As our society grows more diverse, so too does our need to adapt to it. Law firms and other legal services around the world have a growing need to translate a larger volume of documents in a more varied selection of languages. If a legal practice cannot successfully translate a language, then either they cannot take the client, or worse, they cannot execute a case to the best of their abilities.
A modern legal practice needs to have a professional translation service that they trust, one they can rely on to give accurate and precise translations with a quick and efficient turnaround. In many nations, including the United States, there are no official certifications for the myriad of possible languages that may need to be translated. It is on the legal practitioners to find an experienced translation team that can present the information accurately across any possible cultural and linguistic boundaries. We will cover what you should look for in a translation service shortly.
Legal translation services can, and often do, include everything from basic document translation to transcription and judicial interpretation. Many specialists spend decades focusing on these matters while on the staff of major translation service companies.
Trust is Key in Legal Translations
Few translations services can meet the demands of the legal world, but the ones that do are worth their weight in gold. The value of an excellent translation service is easy to see when you consider the broader field of clients and possibilities that they open up to legal practices.
When looking for a translation service capable of handling the demands of legal documentation, you want to ensure that they have a quality-control system that includes a multiple reviewer process and is done by translators with experience in legal or specialized nomenclature. Also, ensure that the translation service can submit documents that meet the requirements for legal procedures.
While the United States government does not certify translators the same way a country like Argentina does, there are still third-party organizations like the American Translators Association (ATA) that certify and judge the quality of translators. Many legal practices recommend utilizing the ATA for their many years of quality evaluation and the ethical standards they hold members to.
At the same time, the ATA only certifies a limited number of languages. In the cases of languages that are less common, a legal practice will still need to rely on a translation agency with whom they have built trust.
Languages and Law Firms
While the need to communicate with clients in a language they are comfortable with is evident, there are many moments in the day to day operations of managing a case that can also require translation services. Electronic discovery in foreign languages, document reviews, and the creation of accurate evidence filings may all require the services of a professional translator.
Every legal professional knows that even small mistakes when dealing with these documents can have dramatic repercussions. Words make and break the legal process, and a legal practice must invest in translation services to ensure the exact words they choose are being translated correctly. Many times high-level translators will also be able to let you know when a particular phrase may not be applicable in another language or culture.
In some cases, litigation from small word choice mistakes can last years. The costs and staff-hours expended due to these mistakes are but a fraction of what it costs to get it right at the outset.
In the end, no matter what form of communication needs to breach a language barrier, a legal practice must know who they can turn to — waiting until the need is crucial and being forced to use a service with minimal vetting is a recipe for disaster.