When handling legal cases, every detail matters. Law firms understand the crucial importance of giving meticulous attention to the particulars. However, witnesses and clients from different language and cultural backgrounds introduce a barrier that makes accuracy more challenging.
Language differences can create obstacles that complicate the process of obtaining truth or establishing a claim. Language barriers limit a law firm’s ability to articulate and comprehend necessary information.
Human translators can be helpful. But the larger the firm’s scope of operations, the more impractical it will be to hire in-person translators. This is where translation services come into the picture.
When Are Translation Services Needed?
In order to avail itself of translation services, a law firm must recognize the situations in which translation services are most needed. Consider the following translation examples:
- Oral and written testimony
- Negotiations and interviews
- Court hearings and legal trials
- Attorney-Client meetings
- Changes and updates in the legal world
When a non-English speaking client confides in his/her lawyer, it is crucial that not even one detail is lost in translation.
As much as possible, it is important to preserve both the essence of the information and the actual words used by the witness, to the greatest degree possible across cultures and contexts. The more reliable the translation services, the more consistent the oral and written statements will be.
During a court hearing, real-time conversations are dynamic and weighty. Each nonverbal cue, gesture, and inflected tone of voice can alter the meaning of what is being communicated. During these weighty and important situations, the speed and accuracy of the translation services are pushed to their limits.
Each verbal cue and conviction must be carried over to the translated statements. Any mishap can lead to a disadvantage in the proceedings.
Law firms not only deal with cases but also with processing legal documents. These files are essential for the client’s future endeavors. Here are the standard legal documents which utilize translation services:
- Legal immigration documents
- Patent, copyright, and trademark
- Contracts for overseas business transactions
- Corporate documents such as warranties
- Financial records from foreign banks
- Expanding businesses’ regulatory translations
- Claims of international fraud
Considerations When Hiring Translation Services for Legal Activities
Let’s assume that your law firm is not limited to a certain locale, but covers an entire region. Not only will you be dealing with local and regional laws, but you will also be dealing with regulations on a national and international level.
The introduction of other languages presents multiple challenges. When multiple languages are involved, the statements or documents will be at the mercy of the translation services. This is why it is crucial to make a good choice when selecting a translation service.
Before choosing a translation service, the following factors should be considered.
Since law firms frequently encounter cases involving non-English languages, it is advantageous if the firm has its own exclusive translation service.
When this is not possible, outsourcing may be the best possible route. A law firm must select a translation service provider that is readily available when needed.
- Security and Privacy
Confidentiality of legal documents is of utmost importance. Entrusting a translation service with private documents can put confidentiality at risk.
It is imperative to use a translation service that translates lawfully with no leakages of confidential information.
We all know how frustrating it is when legal proceedings are slowed down unnecessarily. It’s important that translation services do not hinder the speed of the judicial process.
Law firms need to be flexible and spontaneous, and the last thing lawyers want is to be delayed due to translation.
- Service Contract
Full-service contracts are beneficial when handling translation jobs of any scope. As mentioned, translation services are needed in a variety of legal capacities.
At certain times and in certain situations, translation tasks will suddenly be in very highly demand. When hiring a translation service, consider the service contract it provides.
The more reputable the company is, the better translation jobs you can expect. Finding a translation service by trial-and-error methods can cost law firm money and time. Instead, connect with companies that are already well known for their excellent service.
As a law firm identifies documents and tasks that require translation, it is important to be mindful of the budget as well as the quality of service.
Most translation services offer a package deal that includes all translation services and capabilities. If your law firm encounters many diverse translation demands, choosing the package deal will provide the most economical option.
Certifications are important. After all, these translation service companies will be dealing with law firms. If a translation service company cannot meet legal requirements, the translated documents lose their relevance and integrity.
How Can Translation Technologies Help Law Firms?
If you have a high need for translation, you can consider starting your own translation department. In that case, it is imperative to understand some modern translation technologies and some basic terms in the translation industry.
- Computer-Aided Translation, or CAT
This is a software-based translation tool operated by a human translator.
- Machine Translation, or MT
This is a device or process wherein translation is done automatically through computer programming. There is no need for human intervention at all.
- Translation Memory, or TM
This refers to a database containing literary pieces that are previously translated, similar to the functioning of a template. TM works with other translation technologies, such as CAT, to make the translation process faster.
- Translation Management System, or TMS
This software deals with aspects of translation that are repetitive yet non-essential. This service is analogous to the auto-suggest feature on your smartphone.
- Remote Simultaneous Interpreting, or RSI, Technology
As the name implies, this technology is both ‘remote’ and ‘simultaneous.’ It relies heavily on wireless technologies such as cloud-based platforms.
Qualified translation services are equipped with these technologies. The technologies mentioned above can handle the law firm’s demands more efficiently and accurately than human translators.
A translation service can be beneficial to a law firm that regularly deals with many non-English statements and documents.
The more reputable the translation service company is, the more assurance the firm can have in obtaining accurate results.
Unless you have a large translation need, there is no need to start your own translation department. Hiring a professional translation service provider such as Translation Boulevard will save you a lot of time and effort.