As globalisation increases and becomes more frequent – the need for a professional translator and interpreter grows. It is very important to understand the difference between the two, with one the major differences being the format – a translator has time to research and understand the text and words they are translating, whereas an interpreter would be very much expected to perform their job instantly on the spot.

Translation in Legal Settings

As legal issues are incredibly important and any ‘slip up’ can lead to cases being thrown out, many people who work in translation will find they can make for themselves a very lucrative career translating for legal services. For starters, when considering clients or witnesses giving evidence and accounts, it is imperative that the client is able to understand exactly what they are being asked by the lawyer and that they are able to give their answers accurately and with the exact meaning they intended. The law is obviously very complicated and there are many nuances and meanings that could very easily be misinterpret leading to potentially dire consequences. The role of the interpreter becomes even more complex as they must translate the messages between both parties with no bias, judgment or embellishment, making the need for trust in their role very high.

Many translators who want to work in the legal field will also need to gain a professional qualification to give them the skills they need to successfully and competently translate what is required of them, however the requirements and level of qualification do vary country to country. This is largely due to the fact that different legal terminology and situations may not exist in the client’s culture, so the translator will need to be aware of this. It is also important to note that when there is need for a translator, the role of the person doing the questioning does alter, they will need to ensure that they still speak directly to the client, and do not start talking to the interpreter only, and they must make sure they give enough time for the interpreter to convey the message and to respond.

The need for translations in the legal field can be written as well as oral, with the likes of contracts and patents needing expert translation to ensure they will stand up in a court of law should the need arise. A business that is considering introducing a product into any country must make it of paramount importance that the patent they acquire is rigorously scrutinised by a professional translator to the nth degree – as the potential earnings of moving into a new territory could be incredibly lucrative and due to the complexity of patents, any slight sign of ambiguity would mean there would be a way to find a loophole which could lead to potentially disastrous consequences for the company who acquired the patent. Because of the highly sensitive and volatile nature of patent translation there are a multitude of different companies that operate in this market and focus specifically on patent translation.