Legal translation – Språkbolaget can help

This article is about translation of legal documents. As a customer, what do you need to keep in mind? What can legal translators do? What can they not do? What is required for the translation to be legally binding?

Legal texts

The field of law is vast and legal texts can comprise everything from laws to contracts of sale. As our customer, we will help you with the translation of different types of agreements and contracts between companies, product guarantees, licensing agreements, collective agreements, employment contracts and procurement documents.

What does a legal translator do?

Legal translators have experience of translating legal texts. This involves knowledge of legal terms and the stylistic register within the field. The task of the translator is to create a functioning text in the target language, which is their native language, and to ensure it has the proper tone and expressions for the target group. You will receive a document with the same content as you sent for translation, but in another language.
However, the translator is rarely a lawyer him or herself, although many have some form of education in the field. Neither the translator nor we as an agency check that the contents of the document comply with laws, ordinances or other conditions in the countries in which the text will be used.

A translation is a translation – the original is legally binding
When it comes to contracts, for example, it is important to mention that the text in the original language is the legally binding version, in the event of a dispute. It is common to add a sentence at the end of the document to protect oneself, for example:
“This is a translation of the Swedish original. In case of any inconsistency between the Swedish and English version, the Swedish version shall prevail.”

For the translation to be applicable as an original, a lawyer must review it to identify any potential issues in the translation – which is exactly what you would do if a Swedish employee who is not a lawyer had written the contract in Swedish.

Is authorisation required?
When it comes to documents such as certificates of various types – birth certificates, marriage certificates, proofs of patent, articles of association and so forth – they must be certified by a notary or translated and stamped by an authorised translator in order to be valid for government agencies.
Authorised translators in Sweden are certified by the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency and translate to or from Swedish. Read more about authorised translations here.

Språkbolaget has many authorised translators in our network and we will help you determine whether or not your translation needs a stamp.

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