court translator

If you find yourself in the unenviable position of taking a multinational corporation to court, as you likely will be aware, additional complexities will result. Particularly if the parties involved in the court case speak another language, the help of a legal translator is inevitable. Not only will all documents submitted in court require translation into a language other than your own, but a foreign nation will also have a very different legal system from the one you are used to.




This is where legal translation becomes necessary. Providers of legal translation can help not only with providing expert translation, but also with managing the paperwork required by other legal systems. There are resources such as special e-software created specifically to help attorneys who need to process considerable amounts of digital data; however, such tools require proficiency in the relevant language in order to be utilized.

There have been many cases of huge multinational organizations taking their competitors to court. However, the logistics of this can be far too great for a small business to take on. That is where court translation professionals are filling the void.

Louboutin v. Yves Saint-Laurent is one well-known case which utilised a legal document translation company. Yves Saint-Laurent created shoes with a red sole, which was already a trademark of shoemaker Christian Louboutin. Although both companies were based in France, the case was tried in the United States, which brought up several problems.

Louboutin’s legal team outlined three major issues surrounding global litigation: the first issue was language, and the second issue was lifestyle and the third issue was local law. The legal document translation company working on the case eventually set up a secure system that protected emails according to France's strict privacy standards while still accommodating U.S. search procedures.

Today the global costs of court translation are approximately $34 billion dollars and rising. Take the case of one translation company that provided services for both sides of a legal case involving big names in technological innovation. The situation required so much certification that the translation company charged roughly $25,000 dollars in translation charges for about 100,000 words.

Specialized e-discovery applications have been developed to help attorneys collect digital information. When it comes to global cases, however, it is again important that the application be run by cultural and language experts to ensure that the correct keywords are used and that the right information is being filtered.

Translation is a skill that eludes computers, particularly when it comes to translations dealing with specialized subjects full of technical details; these cases still require language experts.

And for those law students wondering if the job market will ever improve, take note. The ongoing increases in technological innovation and globalization will create huge opportunities for experts in the computer, language, and legal fields; those wanting to pursue a career in the field of legal interpretation could well find themselves in high demand.


written by: Karen Hodgson, CEO