There’s a reason we refer to the wording in legal documents as “legalese” – it can seem to be a language in it itself! Therefore, it’s no surprise that translating legal documents from English to Spanish can come with its own unique set of challenges.

Language in legal documents such as depositions, contracts, compliance documents, business agreements, and financial statements need to be accurate, or else you and your clients could end up in court for other reasons.

The sheer length and amount of documents a law office deals with makes it tempting to go with machine translations. However, depending on machine translations could lead to major errors when it comes to legal documents. Consider the following challenges associated with legal translations:

More than two languages

As previously mentioned, legal terminology is a language in itself. A machine translation simply cannot pick up on all of the nuances in a legal document. When translating a legal document from English to Spanish, a professional translator really needs to know four languages: English, English legalese, Spanish and Spanish legalese.

Culture

When dealing with global translations, it’s important to note that other countries may have a completely different legal system. The terms and processes might be similar, with striking differences. All words in legal documents are deliberate and could have different meanings depending on culture. A professional translator would take this into account and make certain to provide a document that is not only legally correct, but understandable to your client. Your Spanish-speaking clients will most certainly appreciate a translation service that understands their background.

Deadlines

Legal documents often come with strict deadlines, especially if needed in a court setting. Insufficient machine translated documents could cause delays. For example, a machine translation of a deposition might contain a grammar mistake that implies your client was at a location, instead of merely mentioning that it was close by or that he or she passed by it earlier in the day. This simple error could render the deposition useless and a complex legal process has to start over, wasting everyone’s time. A professional translator with legal experience provides timely, accurate documents, so you do not have be concerned about potential delays or ensuing legal conflicts due to poor translation.

Confidentiality

Most legal documents contain sensitive information. Are you certain that the machine translator is encrypted or is it susceptible to hacking? Did you look closely at the terms of service? Google Translate is a free and popular translation service, but the Terms of Service state:

“When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.”

These terms would clearly violate any client-lawyer agreement. Owner and head translator, Elsa Jimenez, is a Mexican attorney who understands the law and the importance of client confidentiality.You can be confident that your clients; documents are in trusted hands!

Specializations

Legal terminology is difficult in itself, but the field of law also has a slew of specializations, each with its own language. It’s important to work with a legal translator that has experience with your specialty. The experienced translators at English to Spanish Raleigh translate contracts, business documents, financial statements, discovery documents, depositions and even law office websites.

Process

English to Spanish Raleigh follows a strict process for all translations, but there are a few extra steps needed when it comes to legal documents. During the preparation process, we will note the legal specialization and deadline, which is of utmost importance with court proceedings. We will be sure to match you with a translator familiar with your specialization. During the editing and formatting phase, we will follow the source text closely and note any legal terminology that may have a different meaning when translated. Our translators are especially diligent and have experience researching these terms. It’s especially helpful that we have an attorney on staff to address complex legalese. We always have a different translator proof the work to steer clear of any bias the original translator might have to his or her own work. We will be sure to match a proofreader that matches your specialty to ensure the utmost accuracy.

Small errors in English to Spanish legal translations can cause big problems. At English to Spanish Raleigh, we prioritize legal expertise and understand that a simple literal translation is nowhere near sufficient when it comes to these complex documents. When partnering with a legal translation service, the competencies you should look for include English and Spanish fluency, legal expertise and experience.

Need help translating legal documents?

English to Spanish Raleigh is owned and operated by a Mexican attorney who understand the law and the importance of accurate legal documents. Our specialized translating team can help you translate important legal documents to Spanish timely and accurately so that your clients can be confident in your legal services. Call us at 919-995-2986 or request a quote online today!

Elsa Jimenez is a native Spanish speaker who was born and raised in a Hispanic country. She is an accomplished lawyer and translator who has been living and working in the U.S. for many years and is also a member of the American Translators Association.

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