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The challenges of legal translation

Legal translation and general translation couldn’t be more different. Perfect equivalence between two languages is already impossible due to cultural differences, and legal translation adds further complexity. At Joseph Blain Inc. in Montreal, our professional translators provide consistent, high-quality translations, taking into account the particular considerations required for legal translation. Keep reading to learn more.


Legal translation requires a great deal of accuracy. Legal translators must know a multitude of technical terms and expressions. They must also be able to work with various sensitive documents, like contracts and certificates, where it’s imperative to preserve the structure and layout of the text.


Legal documents cannot be translated word for word because legal systems vary from country to country. Legal translators must conduct extensive research to find equivalent terms in the source and target languages. A translated word may have a different relationship to the concept it represents in the two languages. Consequently, an ability to understand the entire legal landscape is critical.


Mistranslating legal documents can have disastrous consequences. For example, certain words can have completely different legal applications in each language. Incorrectly translating a certain term can lead to confusion and misunderstandings.


Legal translators must possess impeccable translation skills, as well as in-depth knowledge and understanding of the laws in various countries. They must be able to confidently translate civil, commercial, financial and international documents.


Documents used in legal or administrative proceedings must be translated by a certified translator. Certified translators must sign and stamp their work with an official seal to verify its accuracy. However, “free” translations are equally important to get right as they can be used in some legal settings.

Legal translation is a demanding profession because of the numerous pitfalls that can negate the validity of a translated document in the target country. The specialized translators at Joseph Blain Inc. in Montreal can translate various legal documents, such as contracts, legislations and rulings, into many languages, including French, English, Spanish and German. Contact us today to take advantage of our comprehensive translation services.


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