Legal translation applies to the translation of official or private documents that are legal by nature, such as contracts, regulations, or rulings. These documents require the use of highly technical terminology that is appropriate to the level of specialisation and, to this end, it is essential to take into account specific terms and legal forms.
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These types of translations are done by legal translators who specialise in translating texts in the field of law. It's important to point out that a legal translation in itself isn't an official document. If you need an official document, you need to request a sworn translation.
Legal translators specialise in the legal field and translate into their native language. This means that as well as being a professional translator, they'll also have received academic training in law. It could be a master's degree with a legal specialism, a university degree, or another course in this area.
As with most translations, legal translation requires the translator to replace the content in the original language with the target language, resulting in a natural, native-written text.
And as we've already noted, legal translation should be done by a translator who has a specific background in law, in the two languages they're translating.
So legal translation isn't just about finding an expert linguist, but one with fitting legal knowledge too. Taking context of a legal document into account is vitally important in legal translation, given that every country has its own unique, specific legal system.
Any document drafted by a legal professional (lawyer, judge, legal adviser, etc.) requires a legal translation. In addition, certain financial documents containing legal concepts
will need to be translated by a legal translator and a financial translator.