Do’s and Don’ts in Translating Legal Materials, Contracts & Agreements

Tips on Translating Legal Documents
Tips on Translating Legal Documents

The process of translating legal documents and manuscripts is a complex system. It requires verbatim translation of the words’ meaning per se. And it is even more delicate when converting these materials into another language. It would entail the tedious process of several proof-reading and recheck before concluding its completion.

For those who are involved in the translating service, I have assisted in researching the best practices and guidelines to follow. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts when converting legal materials, contracts and agreements:


  •    Be familiar with the source language of the document and the language it needs to be translated into.
  •    You should have the knowledge about the legal aspect of the document such as the grammatical correction, punctuations, spelling, and syntax.
  •    Take time to read the entire document to be translated to interpret the meaning of the phrases or sentences correctly.
  •    Review and proofread the translated document. If possible, request for another professional to re-check the translated document before submitting as completed.


  •    Don’t agree to take a translating job for a document if you have no background on the source and destination language.
  •    Do not convert the document word per word. The meaning of the sentences might change significantly when this method is used when translating.
  •    Do not forget to check small details of the document such as punctuations, capitalizations, and typographical errors. These little details can change the intended meaning of the word if not checked.
  •    Translating legal documents, contracts and agreements take some time so do not haste to complete the conversion

As a piece of advice for people who need these kinds of documents translated, it would be best to let professional translators handle the process instead of taking the cheaper service of freelancers. There will be a huge difference with the charges, but you will be better off with the quality of a translated document for a pricey amount rather than getting a cheap service with low quality.