Legal is a subject that is extremely particular about accuracy and strictness since it is a benchmark and regulation for people’s daily behavior. As for legal translation, there is no doubt that it is required to transfer the original meaning precisely and completely; otherwise, many unnecessary disputes arise.
How to translate legal documents exactly?
CCJK has a professional team for legal translation. Those translators are very skilled with adequate experience. During the past 10 years, millions of words have been translated. And favorable comments are great in numbers. After so many years’ accumulation, lots of useful criteria are made in CCJK to ensure quality. The following are some important matters which CCJK translators always pay extra attention to. And I would like to share it with you.
1. Never take the words literally.
Legal materials are usually highly professional. Some terminologies have their special meaning. If translators just interpret the meaning literally without careful research and real understanding, they will make a laughingstock of themselves. For example, “act in bad faith” and “act in good faith” are translated into the meaning of “do something dishonestly” and “do something honestly”; in fact, the exact meaning is “do something with good intentions” and “do something with bad intentions”. Hence we can see that catching the meaning of words literally from the text will make some mistakes; it is what an outsider does. Be professional and strain the real meaning when translating legal documents!
2. Never mingle concepts.
Legal is a very precise subject. If the terminology is misused, it will confuse people. If the problem is not serious, it may just give the clients the impression of being inexact; if it’s a serious one, it may cause disputes and damage the legal interest of the clients. Many words seem to have no difference from each other in outsiders’ view, but for legal translation, a slight difference of the meaning will cause a huge difference in the result. So be careful about concept usage.
3. Never change the scope of the meaning at will.
This one is easy to understand. A certain legal is applied to specific people. Never enlarge or narrow the scope as you please.
4. Never use a new word when there is an old one exists.
Compared with translation for another subject, legal translation is not a creative one that translators can express freely without the regulation of terminology. If a fixed term has existed for some description, make sure to use it when translating. There is no need to create a new one unless the existed word is not fully suitable.
5. Never use rare words instead of common ones.
Whenever there is common usage, apply it and never choose the rare one.
The above is some important matters which we think are very important for legal translation. To avoid these serious mistakes, at first, one should have a legal dictionary such as Oxford Law Dictionary. Once you meet something confused or unsure, you can look into it; you can also search the meaning on the Internet. Second, one should have some basic knowledge of legal so that we can catch the meaning deeply. Third, one should read more English passages to know more about the legal abroad and enlarge vocabulary. At last, read some excellent translation works.
As I have mentioned before, CCJK is specialized in legal translation such as law, contact, merge & acquisitions, patents and trademarks, copyright and other legal subject fields.
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Therefore, any needs or concerns for legal translation, do not hesitate to contact us. Surely we will provide excellent service with good quality and competitive price.
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