Legal Translation


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Gonzalo Ros, Ross Legal Services

According to its use and context, it is one of the most difficult fields of translation. Legal translation implies a knowledge of two legal systems which could be very different between each other. This means that generally there are no exact semantic equivalents. This means that legal translation is often very literal, precisely to avoid introducing legal figures that do not exist in the source language.

Types of legal documents:

  • Contracts or binding agreements between companies or individuals
  • Company articles of association and social statuses
  • Collective lawsuits
  • Social agreements and shareholder's meetings
  • Annual reports, audit reports
  • Patent applications and license contracts for the use of intellectual property
  • Insurance policies and expert reports
  • Powers of attorney and deeds
  • Court and arbitration proceedings
  • Claims, judgments, appeals and court orders, arbitral awards

What is the difference between sworn translation and legal translation?

Legal translation refers to the nature of the text and the type of document being translated, while  sworn translation is a translation, be it technical or legal, that holds the signature and stamp of a public authority as stipulated in the target country of the document. The confusion between sworn and legal translation comes from the fact that a high percentage of sworn documents are documents of a legal nature.