Why a Human Legal Translator is Better Than Google Translate

legal translator


When you need help translating foreign language court documents, do you click on the Google Translate app? It wouldn’t be out of the question nowadays. The automated translation software has improved greatly over the past five years, and it’s getting better at translating text in over 100 languages.

But is this software appropriate for highly sensitive legal texts? Despite its advances over the years, Google Translate isn’t the best option. That title still goes to a human legal translator. Here are four reasons why.

Four Reasons Why Using a Human Legal Translator is Better Than Using Google Translate

When it comes to translating legal documents, there is no better alternative than hiring a human legal translator to get the job done. Here’s why…

1. They’re Available for Questions

One of the biggest perks of working with a human translator is the human touch they provide. You have a real-life person working on your project. You can ask them questions or bring up your concerns.

You won’t get that with Google Translate or any automated translated services. This software offers little room for flexibility or customization.

2. They Come Certified

Another perk of choosing humans over machines is the quality of their work. If you hire a translator through a certified legal translation company, their work is recognized by international legal systems.

Many courts may even require your translation to be completed by certified legal translation services. This accreditation proves the process follows regulatory standards, and the translation itself has undergone the appropriate proofing.

While the work of a legal translator can be certified, Google Translate brings no such authority.

3. They’re Specialised

A legal translator specializes in translating court documents and texts. Some concentrate even further on specific parts of the law, gaining experience in specific industries. You can find a specialist in capital markets law, e-discovery, patent arbitration, and more.

Finding the right professional for the job is easier when you work with a certified translation company. The top translation companies employ professionals from all different backgrounds, so they always have an experienced translator for your unique project.

The same can’t be said for Google Translate. The app is widely known for having a shallow understanding of basic language. While it may have a grasp of simple text, it hasn’t been trained on legal language or specializations.

4. They’re More Accurate

Google’s translating app has come a long way, but it still has plenty of bugs to work out. According to Google themselves, their app only has an 85% success rate. That means 15% of the time, the software chooses the wrong word.

This is a huge error rate for any kind of professional translation, but it can be especially devastating when it comes to contracts or evidence. Mistakes here can skew entire cases or nullify important paperwork.

Only a translator from the top legal translation companies can handle these high-risk documents properly. These companies thoroughly vet their employees, choosing only those professionals with expert translation skills and comprehensive understandings of the law.

How can they tell a linguist is up to the job? The top translation companies require their team to have several years of experience. They also routinely review their work to ensure they meet internal and statutory standards.

You can also request additional proofing and back translating for sensitive court documents to ensure every word is accurate and the final copy retains your original’s true meaning.

The Takeaway

There’s an app for everything, including translating. But when it comes to court documents and other important texts, Google’s app just can’t provide the accuracy you need.

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