legal document translation Archives - Into23

Why your company needs a legal translation partner

If you have a global company or are a company with global aspirations, legal translation services are needed to protect your business. Certified multilingual translation services ensure that your documents are correct and reflect your company regardless of region or language.

Did you know that over 50,000 companies today operate in more than one country? If you’re thinking about expanding into international markets, regardless of what type of business you’re running, it’s important to have an expert legal translator. Having a legal translation partner or outsourcing services is important for keeping your business running smoothly. Legal translation is a highly specialised field that ensures your business’s documents are in order no matter what localized market you’re working within.

What is included in legal translation?

require legal translations

Image from Pixabay – Contracts and binding agreements often require legal translations.

What exactly is included in legal document translation? If you’ve just started looking into these types of services, here are a few types of documents that often require translation services,

  • Contracts and commercial proposals
  • Purchase agreements
  • Service agreements
  • Technical documents and manuals
  • Financing agreements
  • Company by-laws
  • Patents, trademarks, and copyrights
  • End-user license agreements (EULA)
  • Application letters
  • Deposition records

Why legal translation is important?

legal translation is important

Photo by Fauxels from Pexels – Effective team communication is one reason legal translation is important.

Having your documents in order is hard enough in one language, let alone others. When companies look to go global or if they’ve acquired an international merger, their business documentation should be translated into the native language of the area where they’re working. This ensures that communication is seamless and that the policies, procedures, and brand are consistent across the board. Further, businesses’ legal documents need to be translated appropriately when localizing to avoid lawsuits, hold-ups, and serious misunderstandings that could jeopardize the businesses’ legitimacy.

Machine translations don’t offer quality or consistency

Not even today’s current machine translations are a match for the translations performed by translation experts. Only a real person can understand cultural nuances, regional differences, and specific legalities that a machine may misunderstand. Official document translation performed by high-quality translation services ensures that translation mishaps won’t happen. With that said, machine translation can be suitable for certain types of legal projects, such as large-scale discovery projects. Output from the machine translation process can then be enhanced by introducing a human editing stage to correct obvious machine translation post-editing errors.

Related: Why Google Translate isn’t effective enough for business

Accuracy And Efficiency 

Legal translations need to be completely accurate, and this attention to detail can only be provided by a legal translation expert, making it imperative that you have a translation partner for your global business. Not only is having a partner more efficient it also takes the guesswork out of your sensitive documents while providing the right tone and avoiding potential liabilities.

Why do you need legal translation services?

International translation companies can help expedite a business’s international goals while getting through the legal hoops of a new global region by ensuring that all your legal documents are in order no matter where you’ve expanded.

Timely delivery

Like anything in business, a quick turnaround is important, especially if you’re moving into a new market. When you have an experienced legal translation partner at your fingertips, they will know the language and region you’re working in and will have a translation memory database to work with that will allow for a quick turnaround on documents that will be professional, accurate, and relative to the business area you’ve expanded into.

Complex legal terminology

Legal jargon can be overwhelming and complex, even in one’s native language. Legal translators know how to maintain the essential legal specifics of a document from one language to another so that it is comprehendible and maintains all the critical legal meanings, thus avoiding any liabilities or potential misunderstandings when making business deals and arrangements in your new region.

Cost-effective

Professional legal translation services will already have the knowledge needed to get the job done effectively and efficiently, cutting down costs and guesswork. This means you can get back to what your business does best within its new area.

Project management

A good legal partner can effectively manage a translation project as they can allocate the right number of translators for the job and will be able to manage the project from start to finish.

Ethical

Google translate or other machine translation post-editing can never ensure that the documents they translate are confidential. Items such as non-disclosures and contracts are important documents that must be handled securely and efficiently. A legal translation service can ensure that your documents are kept private and that they are accurately translated into the languages that you require.

Into23 is perfectly positioned to be your legal translation partner. Into23 specialises in document translation services, localization translation services, website translation services, and more for your global business. Contact us today for a free quote, and become our partner today.

How civilisation today owes a huge debt to Baghdad translators of yore

When we think of the technology behind today’s machine translation, and the science behind the wondrous COVID-19 vaccines, and space travel, it’s hard to believe that none of this would have been possible were it not for a group of expert Arab translators located in Baghdad some 1,000 years ago.

From WordPress translation, localisation services  and multimedia localisation, to transcreation and linguistic testing, today’s language services companies  are the inheritors of a noble tradition that has had a profound effect on the very fabric of civilisation. Read on to discover the surprising history of translation.

The Graeco-Arabic translation movement

The Islamic Golden Age (8th to 13th century) centred on Baghdad, and saw science, economic development and cultural endeavours flourish in the Islamic world at a time when Western Europe was shrouded in the so-called Dark Ages, where most ancient Greek and Roman texts on maths, science and philosophy had been lost and Christianity held sway. The Christian church preached that it wasn’t humankind’s place to probe God’s creation, so inquiry into the nature of the world was effectively discouraged. Indeed, many of these texts were considered heretical, and the penalty for engaging with them was severe.

During this period, Arab translators preserved ancient Greek and Roman texts through translating them into Arabic. It’s estimated that nearly all Greek secular books available in the Near East at the time were translated into Arabic. The subject range was vast, covering alchemy and astrology, the theory of music, philosophy, physics and botany, logic, health science, pharmacology and medicine, to name just a few. Just one edition of commentary on Aristotle comprises 74 volumes. Much of what we know today of Hippocrates, Plato, Socrates, Euclid and many other great thinkers, is the direct result of these Arab translators.

Arab translators preserved ancient Greek and Roman texts through translating them into Arabic.

Arab translators preserved ancient Greek and Roman texts through translating them into Arabic.

Cynics may wonder what significance translating musty old tomes a millennium ago has on today’s scientific and social achievements. The Graeco-Arabic translation movement saw secular Greek and Roman text translated into Arabic and these texts then found their way into Europe, partly through Spain, which was then controlled by a caliphate.

Caliph Al-Mansur launched the Arab translation movement in CE 754, a few years after Chinese paper-making techniques had leaked to Arabs. From here, Arab translators organised into an extensive translation system with vast resources.

The House of Wisdom

Built by Caliph Haround Al-Rasheed (786-809 CE) and located in Baghdad, The House of Wisdom – the size of today’s British Library – was a huge library of ancient texts. These texts outlined concepts like common zero and the numerals we know today. This abstract mathematical language underpins scientific innovation and would go on to transform the world. At the time, Western Europe was still using Roman numerals, which made division and multiplication or any higher forms of mathematics incredibly challenging.

 This abstract mathematical language underpins scientific innovation and would go on to transform the world.

This abstract mathematical language underpins scientific innovation and would go on to transform the world.

The library, which contained Indian and some Chinese works as well as Greek and Roman texts, became a centre for learning. Translators trained in specific areas, like engineering, much like today’s translation agencies do. As the library’s collection grew, the building was extensively extended. It was populated by scientists, scribes, writers, and philosophers, who spoke a wide range of languages, like Farsi, Hebrew and Arabic, much as today’s translation agencies rely on experts in their fields and language area. It was a diverse and learned environment.

At the time, this was the largest transfer of knowledge in history. The model proved successful with other Islamic leaders, who emulated the endeavour and established their own centres of learning, such as Dar al-Hikma in Cairo, which was constructed in 1005 CE by Caliph Al-Hakim.

So, just how did these Arabic texts make their way to Europe and help spark the Renaissance and Enlightenment?

Viva Toledo!

Another massive translation movement took off in Andalusia in Islamic Spain in the 12th century. Here the works that had been translated into Arabic were translated into latin, making them accessible to latin-speakers across the continent. Jewish, Christian and Muslim scholars flocked to the city to get involved, which fostered the creation of a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic centre of learning. Though Toledo was the centre, translators were hard at work across the caliphate.

When Christian forces reconquered Spain in 1085, they set about methodically organising the huge body of work they inherited from the caliphate. This acted to accelerate the pace of translation. Under this system, a native speaker would speak the contents of the text to a scholar, who went not to dictate the Latin equivalent to a scribe.

Perhaps the most prolific translator of this era was Italian Gerard of Cremona, who translated some 87 texts, including works on surgery, physics and maths.

A step away

The extent of knowledge that was transferred is staggering. From Spain, this knowledge extended through universities across Europe, where ecclesiastical opposition to studying ancient texts had softened somewhat.

In a vivid example, Al-Zahrawi’s translation of information on surgical instruments helped revolutionise medical intervention. It included information on a drill to dislodge calculus from the urethra, and a technique to remove tonsils. In another example, translations of chemistry texts by Jabir and Al-Razi helped form the basis of modern science. These works comprised information that led to industrial processes like metal refining.

translation of information on surgical instruments

Al-Zahrawi’s translation of information on surgical instruments helped revolutionise medical intervention.

You may have learned about Kepler and his revolutionary telescope at school. Kepler’s achievement was made possible by texts on optics translated by Ibn al-Haytham. There is also evidence to suggest that Copernicus, who determined that the Earth orbits the sun and not the other way round, built his model on ancient Greek knowledge translated out of Toledo.

Copernicus, who determined that the Earth orbits the sun and not the other way round, built his model on ancient Greek knowledge translated out of Toledo

Copernicus, who determined that the Earth orbits the sun and not the other way round, built his model on ancient Greek knowledge translated out of Toledo

This flourishing of knowledge in the Christian world helped spark the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the explosion of scientific discoveries and theories that led us to where we are today.

So, when you next send a text to your expert Translation Agency in Hong Kong , commission a legal document translation  or use AI generated sentences , you’re participating in an endeavour that helped create the modern world. To speak to an expert translator, contact us today.

Machine, mind, or machine and mind: how to best deploy today’s machine translation solutions

Advances in machine translation (MT) mean enterprises now have a sophisticated translation solution in their toolkit that can translate quickly and at scale. Long gone are the days of weird menu translations and Yoda-like results. But given the recent rapid advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, companies must navigate how to optimally deploy this productivity-boosting approach alongside human translation. Knowing where and when to use machine translation will ensure translations are cost-effective and fit for purpose. Embracing translation technology and innovation in the right areas is the way to increase engagement and efficiency. Read on to find out the criteria you need to consider when deploying the latest machine translation solutions.

From little acorns

Though you may think language translation technology is a relatively modern phenomenon – after all, computers have only been around since The Babbage Difference Engine back in 1822 – its roots stretch back, all the way to the Arabian peninsula in the 9th century, where one al-Kindi translated ancient Greek mathematics, science and philosophy texts that had been lost to European civilisation, helping spark the Renaissance in the process. He developed various systems based on frequency analysis and statistics, key concepts in MT. Now, AI translation software enables clients to customise according to subject area, such as meteorological reports. This has massively widened MT’s applicability and usefulness.

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Where is machine translation now?

Machine translation was initially developed in the 1950s, and has since been transformed through continuous advances, diverging into four categories: SMT, NMT, RBMT, and Hybrid Machine Translation. SMT, or statistical machine translation, automatically maps sentences in one language into another, whereas NMT, or Neural Machine Translation, encompasses a neural network that relies on algorithms working together to process highly complex data inputs. RBMT, or Recurrent Batch Machine Translation, replaces the input texts with translations of a set of translations of the same text, and Hybrid Machine Translation combines elements of both NMT and RBMT.

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Key benefits

The advantages of using machine translation mean it is a very effective and efficient solution in a company’s toolkit. Firstly, machine translation is incredibly fast. It can process huge volumes of text in a near instant. Therefore, it improves efficiency and productivity. Companies that deploy machine translation typically see an improved profit margin, all else being equal. Secondly MT is scalable. If you need to translate a short document or an entire library’s worth of text, MT can handle it. Lastly, and partly as a result of the first two points, machine translation is much more cost-effective than human translation. Before you rush out to onboard a range of machine translation solutions, there are many circumstances where human translation is preferable, and numerous others where a hybrid approach of machine translations processed by human editors is best.

How best to deploy machine translation

Getting the best out of machine translation requires optimally deploying it. Several factors will determine the ideal approach. A Nimdzi survey of 33 localisation buyers found 22.6% report extensively using neural machine translation. The survey notes that sectors like media, video gaming and marketing are laggards in MT adoption, mainly because they require high levels of cultural sensitivity and creativity that MT as of today can’t match. That’s not to say MT isn’t making inroads into these areas. For example, world top-10 gaming company Electronic Arts (EA) adopted MT tech quite early in its development. Notably, in areas where content is intended to prompt emotional engagement, EA uses human-edited MT translations. The survey also found that in circumstances that directly impact business revenue, human translation is preferred.

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Applying those findings to business activity, MT is useful for quickly transmitting a message to large numbers of people in various locations. Even in this instance, it’s always wise to have a human check the copy. The content lifecycle is also a consideration. For short-lived content, such as product specs on a short run of merchandise, then the return on investment is not there for human translation, which costs more than MT. Here, the requirements for quality and timeliness are key determinants.

Another great use case for MT is where recipients are aware that the content they are consuming is translated by a machine. This enables them to read with caution.

To summarise, the important parameters to consider are:

  • Scale: If you are translating small amounts of text occasionally, then off-the-shelf MT is suitable. If the volume is any higher than that, hybrid translation often is most suitable.
  • Timeframe: A very short turnaround time is where MT excels. However, be mindful that the quality might not be sufficient.
  • Content consumers: One of the golden rules of translation is to pitch to your audience. Consider whether MT will meet your audience’s needs. If your target audience just needs to get the general gist of a text, then MT will suffice. However, if expectations around quality are higher, then human translation or human-edited machine translation is the optional approach.
  • Objective: The goal of the translation must be carefully considered. For example, if you wish to sign a legally binding contract and need to translate it for the other party to sign, then accuracy is paramount when it comes to legal document translation. Another example is scientific and technical translation, which would require a custom language translator.

A bright future

In a sign of just how far MT could go in the future, a group of scientists recently launched a project to decode sperm whale ‘speech’ with a view to enabling whale-human communication. That would be an interesting one to add to the digital translation services already available. The Cetacean Translation Initiative is using AI to understand whales’ clicking sounds, known as codas. The scientists are deploying natural-language processing, which processes spoken and written communication, to that end.

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MT is improving all the time, and as it does, it becomes applicable to an ever-expanding set of scenarios. However, we aren’t anywhere near the point where MT is good enough for businesses to abandon Machine Translation Post-Editing (MTPE). Finding the right balance is key, and a professional translation agency will help you navigate the optimal configuration of MT, human translation and MTPE. Get in touch today to speak to an expert and explore your options.