The need for legal translation may arise in a variety of contexts.
But when the document in question is an important legal document pertaining to a case with international reach, accuracy is of the highest importance.
In addition to client dissatisfaction, legal translations of poor quality could result in more serious consequences.
Two recent examples have highlighted the need for professional legal translation services:
Inaccurate Healthcare Website Translation Alienates Users
The Spanish language version of the HealthCare.gov website has become the subject of scrutiny by both the media and language experts for its poor translations, prompting speculation that it might have been the product of a machine translation.
Apart from negatively impacting the program’s credibility, it has also alienated the country’s Latino population. According to experts, much of the Spanish-speaking population does not understand the laws due to the quality of the translation — this is rather ironic considering that Obamacare demands strict translation requirements.
To say nothing of the cultural knowledge required to market such a huge government campaign to multiple demographics, language is an obstacle which could pose a threat to the administration’s goal of universal coverage. Recent polls have shown a decrease in approval of Obama’s performance and the policy among the Latino population.
Translations of the site’s content in other languages have also been criticized for inaccuracy, leading speakers of certain languages, including Vietnamese and Tagalog, to be misinformed about the basic provisions of the policies.
Business Deals Require Accurate Translation
Inaccurate translations can also be problematic in the business world. A recent article concerning the Australian real estate industry’s efforts to appeal to the country’s Chinese population and Chinese investors states that poor Chinese translations could present a serious challenge to business deals.
With Chinese being one of the most fundamentally different languages from English, it is also one of the most difficult to translate from or into. Inaccurate and downright incorrect translations from Chinese into English have long been a popular source of entertainment, but when a business deal or investment is at stake, it becomes a very serious matter indeed.
The possibility of prosecution because of poor translations and misleading information is a very real one. If a document is not translated carefully by a professional translation company, mistakes can be easily made. An inaccurate translation of even one word is enough to change the entire meaning of the message.
Accurate translations are required if one is dealing with Chinese contracts of any sort. Much like the provisions of health care plans in the US, simple words and phrases in a contract could lead to misunderstanding what the contract says in the source language. At best, this could lead to delays in business deals; at worst, it could lead to a deal or investment completely falling through, or even a lawsuit.
Legal Translation Requires Professionals, Not Programs
Allowing time for an accurate, thorough human translation is always the best bet. Rushed machine translations will always fail to meet expectations and standards and reflect poorly on businesses and agencies. Exercising patience for a human translation could make the difference between securing an investment and losing a deal altogether.
Translation errors can best be avoided by choosing a professional legal translation service. Because so many of these issues arise due to the use of a machine translation, even those which are human edited, simply opting for a professional translator with a knowledge base in the language will make all the difference.
When it comes to legal translations of important business transactions, investments, government policies and legal documents, it is simply not wise to take chances with language.
If you require translation services, contact the professionals at LLS for trusted legal translations.