English to Spanish Translations present a challenge to legal translators. There exist in the Spanish language certain grammatical moods, idiomatic expressions, and word definitions that don’t have direct translations. In these instances, the legal translator must weigh the original intent of the speaker or writer and then choose the most appropriate phrasing in Spanish that conveys that meaning.
Types of Legal Translations
Contracts in their various incarnations make up a large chunk of translated legal documents. These include business agreements, purchase orders, licensing agreements, and even lease agreements. Business founding documents, like the articles of incorporation, LLC agreements, and the like are another group. Court documents, laws, and judicial decisions are, perhaps, the most important because a slight variance from original intent could change the meaning of the law or resolution to something opposite.
The applicable documents in this category include visas and other immigration paperwork, marriage licenses, and similar. These must be accurate because a person could be deported or married to the wrong person on paper if the translation is not correct. Passports also come under this category. No one wants to be detained in a possibly hostile country because of papers not being in order. If, for example, someone is male and is referred to in a document as “tía” instead of “tío,” the incorrect gender could cause a serious incident where someone might assume the person was attempting to impersonate someone.
These are usually business documents that outline transactions in foreign markets. They can include bills of lading, shipping documents, customs documents, warranties, and import and export declarations that are separate from customs paperwork. Incorrect translations here could result in seized goods or other disagreeable events.
International Judicial Assistance
When it comes to legal documents, they need the highest degree of accuracy in letters of rogatory and other requests for international judicial assistance. Letters of rogatory usually concern extradition, transfer of evidence, and processing documents of various types from a foreign court. An example would be an American accused of a crime in Madrid who was to be brought home to stand trial. These translations are particularly demanding because the translator must consider the cultural differences between the two countries. These kinds of advanced interpretations usually include multiple translators working together.
Problems in Legal Translation
Aside from the problems already mentioned, the chief problem with legal translations is finding a translator who is both an expert translator and well-trained scholar in both English and Spanish. Often, you might have to have three or more people working on a strict translation to ensure that it’s 100-percent correct. Another problem that arises is that multiple jurisdictions are often applicable, and with each jurisdiction, various agencies may be relevant to the discussion. Laws are different, too, and their application may be variable.
In situations where linguistic equivalents do not exist in English and Spanish, the translator, or team of translators, must craft a translator’s note that explains the nuances that cannot be translated directly. Necessarily, these notes must also be extremely accurate so that the meaning is neither lost nor misapplied.
Translators should be native speakers of the target language and fully fluent in the language that is to be translated. They must have legal translation experience and also have certification from organizations like the American Translators Association, the International Federation of Translators, or the Chartered Institute of Linguists. The Spanish Group is a long standing member of the American Translation Association which makes its legal translation service credible with maximum accuracy.
Why Should You Hire a Professional Translation Service?
Professional translation services like The Spanish Group have fully qualified translators on staff. They can work in multiple languages, so if your “simple English to Spanish” translation suddenly needs the help of a French or Russian translator for unforeseen circumstances, they can provide one instead of you having to go look for one. They also have more than one translator for any one language available for those knotty problems of cultural differences and items that don’t translate directly.
Because a Professional Translation Service has a team of translators available, they can also work swiftly without sacrificing accuracy. Based upon the details of any case associated with your required translations, that could be vital.