Legal Translation Requirements—Why Lawyers Should Care

by | Feb 20, 2017 | Translation Services

Translating legal documents entails a level of expertise that goes beyond regular translation requirements.  Translators must not only be well-versed in legal terminology and the way the legal system functions, but be capable of depicting the precise overall meaning of the text, without so much as misinterpreting one word, as it could alter the significance of the entire article. To effectively translate legal documentation, translators should meet the following requirements.

Knowledge of the Law

Most translators do not have the knowledge required to understand the multifaceted nuances of litigation, the technical process of acquiring a trademark, or the training needed to write a criminal court procedure. It’s crucial that translators are aware of the bylaws and culture of the particular area for which the translation is intended and have in-depth knowledge of the legal system.


Delivering documents on time is just as much part of the job as translation. Legal translators must respect submission deadlines, otherwise documents may be rendered useless in court. A stringent approach to translation with regards to quality, accuracy, consistency, and time management is absolutely essential, even under the most pressurized conditions.


One misinterpreted word or phrase could cost a lawyer their case or business deal. Even the slightest paraphrase can alter the meaning of an entire document. Translators must pay close attention to:

  • Word choice
  • Syntax
  • Terminology
  • Language requirements
  • Overall grammar and punctuation

Familiarity with Legal Terminology

While a deep understanding of the language and knowledge of the subject is absolutely necessary in legal translation, having expertise in the laws and legal terminology pertinent to the subject are also important in order to achieve an accurate translation of a legal document. Additionally, translators must be chosen according to their specialty in a particular legal area, such as the following:

  • Litigation
  • Family law
  • Corporate law
  • Property law
  • Tax and accounting law
  • Patent law, etc.


Language Marketplace ensures that your legal translations and interpretations are precise and strictly confidential.  Legal documents contain private information and sensitive issues; our translators take this seriously and are always willing to sign non-disclosure agreements.

For a free quote on our legal translation and interpretation services, contact us today.