Legal matters can be a minefield in any circumstances and accuracy is paramount. It goes without saying therefore that Legal translation requires diligence and absolute adherence to detail. Remember, when you are dealing with legal translation you are interacting within a two way system with differing legal systems.
When considering legal translation it is essential to fully understand the legal system of the target language. This means you don't just need a basic knowledge of the legal system, you must ensure that you have an understanding of the history that forms the basis for the current legal regulations of the law relating to the target language and, indeed, the legal language itself.
Before embarking on the legal translation of documentation, contracts etc in your target language, if you don't have an academic knowledge of the law yourself, you must ensure to engage the services of a legal expert to unravel intricacies of the finer detail in your own language and in that of the target language.
One of the most difficult areas is posed by the translation of a legal term which does not exist in your target language. This is particularly important where your legal expert comes in if you don't have that expertise yourself. If you are of the view that legal translation in itself is a straightforward task and overlook the finer details as mentioned above with specific legal terms, then you could end up losing money and possibly cause damage to your business. It is always important to lay your cost out with this in mind before undertaking the legal translation. Rather than to try to find an appropriate term to adapt to your target language from your source language it is better to break down the specifics and reach a solution by way of creative explanation that fits yours and the target language expectations and understanding.
It is crucial to bear in mind throughout the process of legal translation that any mistranslation or misunderstanding no matter how minor, of a legal document can have disastrous consequences upon your business. It is therefore prudent to ensure that you have the necessary legal knowledge available in both the source language and the target language and to make sure of good proof reading before documents, contracts, certificates etc are sent out.