BlogBosses BlogWhy does legal translation go wrong?

Why does legal translation go wrong?

Why does legal translation go wrong?

Incorrect legal translations cost time and money, so how do you make sure that it’s done right?

Legal translations require special attention due to the complex nature of the language being translated and the potential problems an incorrect translation may cause. There are however fairly straightforward ways to reduce the potential for errors and delays.

First and foremost, it is important to check that the translator in question is legally qualified, with a good understanding of the law in both countries concerned. This helps ensure that the original document is correctly interpreted and is translated using the right terminology for the target language.

It goes without saying that it is worth checking that the translator is who they say they are, not a scammer, as there is a growing problem with translation fraud. One way of ensuring that a translator is a professional is to look online to check their credentials and to actively follow up any references.

Secondly, it is important to check if the document needs to be legally certified, that this is done correctly by the right people and that you have allowed sufficient time for your translation to be delivered. Certification can take an extra few days which is not always allowed for.

Lastly, it is a good idea to supply any reference material that may be related to the document, so that the translator can get a good understanding of the context.     

At MTT we always try to select the best possible translator for the job in question. Our database has a wealth of legally qualified mother-tongue experts with in-depth knowledge of various fields of law. We can also arrange proofreading of translated documents by a second qualified linguist if needed.

We are also happy to help you determine what certification your translation will need (if any) and the best way to arrange this.

Legal translation can be a complicated area – with years of experience, we are ideally placed to guide you to the best solution. If you have an enquiry about legal translation work, please get in touch on 0844 856 1086 or email


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