Navigating the world of legal translation - what you should look out for

Navigating the world of legal translation - what you should look out for

In an evermore globalised world, legal translation has become critical in ensuring effective communication across borders. The process of legal translation requires a high level of expertise and accuracy in translating legal documents, contracts, and other legal materials. However, with so many translation and certification options available, navigating the world of legal translation can be overwhelming.

Choosing the right certification is vital in ensuring quality, accuracy, and compliance with legal requirements. If you are a legal professional seeking certified legal translation services, this guide will help you make an informed decision and ensure your legal documents are accurately translated.

What is legal translation, and why is it important?

Legal translation involves translating various documents, from commercial contracts and marriage certificates to witness statements and court documents across many different practice areas, from one language into another. It is extremely important because it allows legal documents to be understood by people who speak different languages, thus facilitating international trade, legal proceedings, and other international interactions.

Each of these documents has its own legal terms and phrasing, known as 'legalese', which can be difficult to understand even for native speakers. Therefore, it is important to work with a legal translator with expertise in the specific area of law and who can accurately translate legal concepts from one language to another. 

Consequences of inaccurate legal translation

The consequences of inaccurate legal translation can be severe, including financial penalties, legal disputes, and even criminal charges. Therefore, working with a certified legal translator with the necessary training and expertise is essential to ensure accurate and reliable legal translations.

Choosing the right legal translation provider is important to ensure your documents are accurately translated and comply with all legal requirements. By considering factors such as accreditation, language pairs, specialisation, reputation, and cost, you can make an informed decision and choose a certification that meets your business needs.

Legal translation is a complex and specialised field, and choosing the right certification is essential in ensuring accurate and reliable translations. By researching and choosing the right certification for your business needs, be it sworn, official, certified, or notarised, you can ensure that your legal documents are accurately translated and that your international interactions are conducted smoothly and successfully.

ISO Certification for legal translation

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an internationally recognised standard for translation services. The ISO 17100 certification sets standards for the quality and professionalism of legal translation services and requires certified translators to undergo specialised training and testing.

ISO 17100 certification covers all areas of legal translation, including contracts, patents, trademarks, and court documents. It also requires certified translators to have expertise in the specific area of law for which they are translating.

Choosing an ISO-certified legal translation provider ensures that you are working with a professional whose translations are accurate and of the highest quality.

The benefits of choosing a certified legal translator

Working with a legal translation provider which is a member of a professional industry body and has achieved industry standard certification, such as ISO 17100, benefits businesses and individuals who require legal translation services. Some of the key benefits of choosing a properly qualified and certified legal translation provider include:

Quality and accuracy

Certified legal translation providers have undergone training and testing to ensure they have the skills and expertise to translate legal documents accurately. They are familiar with the legal terminology and jargon used in different languages and can ensure that the translated documents are accurate, of the highest quality, and are able to provider certification of such.

Compliance with legal requirements

Legal translation is often required for legal proceedings, contracts, and other legal documents. Working with a certified legal translator ensures your translations comply with legal requirements and are recognised by courts and other legal institutions.


Legal documents often contain sensitive and confidential information. Professional codes of ethics bind certified legal translators to maintain the confidentiality of their clients' data.


Although certified legal translation services might be of higher cost, they are often more cost-effective in the long run. Accurate translations can prevent legal disputes, reduce the risk of financial penalties, and ensure compliance with legal requirements.

If you have a translation need, get in touch with our team at today!