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Legal Translation Tips Every Global Business Needs

18 March 2022 · William Milsom

Legal Regulation contract and text saying Legal Translation

In the field of Law there is no margin for error. Unlike other industries where miscommunication causes a loss of time and profit, in Law the consequences of inaccurate information can jeopardise entire business operations or even lives. 

As more and more businesses seize the opportunity of international growth, the presence of legal translation disputes has risen exponentially.  Going global with your business can boost your market share, customer base, and revenue potential but it will inevitably come with a roll or two of red tape. 

Why do I need Legal Translation for my Business Growth? 

When approaching Market entry businesses must understand long lists of legal regulations that shift from country to country. However, the complexity of these lists isn’t the only problem, the barrier is in correctly interpreting, adhering, and completing legal documentation in a foreign language. 

It is vital your organisation overcomes this language barrier to meet the legal regulations of each country in which you operate. All legal documentation must be 100% accurate in the target language from employment law to tax obligations and contractual agreements with clients and suppliers.  One error in the accuracy of these documents can result in legal action being taken against your organisation, resulting in financial loss, a damaged reputation or even prosecution.

1) Is translating Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions a moral or legal obligation? 

The answer is both. 

All businesses require a clear privacy policy that should inform users of how their data is collected, stored, and used. Businesses have a moral obligation to translate their privacy policy for international users. 

If your business receives visitors from EU countries but fails to offer a translation of their privacy policy, under GDPR your business could be liable to legal prosecution by failing to provide ‘transparent’ or ‘intelligible’ information to users (GDPR (EU) Regulation 2016/697).

Translating your privacy policy offers legal protection by ensuring your privacy policy and terms and conditions are correctly understood and accurately interpreted worldwide. 

Private Policy Translation and Terms and Conditions Translation also acknowledges the native languages of international visitors which builds trustworthiness and reassurance for all international audiences. 

2) Protect your intellectual property

If your business creates original innovative ideas or unique new technologies, it is vital that your intellectual property rights are protected. When you consider expanding your business to new foreign markets don’t forget to translate these documents.

 If you fail to adequately translate your intellectual property documentation competitors could copy your ideas and product. However, if translated effectively your intellectual property will be protected by law, and you can take legal action against anyone who leverages your product without legitimacy.

3) Don’t rely on Machine Translation – especially not Google Translate

As we have mentioned before, machine translation has some great qualities; it is time-efficient, somewhat accurate and constantly improving. However, it needs to resolve issues with misinterpreted contextually dependent factors before it achieves parity with human translators. 

And if you take one thing from this article, let it be this: Don’t use Google Translate for legal translation! Google Translate is a great tool for basic communication and a saviour for asking for directions when lost abroad, but for a certified legal translation that requires complete accuracy, it falls very far short. 

4) Consider Cultural Sensitivities in Legal Documents 

100% accuracy is the bare minimum requirement for legal translation. The process of legal translation should also involve a careful consideration of cultural interpretation. Most cultures have unique traditions, sensitivities, and nuances, and it is important that the documentation conveys a high standard of cultural awareness.

 To meet this standard, it is important that your language service provider uses translators who not only are experts within the legal field but also native speakers of your target language. This ensures your documentation is localised to consider the cultural nuances of your target language.

5) Use a high-quality Legal Translation Provider

When dealing with Legal Translation, a Legal Translation Provider can offer the professional support needed to accurately adhere to the legal requirements of different countries, whilst offering a high level of cultural expertise. 

PAB Languages has been an established, ISO9001 Quality Management accredited provider of legal translation for over 10 years, offering multilingual legal services in over 200 languages.

Our dedicated division of Legal Translators have a minimum of 2 years’ experience in translation, localisation, and legal expertise. Our team’s expert knowledge in the field alongside their native familiarity with local culture and terminology ensures you receive the highest quality legal translations and interpretation services.

Find out more about PAB Languages Legal Services here


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