can fully interpret the meaning and can re-write the legal context in the target language.
One thing to remember is each culture and language notions for a separate meaning. Go for the translation service that keenly translates the legal document and has experience in maintaining the original context in another language so that the legal terms are not disturbed.
Improvise the linguistic structure
Documents written in English if translated may not always have the same length of words or even the sentences. A context written in active voice may have to be written in passive voice in other language.
But in legal documents, passive voice is adamantly used and sentence structure is often complex. An expert legal translation services will capture these complexities while translating the legal documents. Mostly, active voice is used by translators, so do ask for a sample translation (it’s free for a specific word count) and make sure that the translation is accurate and according to the required context of the target language.
No pain no gain (time limitation)
Time is always of relevance. Sometimes you are in urgent need to translate a document. Some translation companies do claim to provide the fastest turnaround time but they fail to meet high expectations.
The ability to meet strict deadlines is a major factor to pinpoint when selecting a translation agency. The purpose and original meaning should be the foremost concern despite the restricted timeline. You can also opt for the test and trial method when before choosing the translation. The readability factor is a prime reason to keep in focus so that the reader can easily understand the meaning.
Stay calm with legal precedents
In the business world, a minute change in law or policy can overturn a business. Law is not constant, it keeps changing with time and new demands. Therefore, the translation agency must adapt its translation services accordingly. For instance, common law is practiced differently in Wales and England. A new legal case can be the reason behind a new rule, called as precedent.
It’s like a sample in keeping. These are used for interpreting a certain situation and the context of the case is later on used for similar cases, hence bringing forth a new law. For this purpose, choose a translation agency that is clear about the basic legal requirement of the country with a deep understanding of the law and how to improvise the translation specifications accordingly.
Syntax is critical
Punctuation and grammatical errors in translation are just the worst-case scenarios you can ever face. A missed comma can result in disastrous consequences for your business.
For instance; “I want to eat dad” or “I want to eat, dad”, both represent a different context with the placement of comma. Obviously, you do not want to eat your dad!
The point remains intact, similar ramifications can mean the death of your business if your translation agency is not confident in their translation services. Try to get a review of their previous project, and see if they got the context in the right way.
What to expect in the end?
Despite all the tips mentioned above, confidentiality in legal terms cannot be compromised at all. A professional legal translation agency will not cater to disclosing any important information therefore, always choose the one that covers all the discussed tips so you know you are working with the right translation company.
Let the search hunt begin!