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The Importance of Accuracy in Technical and Legal Translation

What can an experienced or expert translator bring to the table? Some translators specialize in transcreation or adapting creative content. On the opposite end of the translation spectrum, however, is technical and legal translation. In these fields, accuracy is paramount. Here’s a look at why accuracy is so important in these fields.

It Can Have Legal Ramifications

At the top of the list: inaccurate translation can cause a disagreement in legal readings. As you can imagine, this would not be a desirable outcome. An expert legal translator will bring an eye for detail and a careful consideration of vocabulary to the table. They’ll also have a good understanding of legal concepts, terminology, and nuance.

Legal and Technical Translation Can Involve Specific Formatting or Certification Requirements

Some documents require specific terminology and formatting to be accepted. And they must be certified translations. Some examples include the following:

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage license
  • Immigration paperwork
  • Affidavits
  • And much more

An expert translator understands the importance of detail and following specific requirements so that documents can be accepted and applies it to their craft.

In Legal and Technical Translation, the Smallest Details Matter. A Lot.

Have you heard about the 2017 court case in which a group of drivers won a $5 million settlement based on an Oxford comma – or lack thereof? A small oversight in legal or technical translation can have consequences beyond what you would expect. And it could also lead to costly legal fees. 

Sometimes, People’s Health and Safety are at Stake

Some technical translations are geared towards on-the-job workers who rely on documentation for accurate and safe instructions. Again, detail is paramount! When instructions or manuals are involved, inaccuracy is never ideal. You never want to put someone else’s health or safety at risk.

Key Takeaways

  • Legal and technical translation are two fields in which accuracy is key. Maintaining a good relationship with a legal or technical translator will help you to ensure that you’re getting the translation you need.
  • Some documents require a certified translation with specific formatting, vocabulary, and specifications. If in doubt, do your research and make sure your documents are certified when needed.
  • Inaccurate legal and technical translation can have legal ramifications you probably don’t want. Choose an expert translator in the field to avoid risking legal issues or people’s health and safety.

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