If you are asking whether you need legal document translation software, then you probably do. The importance of having the highest quality legal translation should be obvious—a bad translation, even a typo, could have ruinous consequences for your organization. Civil suits, unintended obligations, fines, and other governmental actions can result, and you may not even see them coming.
We need to be clear here that we’re not talking about machine translation software; we’re talking about a comprehensive translation management platform. The right legal document translation software will ensure the highest quality translations possible, improve efficiency, and save you money.
What Legal Document Translation Software Can Do for You
Here are some of the ways modern document translation software can help you produce better legal translations:
Choosing modern translation software with a centralized automated platform will allow you to manage workflows with much greater efficiency than you may have experienced using spreadsheets and checklists. A platform increases transparency and accountability so you can watch the progress of a translation or a translation project in detail but are not required to manage it. This transparency also benefits translators, who are able to consult among themselves or with editors or other linguists.
One of the ways an automated platform increases efficiency is by saving time on document handling. The slow and laborious process of emailing, uploading, downloading, and reformatting files is eliminated, thanks to systems integration. But beyond convenience alone, systematized file transfers eliminate one of the weakest points in your cybersecurity. Email is far more susceptible to breaches than an encrypted environment, and the risk of sending files to wrong addresses or making them accessible to unauthorized personnel in your own office is detrimental to client privacy. State-of-the-art security measures, such as encryption and authorization, significantly reduce the chances of your sensitive documents falling into the wrong hands.
One of the benefits of a centralized platform is high-quality asset management. In translation, your assets are the reference resources that speed up the translation processes and make sure that key terminology is used uniformly. Components of this single, centralized source of truth typically include:
- Translation memories (TMs), where previously translated words and phrases are recorded and used to recommend new translations in the system
- Term bases, where essential words and phrases are listed with verified translations for a specific language or locale
These features are especially important in legal translation due to its rigid nature that values uniformity over creativity or aesthetics.
As a corpus of legal texts is built up in the TM, automation makes translation faster and more reliable by supporting translators with correct translations of more and more words and phrases. If the entire translation process happens on the platform, the TM will be continuously updated.
Legal documents, in particular, are easier to handle on an automated platform because they tend to go through many versions. Instead of sorting through a jumble of tracked changes in a Word document, the platform leads translators directly to the changes, saving considerable time and saving your organization time and money in the long run.
Save Attorneys’ Time
Attorneys’ time costs a lot more than that of translators, so cutting down on the scale of their involvement in quality assurance is a major way to save money. Translators, even ISO-certified legal translators, cannot make judgment calls in legal translations, so having qualified lawyers in the feedback loop is crucial. But preferred terminology (such as deciding when a document is a contract and when it is an agreement—a perennial sticking point in many languages) can be ensconced in the term base. And patterns that are often repeated—words and entire phrases—can be tracked and recommended by the TM, reducing errors overall and reducing the number of changes that lawyers must make in review.
The in-country lawyers reviewing your translations play an outsized role in quality assurance. Legal concepts vary by country. So the editing required on a translated document may be considerable even with the best translations. If the translation is not of high quality, editing it will be a slow, painful waste of time and money—and your legal risks increase with any potential lapses in QA.
Partner with a Language Service Provider for Best Results
Once you understand the advantages of legal document translation software, the questions arise about where to find certified translators and the software. You could buy the software yourself and administer it. And you could hire the translators and manage them too. But partnering with a language services provider (LSP) is certain to be a better option.
With a reliable LSP at your side, you’re not saddled with needless work, and the administrative tasks are left in capable hands. This does not have to be an expensive proposition. You can start, for example, with Bureau Works’ free platform. This option allows you to integrate your system with the platform and track workflow, as well as to take advantage of Bureau Works’ staff of certified translators.
Bureau Works partners with organizations of all sizes to provide translation services tailored to their needs. We employ highly qualified translators and offer an automated centralized platform that gives you maximum transparency and efficiency. Contact our team today to make your legal translations the best possible.