9 Tips for Translating Legal Documents

January 31, 2018

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Are you looking for some free tips for translating a legal document that is in another language? Translating from one language to another is not a cosy affair. Yes, of course, you can always find assistance on Google, which will provide an easy translation. But, seriously you are not depending on that kind of a translation. If you are doubtful, just try it and see for yourself; we bet that the results are not what you were expecting.

No one wants to mess up with something as important as a legal document. A small error and you do not know where you are heading to. Also check some of the things you need to know about how to assess translation quality.  

If the translation goes wrong, you will have to pay a huge price for it – which demands a lot of time, money and effort, while it can sometimes give rise to other legal issues for the people involved in it. 

Let us stay away from risks when working on legal document translations. So, how can you ensure that your document is free from all kinds of errors and is appropriate?

Why not hire a legal document translation service provider. It might sound to be an expensive affair, but it is recommended because it is highly trustworthy and worth your money.

Here is why you should be hiring a legal document translation service:


1. Beware of Machine Translation Software

Machine translation can lead to errors. Of course, computers can be used for translations as many have been programmed to provide translation services. But, we cannot depend on the machine translated documents as there can be major errors.

Though, you might pick Google for translation as it is being updated to provide a great and impeccable user experience, but still we cannot trust how far the translations would be accurate. You may also consider some rising Neural Machine Translation tools but there are still evolving.

So, it is a good idea to get human assistance as they have a clear idea about both the languages and can do the job perfectly well rather than a machine.

Often clients ask for an interpreter when they need a translator, and vice versa. So it is important to know how interpreter and translators are different, and what their roles are.

9 Tips for Translating Legal Documents

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2. Vocabularies and Terminologies are Important

You may use Google translate if you are unsure about a word or term in a language that is new to you. But, do not take the risk with your legal documents. Legal documents are complicated and there are many unfamiliar and technical vocabulary that it might be finding about for the first time. This is when the game gets dirty and the translation doesn’t happen accurately. Also, on the basis of the region, the translation might change the meaning entirely.

So, to sum up, another tip for translating legal document is: Do not risk using Google translate for your legal documents.

tips for translating legal documents

3. Intermediaries or Amateurs can be Harmful

You might find someone who has heard of a few words or phrases in a specific language to which the document has to be translated. But, less knowledge is as good as no knowledge at all. This person might be good at speaking the language and can easily communicate with a native speaker, but it might not be advisable to seek their assistance to get the translation of your document done.

Providing feedback on their work is always a good thing. Positive feedback is always great to receive, however dealing with translation feedback can be a bit difficult. 

They need to be familiar with all kinds of legal terminologies and vocabularies that go in the document, which is not easy for a non-experienced person to handle. Please take a note that reading and speaking are different. Someone who can speak the language well need not be able to be an expert at reading it.

Any translation,be it your passport, adoption documents, marriage certificate or birth certificate translation, here it is advisable that you hire a professional translator to translate your document.

9 Tips for Translating Legal Documents

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4. Follow Court Specific Rules

Not all courts accept documents that are not certified or authenticated by a professional. So, again, you cannot have documents that are not translated by a professional expert as the legal matters are not something that you should be taking lightly; but handle it with care.

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5. Prevent Malpractice

No one in their worst dreams wants to be sued up for malpractice as you are aware of the fact that malpractice lawsuits are highly expensive.

Apart from the money and time that you would have to invest, it is also not good for your reputation. If anything goes wrong with your translation, undoubtedly, there are all chances that you will be prosecuted.

Why take risks when you can easily hire a legal translator and get the job done neatly.

Translators connect two languages, two different cultures, and two very different people. This job is still very important and prevalent on a large scale. Here is the list of benefits of being a translator

9 Tips for Translating Legal Documents

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6. Ensure Credibility to your Document

Imagine your court case is happening in the presence of a jury, the quality of your legal document would determine whether it would make or break your case. The simple logic behind this is that anything that is credible always finds a way to the jury’s mind.

A document that has been translated by an expert is, of course, more credible than any page that you got translated using Google or someone who claims to speak that language. Also, this would be helpful in fixing errors if the language from which it is being translated is not appropriately written.

Translation must be highly accurate and true, and this can only be guaranteed if a Certified Translation Badge is provided alongside with the document, proving that the translation was made by Officially Certified Translators.

For example, here at TranslateDay we provide only Certified Translations: Documents issued by a Professional Translation Agency that provides a certificate of accuracy and completion along with the translated documents, certifying that all detailed statement is true, accurate and complete and the person who translated the document is fluent in the language that the document was translated to.

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7. Mantain clear Organization

The original document should be clearly scripted and well-organized. It should also ensure that the similar structure and style is followed through the translated document.

It is always an excellent idea to seek assistance or recommendations from the lawyers based in the target’s region or location. They can provide you with valuable advices to support the stances, including witness testimonies and government-related documents.

9. Check Country Rules and Terminology

It is imperative that you keep in mind your own country’s rules and terminologies. Specially those related to the ones that are mentioned across the document.

Another important tip is to research and find out more on where the document would be applied. Try to understand where the document will be used and how. This will help you to furnish it in line with the actual needs.

Follow the target country’s writing style when translating. This will help you avoid any kind of confusion for the reader. Any error could actually be fatal. The reverse process or redo could cost you more of your time and money.

9 Tips for Translating Legal Documents

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Translation of legal documents is not an easy process, but a daunting one. The last tip for translating legal documents that we can give you is recommend you to always seek for expert help.

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62 Comments. Leave new

Angelina Matthews
February 8, 2018 10:09 am

Amazing Article..!!!

Thank you for sharing such an good and informative stuff with us. I will surely love to share this with others.


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Legal documents are very important and precise documents to translate as a single mistake in translation can make the complete change in the document meaning. A technical translator is required, who is having a sound knowledge of legal terminologies for such type of translations. Thanks for the blog.


Great Blog!! Legal Documents translation cannot be done with the help of the tools or with Gooogle translation as they are not that much accurate as required in the case of legal documents.


I like the article


It works really well for me

Lilina Collins
June 21, 2018 7:03 am


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August 14, 2018 12:42 am

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Legal documents are very important and precise documents to translate as a single mistake in translation can make the complete change in the document meaning. A technical translator is required, who is having a sound knowledge of legal terminologies for such type of translations. Thanks for the blog.


Hi this is Ben
Thanks for the blog. This blog contains so many pieces of information and this will help for my business. Thank you for posting and guide us with your knowledge.


I would really like to thank you for sharing such an amazing content with us. The point “Machine translations can lead to errors”, this got me to the solution for getting a better translation, so always prefer human translation services rather than machine translation.


I would really thank you for sharing this informative content with us, as we all know that Legal documents are very important and precise documents. As human translation is more accurate as compared to machine translation. According to me to get Legal Documents translated always prefer a certified human translation agency.

Optimismo Pedagogico
December 1, 2018 4:37 pm

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I would really like to thank you for sharing such amazing and informative content with us. The first point of the content “Machine translations can lead to errors” really informative. We all know that machine translation are less efficient and accurate than human translation.

December 19, 2018 12:13 pm

Nice Post.


[…] Often, colloquialism is woven into formal language, making the translator’s task very difficult indeed. The larger the region where the language is spoken, the more the dialects there are likely to be, and the more colloquial words you are likely to find – except in technical documents translations, legal document translations, or translations of medical transcripts. The culture practised by the speakers of each language may also be vastly different; for example, the British are famous for their dry, biting sarcasm, which is their brand of humor. However, this kind of sarcasm may not be appreciated in not just a country speaking a different language, but even another country where they speak English. Then the problem arises as to how to translate accurately without hurting sentiments or angering the target audience. Read Tips For Translating Legal Documents. […]

Ridley Fitzgerald
January 23, 2019 10:23 pm

It’s good to know more about translating documents. I like how you said that no one wants to mess up something as big as this. You’re right, legal documents are a big deal, so I would think they need to be perfectly translated. That’s a lot of pressure!

February 4, 2019 11:10 am

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Thank you for sharing this amazing and informative article with us. The most important point in the content is ‘Ensures credibility to your document’. Yes, before presenting the document we must check and ensure the credibility.


I have read your blog its really good. My question is that which company is better providing Document Translation?

March 11, 2019 10:09 am

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Thank you so much for the post; reading your blog was very informative! I enjoyed reading and learning from your content. I agree with the points you have mentioned here. I have also read a fabulous post related to this blog and would like to share

April 10, 2019 11:47 am

All type of services available such as bankruptcy and other type of legal documents.


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May 8, 2019 7:29 am

Semantics evolution is Best Document translation service provider for all kinds of business. We translate over 150+ languages.


How to Control Common Pitfalls?
The use of untrained interpreters is the proverbial “broad path of least resistance,” resulting in many pitfalls. Ad hoc interpreters—usually friends or family—have multiple limitations.They does not know how effectively his or her message is being interpreted, which makes it easy to lose control of the interview. Nonprofessional interpreters have not received training and Accountability Act and may not be aware of the need for confidentiality. Other potential problems include unfamiliarity. The use of younger children as interpreters is especially problematic because of their limited understanding and this practice is forbidden in several states. The use of nonprofessional interpreters increases the risk of nonequivalent interpretations, leading to possible misunderstandings.Partially bilingual physicians face yet another pitfall: deciding to use their own limited language skills vs. hiring an interpreter. It is much easier to ask questions in another language than to understand the response. Overconfidence in one’s language abilities can lead to serious errors and substandard care.”


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Neha Rastogi
June 6, 2019 5:03 am

Thank you very much for sharing these translation tips, it is very helpful for any translators. love to read it, thanks for sharing!!!

July 11, 2019 7:32 am

I have read your blog..really useful information


This is very helpful information. Thank you for sharing this post!


Very helpful.


Impressive post specially the points you mentioned about the strategies could help me in my business. Some of the points were familiar to me and some of them are very fresh tips for me.
Thank you so much for sharing this post with us. I’ll follow your blog posts from today onward.
Great Job!

Charlie Bavister
September 13, 2019 12:04 pm

Great article! I feel Vocabularies and terminologies in any docuement translation is very important, also, if the translator is native speaker of the language the document is getting translated to is also very beneficial for the accuracy.

semantics evolution
October 4, 2019 9:21 am

Nice article…Keep it up

Charlie Bavister
December 31, 2019 10:38 am

Amazing blog! Thank you for covering the basics as well. The content is really helpful and a good solution to common problems.


Thank you for the valuable tips on translating a legal document. I found these point very helpful and I will take care during the document translation next time.


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