Global Lingo Blog

Legal Translations – Independent Linguists or Translation Agencies?

Legal translations are the core of multilingual communication because they allow citizens, businesses, legal and governmental institutions to communicate, despite language and cultural differences, across national borders.

We are all aware of the increasing importance of qualitative translations, especially in the legal sector. The incorrect translation of a legal document can lead to misunderstandings and frustrations – not to mention the delays and escalating costs which often follow.

Legal expertise

Legal translation is a specialised area that requires a thorough knowledge of the legal systems of both the source and target language. The phrasing used in the framework of this type of document must be rendered accurately and must under no circumstances be ambiguous, so a professional linguist in charge of a legal translation needs solid legal drafting skills.

Considering all these requirements, a professional translation agency, with a complete database of skilled translators, might be a better option than an independent linguist. A marriage certificate is different from a criminal case, which in turn is different from a corporate negotiation, and different skills are required for an accurate translation of each document. Finding an independent translator who would be a perfect match for these types of legal documents is a time consuming and difficult task. Relying on the services of a translation agency instead can prove to be more efficient, as the client’s needs can be more easily matched with the legal expertise and experience of a whole pool of translators, enduring that the final documents are as accurate as possible.

Security of information

When working on a highly sensitive document, a translation agency can organise a whole team of translators to work on the project, so that none of them ever sees the complete document. This is a basic measure that translation companies use in order to provide standards of security. Not only that, but when a team of translators work on the same document, it will be finished more rapidly. Can one independent translator do all this? It’s doubtful.

On the other hand, one translator may be preferred by a client when it is necessary to maintain a uniform tone throughout the documents. Having one linguist translating them all ensures consistency between documents. But while agencies can also assign the same translator to a regular client if required in the case that linguist becomes unavailable, they can find another one just as proficient in no time.

Quality of legal translations comes first

No matter the source of the translation, the quality of the final document is the most important thing one should consider when in need of a legal translation. Both independent linguists and translation companies can provide qualitative translated legal documents. However, trusting an agency for this kind of job is more effective, as they usually have serious recruitment criteria and, more importantly, they can find a linguist with a specific set of skills more easily. Therefore, the client benefits from a higher quality service.

To learn about our legal translation services, click here.

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