Saying Thanks to the Legal Translator and Interpreter

By Julia at Legal Language
Posted on 09/30/2011
In Legal Translation



Supreme CourtOf course, we here at Legal Language Services appreciate all of our translators and interpreters, but this week we want to give them a special thanks.

That’s because today, September 30, is International Translation Day.

The celebration was officially recognized in 1991 to promote appreciation and solidarity among the global translation community.

Translators and Globalization

Translators are vital to enabling communication among the nearly 7,000 different languages spoken around the globe. Without the services of professional linguists, leaders would not be able to communicate, scientific discoveries could not be shared and built upon, and books could not cross language boundaries. Thanks to translators and interpreters, people around the world may better preserve their cultures and share them with others.

Translators in the Legal Context

Obviously, professional translators are also critical participants in the legal process.

Legal translation is an extremely complex task. The mistranslation of a passage in a contract, for example, could lead to significant lawsuits and financial losses. Translators must take into account the legal system of the source text, the way that the legal system is reflected in the legal language, and the precise correspondence of these writings into another language.

Translators must also be acutely aware of the culture-dependent terms and their correspondence to the target culture. The translator must have a knowledge of language standards, slang, and social and cultural significance of terms in the languages in which he or she works. Without talented translators, the legal system would be less credible and dependable in multilingual cases involving diverse subjects.

A Big Thanks to Legal Interpreters, Too!

While International Translation Day specifically honors translators, Legal Language Services also wants to thank the many interpreters who help the legal process run smoothly throughout the US and around the world.

Like translators, the professional knowledge, skills, and abilities required of a court interpreter are highly complex. Spoken communication requires immediate knowledge of specialized and legal terminology, dialect and jargon, and an appreciation of nuances in meaning. The use of expert court interpreters in proceedings involving speakers of languages other than English is critical to ensure that justice is carried out fairly for defendants and other stakeholders.

Legal Interpreting Guidelines

Legal interpreting guidelines vary by state. Some states have highly regulated qualification categories designated based on an interpreter’s skills and ability, while other states do not require legal interpreters to go through a formal certification process.

Whether the linguists you use are certified or have other specialized skills, take a moment today to say show your appreciation for the translators and interpreters that help keep the legal system — and every other system! — running smoothly. Thank you.


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