Lack of transparency can, for example, lead to costly misunderstandings about a contract, which leads to avoidable lawsuits. Legal translations are therefore usually carried out by specialized legal translators. Conflicts over the legal effect of a translation can be avoided by declaring that the text is “authentic”, i.e. legally valid on its own terms, or that it is simply a “convenience translation”, which is not legally valid in itself. The courts apply only authentic texts and do not rely on “convenience translations” to rule on litigants` rights and obligations. In addition to terminological gaps (lexical gaps), textual conventions in the source language are often culture-dependent and may not correspond to the conventions of the target culture (see e.g. Nielsen 2010). Language structures, which are often found in the source language, may not have direct equivalent structures in the target language. The translator must therefore be guided by certain standards of linguistic, social and cultural equivalence between the language (ST) used in the source text in order to produce a text (TT) in the target language. These standards correspond to a variety of different principles, which are defined in translation theory as different approaches to translation.
Each of the standards establishes a certain priority among the ST elements that should be kept in TT. For example, according to the functional approach, translators try to find target language structures with the same functions as in the source language, so that the functionality of a text fragment in ST is valued more than, for example, the meaning of certain words in ST and the order in which they appear there. In addition, legal translation is very different from regular document translation. Let`s see how it differs. Legal documents can be divided into normative and descriptive texts, as well as hybrid texts, which contain both functions. The target text has legal effects. The function of a document does not depend on its intrinsic nature, but on the communicative situation. When it comes to international treaties, ambiguity can be a diplomatic tactic. In literary translation, ambiguity is not necessarily considered a defect.
In order to produce a quality legal translation, translators must avoid interpreting ambiguities. Legal translation is the field of translation that converts legal documents and materials from one language to another, respecting the original meaning. This type of translation consists of a procedure that takes into account the legal context. Among the various documents that can be translated in the legal context, the following are the following: One of the biggest differences from legal translation is the use of legal terms. Most people know that legal documents contain strange words. These words will be commonplace for everyone in the legal system, and anyone working on translating legal documents must at least recognize every legal term used. Ideally, they also know the legal definition of terms to ensure that the final translation is correct. Legal translation is simply the translation of everything that is used in the legal system.
This means that you must prepare all legal texts, legal documents or other files that may be necessary for legal decisions or other legal purposes. Technical translations are another area of expertise within translation services. In order to give a correct translation of a technical text, there are more specific terms that a translator must know, usually terms that relate to the field of the document, be it engineering, chemistry, medicine or another discipline. Technical translations are similar to legal translations, but the knowledge required is different. Now that we know what makes legal translation different, we can look at what a legal translator needs to know. The language of law, such as politics, ethics, and metaphysics exist in the field of rhetoric, is based on natural language. This leads to many ambiguities that can lead to problems in the interpretation of the legal content. Most legal texts are accurate and technical and attempt to define legally binding rights and obligations precisely. Therefore, it is essential that these rights and obligations are exactly aligned in the source text and in the translation. In addition to accurately understanding and translating the legal rights and obligations established in the translated text, legal translators must also take into account the legal system of the source text (ST) and the legal system of the target text (TT), which can be very different from each other.  This is a challenge because it requires the translator to have in-depth legal knowledge as well as the different legal systems that may exist in a language.  Examples of different legal systems are, for example, Anglo-American common law, Islamic law or customary law.
Legal translators often consult specialized bilingual or multilingual legal dictionaries. Caution should be exercised as some bilingual legal dictionaries are of poor quality and their use can lead to translation errors. Bilingual legal dictionaries are usually a reference source for interpretation rather than a source for literal equivalent translations of legal terminology. Translating legal texts from one language to another becomes a challenge for lawyers, as there is a certain freedom to translate texts that retain meaning and do not necessarily retain an equivalent semantic structure. There is also debate among experts either to limit legal language to the target text for professional use, or to expand legal language to public use and understanding, particularly in societies with bilingual legal systems.  The methods and principles of legal translation are not those that can be used for most other types of translations. More than in other areas, precision and attention to detail are crucial: each word must be analyzed alone and as part of the sentence and text. Repetitions and the form of the document must be respected, as they may have legal significance. For example, it is important to pay attention to capitalization models, which often refer to ad hoc defined terms.
According to research by Malcolm Harvey (2002), legal translation has four characteristics. As mentioned earlier, translating legal documents requires a lot of clarification. However, legal translation is not only different from regular translation, as the focus is on accuracy and certification. There are other differences that not everyone in the translation industry is aware of. Another difference is in style and tone. Legal translators must ensure that translations are used in a good passive voice for the legal field of a foreign country. Literary translation is a field where the focus is much more on the flow and feel of a text. This often means that the text is contained in an active voice and not in the passive voice of legal translations. Although they can be of similar complexity, legal translations and law-based academic writings have much more specialized terminology and need to be presented in a certain way. It is fundamental that law firms can be sure that the result is accurate and faithful to the original.
The translation team must be familiar with the country`s business and legal practices. Otherwise, inaccurate information can lead to a major misunderstanding. For this reason, it is always recommended to work with translators who translate into their native language. Translation theory is useful for any translator to ensure that they produce an accurate translation. This means knowing how best to translate things from a source language to a target language, including dealing with unique characteristics of the language or aspects of translation that depend on culture. Legal translation is a field that many people have heard of, but few people know exactly what it is and what it is. Let`s take a look at what distinguishes legal translations from regular translations. A legal translator must have a good command of the source and target languages. As a rule, the target language is their mother tongue, while they must be fluent in the source language. You should also be familiar with all the legal language used for legal issues. Countries have different ways of formatting their legal documents. When translating a document, the same formatting is used as for the original.
However, if there are differences between countries or language, the formatting should also be adjusted. While the legal system obviously has a lot to do with the criminal system, there are other uses for legal translations. Much of the work associated with legal translation services focuses on civil cases, proof of identity, contracts, etc. In addition to text translation, legal translation can also include the transcription and translation of audio or video files, such as witness statements, court recordings or CCTV footage. As with any type of translation, legal translation involves transforming documents from one source language to another target language. But there are some peculiarities of this type of translation. Legal translation lies at the intersection of three fields of research—legal theory, linguistic theory, and translation theory—that are fundamentally indeterminate, largely due to their dependence on natural language (Joseph 1995:14).