Becoming a Legal Translator
There are many different avenues that you can pursue in becoming a translator. You do not have to just become a general translator if there is a specific type of translating that you are interested in doing. For example, if you are interested in law or legal subjects, then you may want to consider becoming a legal translator. A legal translator is a translator that focuses his or her attention on legal documents, legal recordings or legal speech. For example, you may translate in a court room, to assist a lawyer during depositions and other legal proceedings or you may translate legal documents or recordings.
The only people that should ever translate legal documents are professionals that specialize in legal translation. This is also true for the translation of scholarly writing. The reason for this is because if a legal document or some other important paperwork was translated incorrectly, lawsuits or a loss of money may result, putting the involved parties at risk. Attention to detail, precision and expertise are required in becoming a legal translator for this very reason and general translators should not deal with legal document translation without the specialized expertise and education.
There are certain things that you are going to want to keep in mind when it comes to becoming a legal translator and translating texts within the law field. The legal system for the source text will be structured in a manner that suits the individual culture, and is therefore reflected in legal language. The text should be read and translated by someone that is familiar with not only the law, but also the culture from which the legal document originated. This is necessary in ensuring the creation of precise correspondence, which is vitally important in legal translations as well as courtroom translations.
There are many different types of legal documents that you may translate including property labels, exhibit labels, and litigation documents, certificates of accuracy, depositions, trusts, and articles of incorporation. These documents may also include immigration documents and witness statements. Translators for legal texts may need to consult law dictionaries, especially when it comes to bilingual law dictionaries. Care must absolutely be taken in doing this, as not every bilingual law dictionary is of the highest quality, and so mistranslation may result. Becoming a legal translator is a wise career path if you have a penchant for legal writing or other aspects of law.
-By Adriana Tassini
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