Legal Translation Services

Legal translations – accurate, professional translation of your legal documents

A legal document that has been translated

We provide expert legal translation services in the following technical areas:

– Legal contract translation services

– Patent application translation services

– Court document translation services

– Company Ts and Cs

Do you need the confidence of a fast and accurate Legal Translation Services Company? Better Languages provides some of the UK’s leading brands, as well as law firms, with faithful and precise legal translations.

We are committed to the highest levels of quality. All our translations are human authored. Both our lead translators and proofreaders are fully qualified legal translators. They are also native of the target language. We have a rigorous ISO9001: UKAS Certified Quality Management System.  We provide legal translations both for use in the UK, and in many other countries.

Legal Contract Translations:

Our team can translate contracts with the source and target languages side by side, so you can compare both. We offer the impartiality you would expect of a legal translation supplied independently of the parties to the contract.

Our aim in translation is to accurately reflect the meaning of the source document. The translation is essentially an explanation of the meaning of the original document in the target language. This allows the reader to understand the intended meaning of the original text. Legal contract translations are normally very literal to the original document. This is because the prime purpose is to express the meaning of the original text.

It is important to recognise that all legal systems are different. There may not be an exact equivalent legal expression in the target language. Here we aim to express the meaning of the original document. We don’t try to convey an equivalent term or legal concept in the target language.

Even a concept as apparently straightforward as a limited company, differs between jurisdictions. Rights, requirements and obligations of companies all differ from one country to another. A legal translation does not in any way negate the need for accurate legal advice. This advice should reflect the relevant system of law.

Normally the courts of the country where an action is brought will decide whether they have jurisdiction. Even if you include an exclusion clause about the applicable system of law, a court may decide it has jurisdiction.  A statement that the source or target language takes precedence is normally a good idea, but could also be ignored. This is why you need expert legal advice.

So what can you rely on from us as a Legal Translation Company?

  • Prompt, professional legal translation services, by our specialist legal translation team.
  • Strict confidentiality. We take all reasonable and practical steps to ensure the confidentiality of your documents. They are only used for the purpose you require. Whether this is for a quote, or to undertake a legal translation assignment.
  • Translation in accordance with our ISO9001 UKAS certified Quality Management System.

Need to speak to us about a legal translation project? For a fast, efficient and accurate legal translation service, into all major languages, contact Better Languages. Call or e-mail today to discuss your requirements for legal translation.

The company specialises in high quality legal translation. This includes translation of complex business documents such as contracts, wills, court documents and patent information.

Please note that we do not translate certificates, diplomas and other qualifications for private individuals. We only work with corporate clients.

Recent jobs have included translating court documents into German and Urdu. We also translated a development contract into Congolese French. Other projects have been a financing contract from English into Mexican Spanish and Oil and Gas contracts from English into Russian.

Certified legal translation services

If your business documents require certifying, we can provide them on company headed paper, stamped and signed. Britain has no official system of approved legal translators. However, you may need to use an authorised official translator in some jurisdictions such as France and Spain.

Notarised Translation:

If you require a notary service in the UK, then we can normally arrange this. This is the process by which a professional translator swears in front of a notary that the translation is accurate. The translator has to appear in person, and will need both the original documents and the translation. It may also be necessary to get an apostille to attest the signature of the notary. Legal translation is usually both faster and cheaper without a notary service, so please ensure you need it before ordering.

To have a translation notarised, you still have the translation cost, as for any other legal translation. However, in addition you are paying for the time of the translator, the notary, and any notary administrative charges.

Selection of legal translators:

Our translators are always professionally qualified in translation. Additionally, they are also native of the target language, and are legal translation specialists. We know that companies have a wide variety of legal translation needs. We therefore match translators and proofreaders very carefully to each individual assignment. Our translators often specialise in specific areas of law.

Client confidentiality is important in all areas of our work. Legal documents can be especially sensitive. We are happy to sign non-disclosure agreements prior to starting work on an assignment. The only proviso is that they must be in accordance with British and European law.

Get in touch to discuss our legal translation services.

Contact us today by phone or e-mail to discuss your legal translation needs.

Legal Translation Services

Better Languages logo

Legal translation is an important part of our work. We are specialist legal translators, and work with assignments which vary significantly in size and complexity. Legal translation is quite different to other areas of translation. It is all about extracting the literal meaning of the source text. This can often be to the exclusion of readability. This is quite different to a marketing text, for instance. With marketing we aim to give the best rendering of the concept or idea in the target language.

Types of legal translation work we undertake include:

Translating court documents

We translate a wide variety of court documents including witness statements and other evidence.

Recorded evidence such as police interviews

Where evidence is on audio, we first need to transcribe it, unless you have a transcribed copy. The challenge for our legal translators with this type of text, is to correctly render the original. For example, how do we treat grammatical mistakes?

In many areas of translation it is our explicit job to correct grammatical errors in the source text. However, with this type of text we have to faithfully render the original testimony. So if the recording includes things like repetition, stuttering, or poor grammar, we will reflect this in the translation.

Contract Translation:

You may need us to produce a bilingual copy of a contract. We can produce this clause by clause, with the two languages side by side. The job of the translator is to faithfully reflect the original. A translation can be extremely helpful in understanding a contract written in another language. However, it is always important to remember that legal systems vary. Legal concepts are not identical country to country. A translation is not a substitute for specialist legal advice.

Official Document Translations:

These include documents such as:

  • birth certificates
  • marriage certificates
  • exam certificates
  • bank statements
  • insurance forms

We can stamp and sign translations on our headed paper, or swear them in front of notary. Please note that requirements for “certified translation” vary country to country, and between official bodies within individual countries. It is therefore really important to ascertain any specific requirements.

Our translations our accepted in many jurisdictions. However we don’t want you to have to pay twice because of some missing requirement.

Please note that when we translate a certificate of any kind, we are not authenticating it. We are simply providing an accurate translation of your text. It is extremely important that we receive the full document. Make sure you include any stamps or seals. Also include all footers and any writing on the back. An incomplete document may void the translation. This could result in the official receiving body rejecting the original document.

We will mark any illegible text as such, also we cannot change the wording in any way. This means that we won’t correct even an obvious typo, (Smiht for Smith for example). We have to reflect the typo on the translation. We may add a translator’s note as explanation.

Your foreign language certificate may include a name which transliterates with several possible spellings. Please give us your preferred spelling when you order, if this is the case.

legal translators Better Languages

Translating business legal documents

Our legal translators work with business documents such as:

  • articles and memorandum of association
  • business contracts
  • terms and conditions of business
  • website legal notices

We will translate the source text which you supply. We take responsibility for correct and accurate translation of the source document. However, you can’t normally rely on a translation for legal purposes in another country. In case of dispute, the original text will have legal force.

For example, imagine we translate your English terms and conditions of business for use on a website. If you have prepared them using UK law, a translation is really a “concession” to your reader. You, or they are  unlikely to be able to be rely on it in an overseas court. This is a complex area of law, requiring specialist legal advice.

Patent Translation:

Patents are a specific highly specialist area of translation. Our translators need both technical knowledge and specialist legal terminology. Depending on the complexity of the patent, we may need to use translators with more than one specialism. Costs may be higher than for standard translations. Receiving the correct brief for a patent translation is also really important. For example, is the translation supporting an application? Or are you opposing an application? This may affect how we undertake the work. If supporting an application, our brief is likely to be to produce a very high quality representation of the original. On the other hand, tell us if you are opposing the application. You may want us to expose every possible minor error or ambiguity of the source text.

Translation of brand names, trademarks, and copywrited material:

The normal convention is that we don’t normally translate brand names. Some brands have official translations in certain languages. You should supply these as part of a glossary of terminology if required.

The general rule with trademarks is that we will follow the source text. If the source text includes a marked trademark, we won’t translate it within the target language text. This can cause problems if the trademark is descriptive. This is because a reader of the target language won’t necessarily understand the description. One option is for us to include the trademarked phrase, and to provide a translation in brackets alongside.

If you order a translation which includes a brand name, trademark or copywrited material, you undertake that they have the right to use the material. You also bear the legal responsibility for its use, in accordance with our terms and conditions of business.

Legal translators Better Languages:

This is a brief overview and introduction to a complex subject. Talk to our legal translators, or more information can be found on our legal translation page. Legal translation assignments vary significantly in scope and scale. Therefore you won’t find online quote forms on our site. This is simply because translation needs vary significantly from one job to another. We are happy to discuss your legal translation needs, so please give us a call on 0115 9788980, or use our contact form to get in touch.


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