I’m pleased to be receiving a growing number of requests from legal firms asking for my specialist Italian translation and interpreting skills!
Requests for legal translation do vary, but here’s a typical one I received recently:
“As all the documents are in Italian, we are first looking to get a general overview of the content so we can ascertain those that might be relevant to the issues for disclosure in the case. We want to identify those documents which contain potentially relevant material so that we can arrange formal translations in order for us to consider each potentially relevant document in detail.”
So let’s talk about what a translator can offer your law firm, and how you can make sure your translation meets and exceeds your expectations.
What are a legal translator’s skills?
Legal document translation is a specialist skill requiring both language fluency and a secure understanding of legal terminology. It’s my job to translate Italian legal concepts and terms and then communicate them to you in plain English.
When you’re looking for a language translator, whatever the language, always choose somebody who:
- Is regulated by the Chartered Institute of Linguists or the International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters so you know they are rigorously qualified, certified and adhere to strict codes of conduct.
- Understands your area of legal specialism (corporate law, family law etc).
- Can show testimonials from law firms that demonstrate they work accurately, efficiently and quickly.
- Has a loyal client base because they have a passion for consistently excellent customer service.
- Follows strict standards of confidentiality and security, and is certified by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
A quick note here: I now offer an on-site document review service so that sensitive documents don’t need to leave your office.
What your translator needs from you!
To make sure your translation is of the quality you expect communication is key. Here are my tips:
- Be clear about what you need your translator to do. If you would only like part of a lengthy document translated, cover irrelevant pages. This saves the translator time and saves you money on unnecessary services.
- Explain how the document will be used. Is the document for information purposes only or does it need to be certified by your translator for use in court during an arbitration? Clarity ensures that the cost also meets your expectations.
- Provide a glossary of terms. Sometimes a legal term in Italian or English may have more than one equivalent term. Agree from the start which terms you wish to use.
- Explain how you would like the document formatted. Usually legal documents are presented in a monolingual format (the translated document is separate from but follows the same format as the original) or a bilingual format where the translated version and original version run side-by-side. If you have tables, graphs and images the translated text is likely to take more time to format.
- Keep your translator in the loop. Deadlines can change because court dates are postponed or additional documents are discovered that require translation. Make sure your translator is kept informed about your timeframes.
What services does a legal translator offer?
Legal translators provide the following:
- Translation of a wide range of legal documents including contracts, court resolutions, criminal and civic litigation, deeds, depositions, witness statements and more.
- Audio and video transcription.
- Certified translations. The translator signs, stamps and dates the document to state that it’s a true representation of the text. In the UK there is no ‘sworn’ system of translators like there is in many other countries so it’s particularly important to check your translator’s credentials.
- Editing, proofreading and formatting different documents types: PDFs, PT, scan copies, Excel, InDesign,Visio etc.
Why get in touch with me?
I absolutely love my job and that’s why I always go the extra mile for my clients. I can offer you:
- Over 20 years’ experience translating into English and Italian on a daily basis.
- A consistently friendly, flexible and professional service.
- A dedicated, proactive approach.
- A quick grasp of complex legal and technical concepts.
- Years of previous experience with translating legal documents
- An on-site document review service so that sensitive documents don’t need to leave your building.
For a meticulous, high-quality legal translation service contact me today to discuss how I can help you.