Translation of legal and official documents
In today’s world, official institutions are increasingly dependent on translations of legal documents, yet relatively little is being done to develop the necessary skills and tools to help translators working in this complex field. There is the following broad definition for official translations of “translations that satisfy the requirements to serve as valid instruments in the target country”. All legal documents must be translated into the language of the target country, therefore translation of contracts, statutory documents, accompanying documentation, etc., must be carried out without errors, otherwise it is fraught with difficulties.
The language used in legal and official documents has some common characteristics: it is very stereotyped, conditional and conservative in nature with a high percentage of formulas. In addition, it preserves morphological, syntactic and lexical functions that are no longer used in other types of texts.
The main purpose of this style of language is to make very specific and accurate statements, and to avoid, possible, connotation and ambiguity. Nevertheless, there are significant differences in terms of cultural contexts. Functional approaches in the science of translation make a great emphasis on the principle of cultural nesting of the source and output languages and accordingly consider the translation as an intercultural transmission. In legal communication on the basis of legal documents, communicative situations are directly affected by legal systems of input and output cultures. The legal system of one of the parties involved or, more rarely, the supranational legal system is usually adopted as a communication structure and thus determines the language to be used. The correctness of the translation of legal documents, however, directly depends on the coherence of the legal systems underlying the transfer. Communicating parties, therefore, should be well acquainted with the included legal system (sys- tems). This is especially the case, using English as the language of communication. The non-equivalence of many legal concepts and conditions related to these systems must be taken into account.
Given the differences between legal systems, a legal translator often has to resort to adaptation and is obliged to convey the message, replacing the cultural elements in the source language with their nearest equivalents in the target language.
Many specialists of the language sphere believe that legal translation represents something like a compromise. Translators usually tend to achieve acceptability and in the target language in the light of the cultural characteristics that it contains, especially in official translations that have a clearly defined role. One fact that makes life easier for translators is a constant repetition of typing formulas and text types that can facilitate the translation process. Only a professional translator who has acquired experience and knowledge can deal with specialized terminology.
A brief look at the standard macrostructure (location or scheme) of the input and output languages, very often shows the striking similarity of the scheme. Each time a context change, the same word takes a slightly different meaning, which should almost invariably be provided by a different word in the output language. Therefore, it is no longer a matter of knowing the lexical equivalents of words in two different languages that can serve as automatic substitutions for each other, but finding conditions that express the “same” regardless of the words used in the original statement.
Useful innovations in the theory and practice of specialized translation are always accepted by translators with a certain amount of caution. If we look further, and deeper into the nature of specific texts, legal translators deal with, such problems of lexical equivalence (polysemy, synonymy), syntactic equivalence (nominalization, passivity, modality, word order) or stylistic equivalence (formality, speech figures and other oratory techniques , the severity or roughness of the tone in the oral utterance, and so on). Each language specialist is looking for an achievable strategy for translating official documents, and is also looking for all sorts of ways by which the translation can be effectively executed to maintain the integrity of specialized texts. The technical and stereotyped nature of legal documents requires expert knowledge of linguistic, technical and educational factors, which will allow the specialist to avoid inaccuracies in the translation.