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All You Need To Know About Spanish Legal Translation Services

soybeans November 10, 2021

The global community has come to rely more on professional translation services for many of their needs. Legal document translations are some of the most commonly requested language tutorials, and there is a high demand for accurate Spanish legal translator services in both international and local affairs.

The Spanish language is one of the official languages (and the principal language) of Spain where it is spoken by over 500 million speakers worldwide. While this accounts for around 4% of the national population, it represents an overwhelming certified translation services majority in all overseas territories—Spain boasts of having 12 out of every 22 countries worldwide with significant Hispanic communities! As rightly observed by The Guardian, while English stands tall as the undisputed global lingua franca, Spanish ranks second-best on that scale. And when even your neighbors are in agreement, you know there is something special about this language!

Spanish legal translation services are thus in much demand

To make your life easier when seeking Spanish legal translator services, here are some interesting facts that may come in handy:

The official language of the entire country of Spain is Spanish. However, each autonomous community has its own dialect which may be very different from the standard form. For example, Castilian Spanish—the dialect that is shared by all regions—is much influenced by Basque and Arabic languages with occasional French terminology thrown into the mix. Although many people living in Catalonia do speak Catalan (a linguistic cousin to Spanish), not everyone speaks it or understands it well. As such, legal document translations must be prepared in the dialect that is spoken by a majority of people. This can be checked online, at sites like Atlas Lingüístico de la Península Ibérica (atlas linguistics de la peninsula Iberica) which provides detailed information on different varieties of Spanish in Spain.

Legal documents are often complex and need to be written in a formal tone using legal terminology acquired only over years spent working in the field. Many words have different meanings when used legally than when used colloquially. Such nuances are very important for translations not only to maintain accuracy but also for them to have correct meaning. Without an understanding or specific knowledge in this area, it can impossible to convey all subtleties into the target language.

Legal documents may be used in foreign legal proceedings. In such cases, it is imperative that translation services are provided by a qualified attorney or a linguist familiar with the local laws and court system. Along with the clarity of language, legal translations should follow all rules for format and presentation as well as proper formatting—they must be correct not only grammatically but also electrically. Legal terms require specific tenses, languages, capitalization formats, etc. to convey an accurate message every time.

A competent legal translator must have knowledge of business law (to make documentation relevant), labor law (for employment contracts), civil rights (in case of criminal sentences), and international law (when dealing with multilingual societies). As you can see, even if you know how to speak and write in Spanish, getting a translation service that understands all this is not an easy thing! That is why we recommend relying on professional services for translations.

Legal document translations must involve many different languages before arriving at the final version. This requires working with translators from different backgrounds as each one will bring unique expertise and perspective to bear. For example, when translating legal documents from Spanish into English you need someone familiar with these two cultures as well as their respective legal systems—noting differences in vocabulary, idioms, business practices, etc. Although it would be easier if the person who knows both languages can conduct translation personally (and thus save time), he or she may lack understanding of legal terms that are unknown outside his/her experience.

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