Legally Binding Translations are Vitally Important

When situations become legally binding, the stakes are higher. No matter the circumstances, when something comes down to the letter of the law, the utmost accuracy is essential. This is even truer when dealing with issues across borders and cultures. Legal issues that come up in different countries often are being dealt with in at least two different languages. That is why legal translation services are at the very pinnacle of the language services industry. 

Legal translation can take many different forms. It can be wading through the legalese of contracts to facilitate a merger of two companies. It can also be trying to disseminate information from another country into a new language for students. It can also be a life or death situation if you have run afoul of the law in a foreign land. As you can see, legal document translation is an important aspect of the broader translation and interpretation business. 

Here are the five main types of legal translation that a language services firm might offer:


Summarizing is mostly used if a client needs a quick overview of what a document in another language is saying. This translation isn’t as rigorous as some of the ones further down the list because it shouldn’t be used in legally binding situations. This service is generally employed in situations where information needs to be quickly disseminated such as a last-minute business meeting.

Reviewing documents.

This area of legal translation services is best suited to situations where clients have volumes of documents in a foreign language. A client can set guidelines, such as flagging certain words or phrases. Then their translators can concentrate on finding documents that contain those words and phrases. It isn’t as thorough a review as might be needed in cases that have reams of legal documents but is effective in certain cases.

Document translation.

In legal situations, the importance of the actual act of document translation cannot be overstated. Legal document translation should include a translation team working to ensure your legal documents are flawlessly deciphered. There should be a hierarchy ensuring the best quality control. Project managers should be assigned to oversee the translation teams throughout the translation, editing, and proofreading stages.

Certified translation.

This is the pinnacle of translating legally binding documents, providing certified and sworn translations that are admissible in legal situations. Certified translations must include an affidavit or declaration from the translation service. This affidavit will swear to the authenticity of the source material as well as the accuracy of the translation. It also accounts for liability since the agency will swear to their competence in both the language of the original material and the translation. This kind of accuracy is critical in both large business dealings and in legal matters such as immigration.

Editing and proofreading.

Sometimes clients come to a language services company with content or documents that have been produced in-house or obtained from a partner working overseas. In this case, they might just need some touching up.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *