When it comes to translations, there is perhaps no more complex or important type than legal translations. Legal translations are required for interactions between law firms, corporations and even governmental bodies that operate within different national languages.
For the average person, when submitting documents to a legal body primarily operating in another language, a legal translation may be required before submitting everything from birth certificates to litigation papers.
At The Spanish Group, we receive a lot of questions regarding the need for and process of legal translations. Many people do not understand what documents are legal, which types of documents require translations (or why), and how they go about getting the types of translations that they need.
In order to help answer the most pressing of these questions, we have put together this helpful guide for you to get started. We will briefly cover the basics of legal translations, why you may get one, what makes for a good legal translator, and where you can get a legal translation for yourself.
What Is a Legal Translation?
At the most basic level, a legal translation is the translation of a legal document, such as a marriage certificate. Many government agencies require these types of translations before they will accept the original document. This makes sense, as the receiving organization will want to be able to understand what a document says before they accept it.
Legal translation seeks to render official documents into a new language so that they will be recognized as legitimate in another legal setting.
Legal translations may be needed in a variety of situations, such as in international business transactions, legal proceedings, international immigration, student transfers, and many more. This is why legal translations require translators who are extremely knowledgeable and precise in their craft. Even small mistakes can often cause a document to be delayed or outright rejected by the receiving organization.
Most legal translators need to understand the legal apparatus of both countries they are writing the documents for. This process will also often require proper formatting and certifications depending on the countries in question. Many nations have specific requirements regarding who can certify or even create a legal translation. This is where the need for Certified translations, Notarization, and Apostille comes into play.
For example, if you want to translate legal documents from Spanish into English, you will need to find a professional Spanish translator who understands the legal requirements each country has in order to properly complete the translation in question. For example, translating a document for Spain has different legal requirements than translating one for Ecuador.
How Do I Know If I Need a Legal Translation?
If you are submitting a legal document, namely one issued to you by a governing body or institution, to another institution in another country where the primary language is different, you will likely need some form of legal translation.
The most common types of legal documents include but are not limited to:
- Marriage Certificates
- Birth Certificates
- Wills and Death Certificates
- Litigation Papers
- Patent Filings.
- Formal Complaints.
- Legal Statements.
- Legal Disclaimers.
- Wills & Trusts.
- Many more!
In most cases, you will be seeking a translation because various documents were requested by a governmental, state, or educational agency and they have stated the requirements in this request.
Many people need to translate legal documents from Spanish into English, and need to find a professional Spanish translator quickly. However, they are not typically sure how to handle the process after that. This is why groups like The Spanish Group exist. We will help answer your questions and get you the exact type of legal transition work that you require.
Why Is Legal Translation Important?
As you can see, legal translations are the necessary bridge between the legal and governmental institutions around the world. Without legal translations, the processes of education, immigration, and travel around the world would be impossible without causing extreme issues. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world rely on legal translations each day to help them travel, communicate, work, and learn.
What are Important Characteristics for a Professional Legal Translator?
So, what does it take to be a good professional legal translator? Many do not understand just how complicated or challenging this job can really be or the demands put on many legal translators for extreme excellence.
A good legal translator will have qualities such as:
- Specialized and Certified
Legal translation requires experts who understand the unique ins and outs of both the legal matters in question, as well as the requirements in terms of language and certifications for the countries involved.
- Legal Formatting
Almost as important as knowing the language, is knowing the formatting for a legal document. Even tiny mistakes in formatting can cause documents to be rejected.
- Reliable and Resourceful
A good legal translator knows how important deadlines are in these matters, and they know how to answer their own questions and remove the roadblocks they may encounter.
- Experienced and Detail-oriented
All of these previous qualities don’t mean much if the translator simply doesn’t know what they are doing or is unable to ensure they are doing things correctly. The best translators have both the experience and patience for excellence.
- Value-Based and Ethical
A good legal translator understands the moral implications of their work and is able to make critical and important decisions.
A good translator is able to make changes and adapt as the situation requires them. Laws, requirements and needs change, and they will often change quickly.
Our requirements mean that The Spanish Group typically uses only the top 1% of translators working today.
Need a Professional Legal Translation?
At The Spanish Group, we are a worldwide leader in legal document translation services. We offer high-quality, accurate, and efficient translations for individuals and organizations across the globe, and we ensure that, in addition to unparalleled quality and precision, every translation you receive comes with premier customer service and guaranteed on-time delivery.