Interpreting Legal Jargon | Blog


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Interpreting Legal Jargon

Court Interpreter Brisbane

The legal profession is full of jargon that can be confusing for the layperson. Much of this serves a very specific purpose, defining actions and infractions in legal documentation according to the way that the laws are written. This can cause problems when legal arguements need to be interpreted to other languages, as interpreters who aren’t well versed in legal jargon can accidentally change the meanings of items in contracts, briefs, and other legal documents through poor translation of jargon.

In order to successfully intepret in the courts, professional interpreters who are not only familiar with legal jargon, but also are knowledgeable about equivalent phrases in other languages. This is why law offices are often picky about the translation services that they use, as only a top-notch service will be able to consistently translate legal documents and their jargon correctly.

At Translationz, we are highly specialized in providing legal translation services and are obsessed about accurate translation. We place close attention to translation of legal jargon as we understand the stakes are often high in the legal industry. Trust your translation services to a language service provider, such as Translationz. We understand that it is critical to deliver accurate translated documents per you strict deadline.

The Role of Jargon

While some jargon may seem needlessly complicated, it’s actually fairly important in the legal profession. Most jargon exists because it is specifically defined by law, so the use of that jargon has a very specific meaning in legal documents. If jargon isn’t used correctly or worded precisely, it can actually have a negative effect on how the courts view the document that the jargon appears in. This can be a major problem for translation services, as it’s easy to accidentally change the meaning of jargon while trying to translate it to another language.

Jargon Accuracy

There are two ways that jargon can be mistranslated in legal documents. A translator may try to keep the general idea of the jargon in the document but choose alternate words that flow better; in some cases, this can alter the literal meaning of the phrase and change how the court treats it. Likewise, a translator may try too hard to keep the literal definition of the jargon and ignore the fact that a jargon equivalent already exists in the language. In this case, the mistranslation comes from not using the appropriate jargon for that language. While both of these mistakes are easy to make, legal documents aren’t the place for mistakes that could alter the very meaning of the documents without meaning to.

Legal Familiarity

Choosing the right translation service, such as Translationz, helps law firms to avoid these sorts of problems. Translationz specialises in legal translation and we employ translators who are not only familiar with the role that jargon plays in documents, but also have experience in properly translating that jargon from one language to another. This familiarity prevents both of the problems mentioned above as the translators will know to be careful with how they translate jargon and will also be aware of language-specific changes to jargon phrasing.

This is why translation services like us who specialise in legal translation and who have shown time and time again that they can accurately translate even the most complicated examples of legal jargon are quite simply worth their weight in gold.

Contact us for a quote.


Karen Hodgson

Written by:
Karen Hodgson, CEO of Translationz

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