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Top 4 Issues in Legal Translation

1What happens when legal lingo, language commonly understood by the legal fraternity, is mixed with cross cultural elements? Let’s consider this instance: you’re looking for the legal translation of a document originally in English into the target language of Spanish, or vice versa.

Confusion and even mayhem can ensue, especially if the translator in question failed to translate the legal document accurately. F&L Translation and Interpretation Services deal with such clients and projects on a near daily basis. We understand the significance of accuracy, and the implications of imprecise translations.

Even the most minor errors in legal documentation can have disastrous effects for the concerned parties. Let’s take a look at the various challenges that legal translators face – and how we conquer:

Variances in Legal Systems

Each part of the world has a different legal system and since there’s no ‘best practice’ document or text that fits the majority of legal systems, translators can face ambiguity when working on such a project. The legal industry, unlike the accounting world, has in its fold different (and many) variations.

Differences in Terminologies

Another major issue that legal translators face is the terminology and usage of the legal system the professional is translating the document in. Companies have even sued independent translators and agencies due to inaccurate translation of a document in the chosen language, which is why F&L Translation and Interpretation Services takes its legal translation services seriously and provides excellent results to the client.

Syntactic Variations

The entire sentence structure can change, after even one incorrect placement of commas, colons, accents, apostrophes and other elements that are used to create the syntax of sentences. Even within the same language, moving the syntax or even minor punctuation can alter the meaning of a sentence. Imagine how much havoc is wreaked in another language?

Tone or Register

It’s important to maintain the right tone in legal documents, even in translation. This becomes a challenge most inexperienced translators, as they won’t know how to keep the legal and formal tone of the original document even after rendering an excellent job on the meaning.

Several complications can arise with inaccurate portrayal of tone or register, for example the severity of legal notices may become lost or not come through, and the tone can be altered to an informal one in the text.

Legal translation isn’t an easy business; yet, F&L Translation and Interpretation Services has extensive experience in translating legal documents and texts.


This article was written by: admin_eng