Worldly Translations

Learn what legal translation is and why it is so necessary

As we have seen in the various articles on this blog, the work of professional translators includes countless branches of study and specialization, such as legal translation.


Throughout our professional career, translators are faced with different texts and documents that allow us to improve ourselves in different aspects of the wide universe of modalities that coexist within the translation’s world. So much so, that teams like Worldly Translations are made up of translators specialized in medical reports, literature, marketing texts, online stores and legal translation, among many other topics that differentiate our work.

What is legal translation?

Legal translation, also known as sworn translation, is one that is responsible for rendering legal and administrative texts intelligible for dissemination in other languages (such as contracts, laws, decrees, regulations, jurisprudence, demands, marriage certificates, statutes of a company and ministerial orders, among many others). Therefore, this work must be taken with great seriousness and professional responsibility.


Why is legal translation considered very complex?

Legal translation is especially complex and requires a lot of prior information, since the professional translator must not only know the legal training terms of his or her source language but also the one to which the text is required to be translated. Therefore, a legal translator from Spanish to English – just to mention one example – must know the legal language and its specific terminologies in both languages.

But in addition, another specific complexity of this type of translations is that there are certain legal figures that differ from one country to another, a fundamental aspect to take into account so as not to generate confusion and misunderstandings that can have serious consequences. So much so, that on occasions when the legal figure does not directly exist in the target language, the professional translators are forced to explain it as if they were a lawyer themselves.


Is it enough to have studied a language to translate legal texts?

As we always say, it is not enough to master a language to be able to translate a text, even more so if it has the complexity of a legal translation in which we could say that it is not even enough to be a professional translator, but a prior investigation must also be done of legal language and have extensive professional experience in the matter.

Likewise, it is necessary to know both legal systems -the source and the destination- so as not to make mistakes in the translation that could lead to serious legal consequences. Therefore, to carry out a legal translation you must be highly trained in different aspects, taking into account that many of them even exceed the profession.


What type of documents does a specialized legal translation require?

The documents that require a legal translation are those drawn up by a legal expert -such as a judge, a lawyer, a notary, a public official or a legal advisor-, as well as financial documents that contain legal concepts that complicate their interpretation and their translation into other languages.

Some of these texts are:


  • Regulations and legislation.
  • Judicial decisions.
  • Sales and financial contracts.
  • Deeds and powers of attorney.
  • Bylaws.
  • Wills and trusts.
  • Insurance policies.
  • Documents related to industrial or intellectual property.
  • Any other legal or financial text that establishes rights, duties or obligations for one of the parties involved.


Who can be a legal or sworn translator?

This question has countless answers. However, the first essential requirement is to have studied a career in translation and be a professional translator.

Secondly, a legal translator must complement their linguistic knowledge with information on legal systems, consult reliable sources and materials, and be constantly updated on the legal language and the different existing figures.


How can I contact a professional legal or legal translator?

Worldly Translations is a translation agency with many years of experience, so we know how to respond efficiently to the needs of our clients. We have specialized translators, so we assign each job to the most appropriate person.

If you need a legal translation, contact us, we know how to help you make your legal document intelligible in other countries.

We hope you have enjoyed learning what legal or sworn translation is about and why it is so important to exercise it with experience, seriousness and responsibility. Until next time!