Peculiarities of translation of legal documentation

Peculiarities of translation of legal documentation

Translation of legal documentation helps people living in different countries and speaking different languages to exchange legal information. Law is usually closely connected with the socio-political and cultural peculiarities of a country. So translation of such documentation is a quite difficult task: a translator is obliged not only to convey the content accurately and carefully, but also to bear the meaning of specific legal formulations, cliches, terms.

Translation of legal texts is traditionally considered among professional translators as one of the most complicated type of translation, as it requires in-depth knowledge in the legal fields such as civil law, criminal law and criminal procedure, copyright, labour, family and other areas of law because legal translations are not allowed to be ambiguous and inaccurate.

Let's start with the fact that law is not a monolithic area of human activity, it allocates (in alphabetical order) copyright, agrarian law, administrative law, administrative procedure law, arbitration law, banking law, water law, air law, mining law, civil law and a few dozen other branches.

For a high-quality translation of legal texts, the translator must have not only sufficient knowledge of the law, but also have sufficient experience in working with such documentation. An obvious problem with the translation of legal texts is that the terminology reflects the peculiarities of the legal system of a particular country. As an example, when translating legal documents from Spanish, one often has to face a reference to the conclusion of a contract with oneself (contrato consigo mismo), which confuses many translators, not only in Russia, but also in English-speaking countries, as such a situation is impossible in the law of their countries.

The erroneous use of vocabulary in legal translation can lead to serious consequences. Thus, for example, in a contract, agreement or other legal text written in English would probably contain outdated adverbs: hereafter/hereinafter, hereby, herein, therein, thereto, wherein and etc. Their correct use in the translation of legal documents into English and the ability to accurately convey the meaning and significance of such vocabulary in the translation of legal documents from English, and not to the detriment of clarity of conveyance of the meaning of the text being translated are mandatory for a professional translator. However, even within each national system, lawyers develop a specific language and style that is complicated to understand not only for a lawyer or translator from another country, but also for an ordinary person living in a given “jurisdiction”. Not everyone, so to speak, an Italian, understanding how much difficult and complicated the system of appeals and legal terms is in his native language, will dare to write a business letter without a notary help. During the translation of legal documents from and into Russian, an extra attention should be paid to abbreviations, specific phrase constructions and words of arts. When you translate a legal documentation every detail is very important. As an experience shows a translator who is not familiar with the law can hardly perform such task at a high level. Translations of legal documents often require proofreading, as such documentation may contain many schemes, illustrations, tables, and translations of legal texts must be identical to the original.

Let us mention the most popular types of legal translation in the market today.

- translation of constitutional documents;

- translation of foreign and Russian legislative acts;

- translation of EU documentation and documents of some international organizations (sometimes it is difficult to translate them due to the fact that some documents are written by non-native speaker authors and it makes it more complicated to understand);

- translation of commercial treaties and contracts (most commonly such translation has to be done as soon and correctly as possible);

- translation of abstracts from a commercial register, most commonly, with the apostille;

- translation of documents and blank forms (copy of a passport, certificate of a higher education, driving license, customs declarations and etc.) which requires, principally, accuracy in the translation of factual information.

The main peculiarity of all above-mentioned documents is a strict adherence to the form (completion of a document, details, presentation of information in a correct sequence order). All mistakes made in a translation of legal documents are very expensive for a client.

Source: https://ideatranslate.ru/ru

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