Translation of legal documents from one language into another is always a challenging task as it requires extensive experience and in-depth knowledge about the legal system of two different countries. For instance, a French to English legal translator will require understanding of English and French law in order to understand the context of the legal documents and translate them professionally. Without understanding of the laws and the legal system, it is highly likely that the translator may end up making an error. Furthermore, a legal translator is required to gain experience in the field of legal translation in order to use correct legal terminologies and deliver translations in a timely manner.

The demand for French into English legal translations has increased over the years with cross-border disputes being one of the prime reasons. For instance, a French organization after being embroiled in a legal dispute with a UK based organization will have to translate legal documents into English for legal proceeding in English courts therefore the demand for French to English legal translation has always been on the rise. Apart from cross-border disputes, any French document to be filed in an official capacity in the UK has to be translated and certified in order to be accepted.

How important is it to have good understanding of French law?

As mentioned above, the understanding of law and the legal system is the key when translating legal documents. Same case applies for a legal translator translating legal documents from French into English or vice versa. Law in general has various different branches such as public international law, corporate law, criminal law, labor law to name a few. It is imperative for legal translators to specialize in different legal areas so that they are able to translate variety of legal documents as and when required. For instance, a legal translator translating real estate related documents from French into English should have clear understanding of property law both in the UK and France in order to provide accurate translation of the documents. Without understanding of the legal system, it becomes excessively difficult to under the context of the documents and translate them with fully accuracy.

Common challenges of French to English legal translation and vice versa

With over 280 million speakers, French is second most commonly used language in the world. There 29 countries in total that use French language making it one of the most popular languages in the world. Despite French and English being similar languages, experienced translators regularly face challenges translating content from French into English and vice versa.

Multiple French Variations:

Although French is spoken in 29 different countries, every country has its own variation with noticeable difference for each. For instance, French spoken in France is different from French spoken in Canada. With differences in pronunciation being the key difference, there are other differences which include grammar and other cultural differences. For a translation company providing English into French translation services, it is always a challenge to ensure that they have right translators to cater different French variants.

Expansion of French Text:

Some languages are verbose and French is among one of those languages. In simple words, French uses more words to complete a sentence as compared to English. That being said, the content in French expands by 15% – 20% when translated from English. This poses a huge challenge for a translator if they are required to use the translation in a design or layout. Similarly, this challenge applies to copywriters in French specially if they have to translate a social media post into French and convey the same meaning as English using the character limit.

Similarity in English and French words:

There are plenty of words in English and French that appear to be similar however they have completely different meanings. The reason behind this is mainly because French evolved from Latin, which influenced English language. This resulted in English and French sharing many Latin words with different meaning. For instance, the word coin in English refers to a coin (currency) whereas in French it means corner.

With the above-mentioned challenges and numerous others, it is challenging to translate content from English into French and vice versa however by hiring a professional translation agency, these challenges can be handled by experienced translators.

Tips for ensuring accuracy when translating legal documents from French into English

The role of a professional legal translation agency is to ensure that they are ISO certified and have thorough quality assurance processes in place to deliver highest quality translations to their clients. This results in strong trust being built between a translation company and their clients. Some of the key tips for ensuring accuracy when translating legal documents from French into English are as follows:

Always hire a native speaker of the target language (English in this case).Ensure that the translator has extensive experience in translating legal documents from French into English.The translator has qualification in translation studies and has thorough understanding about legal system of both France and the UK.Ensure that the translations are proofread upon completion of the translation by an independent proofreader.

Providing translation services from French into English can be a challenging task however LingArch has decades of experience providing translations successfully to numerous clients globally. In case you are looking for a reliable provider to manage your legal translation needs, please feel free to contact us today.