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August 3, 2015

The Need for Legal Translation Services as We Grow Globally.

by brenton

The extreme ease with which we travel has shrunk the size of our globe over the years, making such epic journeys as Marco Polo’s Silk Road obsolete with a brief plane ride.  As our boundaries expand so do our levels of technological prowess, narrowing our areas of expertise and causing the need for accurate translation services to move to the forefront of our concerns.  

The area of legal translation services is of particular importance.  Just like in the field of medical professionals, the vocabulary of law is varied and nuanced, with even the smallest of words and way of phrasing being crutial to proper interpretation of the law and upholdance of standards.  Translators are responsible for the complex and time-consuming task of changing documents such as appeals, patents, copyrights, certificates and general laws from one language to another.  You have the right to be discerning, as flaws may lead to lawsuits and potentially a great amount of grief and money loss for you or your client.  Accuracy and speed are of course things you should be shooting for, but even more important than those is looking for a sense of sensativity and comfort in the knowledge of both country’s laws and social customs.  As law is a construct of society, each country’s customs play an important role in their unique interpretation of law.

An unfortunate example of legal translations gone wrong is in the case of Sandra Gregory.  She was a UK citizen who had spent a couple years traveling through Thailand working as a teacher, and after contracting dengue fever she found herself drained of life and money.  In a desperate attempt to raise the funds to return home she agreed to attempt smuggling the drugs of an acquaintance through airport security (89 grams of heroin), was caught, and intially sentenced to death in front of a Thai judge (a sentence normally reserved for carrying over 100 grams of heroin).  All of the proceedings took place in Thai, and the translator made available to Sandra in the initial hearing appeared to be a one-time offer; finding herself alone and unable to give the court an accurate portrayal of the intricacies of her story the verdicts were made.  She spent four years in Lard Yao (a notoriously brutal prison), her sentence being downgraded to 25 years imprisonment before being transferred to Britain to serve the remainder of her time.  

The King of Thailand eventually wrote her a Royal Pardon, releasing her after three years in British facilities, but the time and suffering endured by Sandra was unable to be washed away.   If Sandra had the ability to converse with a translator sensative to both Thai and UK laws, languages, and customs, able to convey her naivety and desperation of her personal story to the court–the judicial rulings would have been vastly different, and the pain and anguish gone through by Sandra and her family would have been largely reduced.

Knowledge is the greatest form of power, and since language is how we retain it, you should choose only the most accurate and professional of translation services on the market.  All of our translators are able to provide notorized certificates ensuring their accuracy to official or legal proceedings.  Our approach is best said by Mr. Frederick Marx, our CEO:

At Keylingo, we focus on building relationships.  Whether it’s multi-year, multi-project contract, or a once-off tagline for product packaging, we value the needs of our clients, and work to maintain lasting, positive relationships.

Contact us at a translation office nearest you to speak with us about what  translation services can do for your next project today.

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