The legal translator is a professional who translates documents with legal implications from one language to another. This type of translation is highly complex due to its extensive legal terminology, requiring the translator to master not only the working languages but also legal concepts and legal systems.
What is needed to become a legal translator?
The profile of a legal translator must be properly trained and specialized in the field.
- Education in the law of your working languages
- Mastery of the working languages
- Training in translation and interpretation
- Training in legal translation
However, for certified translations, the translator must be appointed as a Sworn Translator and Interpreter by the competent administration in each country, usually by taking an exam that qualifies them as such. (In the case of Spain, by the MAEC, and in the case of Germany, by the Oberlandesgericht of the corresponding city)
What are the most common documents?
- Sales contracts, commercial agreements, etc.
- Statutes of companies/foundations/organizations
- Foreign legislations
- Labor documents
Where can I work as a legal translator?
- Profile of the translator Freelance translator (Law firms/notaries/management companies/advisory firms/agencies, etc.)
- Private companies with legal departments
- In-house positions in translation agencies
- Translator in international and/or national organizations
Education in legal translation
Here is a brief list of some courses in Legal Translation that can help if you want to specialize in this field.
- Cálamo y Cran (Various courses not only focused on legal translation but also on proofreading, style, etc.)
- Traducción Jurídica (Various courses in Legal Translation and Law)
- ISTRAD (Own Master’s in Legal and Economic Translation and preparatory course for sworn translators)
- Educación digital (Various resources for the training of legal translators)
- Trágora Formación (Various resources for legal translators)
In the following list, you can find resources for legal translation training in German.
- BDÜ (Organizes various seminars on translation and interpretation, Law, and offers various training courses)
- BDÜ DSJV – German-Spanish Jurists Association (Organizes conferences of great interest in the legal sector)
- University of Heidelberg (Offers a master’s program and various translation courses).