It may sometimes seem that a term in one language has a precise equivalent in another. However, words often have a broader or narrower meaning in another language. This is the main challenge of legal translation.
As with financial or technical translations, it is essential that legal translations are absolutely accurate. QuickSilver’s team of specialised translators ensure that the translation of your legal documents is totally faithful. We also ensure that legal terminology is rendered into the precise equivalent in the target language.
This applies to:
- Official recognition of academic certificates
- Naturalisation proceedings
- Residents’ permits
- Powers of attorney
- Minutes of meetings
- Letters of intent and memoranda
- Financial information
Key issues to be aware of in legal translation
Different legal and corporate systems
There are many accepted terms and norms within the legal profession, and these must be translated faithfully. For example, the Polish term spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością is usually translated as a limited liability company, which is a more or less direct translation of the original. The problem is that within US law, the closest equivalent (conceptually speaking) would be private corporation.
Language variants or locales
Another key issue is variation within a given language. When translating into English, for example, will your audience be in the UK, USA or Australia? If it’s the UK, is that Scotland or England? All of these countries have distinct legal systems. But they often use the same terminology to designate different, or only partially overlapping concepts.
Likewise, the different varieties of Spanish use legal terms in different ways. In peninsular Spanish, jurisprudencia means legal philosophy (in other words, it is a cognate of the English jurisprudence). But in Mexico jurisprudencia refers specifically to the event of the Mexican Supreme Court resolving a case in the same way five times; thus establishing a binding legal precedent.
Not being aware of issues such as these leads to, at best, confusion or, at worst grave misunderstandings.
QuickSilver also offers a sworn translation service. A sworn translation is a translation of document which, in order to be legally valid in the target language, must have been translated by an officially accredited translator. QuickSilver works with a number of certified sworn translators to provide this service (10 pages minimum). Click here for more information.