Using translators and interpreters in the legal sector

Translation and interpreting are essential processes within the legal sector. They make it possible for legal professionals to communicate with their clients and understand the details of their cases, and they ensure that justice is served fairly in every case.

So it’s important for barristers and solicitors to know how translators and interpreters operate and the best way to engage them. Allowing them to choose a supplier who is reliable, experienced and qualified for the job.

In this post we’ll explore why translation is needed in the legal sector, why interpreting may also be required and how legal firms can find a reliable Language Solutions provider for their casework.

The role of translators and interpreters in the legal sector

Interpreters and translators are paid professionals who play a vital role in ensuring that people understand what is being said during court proceedings and any documents are available in all the native languages used by the parties.

If English isn’t someone’s first language, then an interpreter may be needed to help ensure that all court proceedings are fully understood.

Interpreters for court proceedings work directly with legal professionals on behalf of those with language barriers. Interpreters translate spoken words into another language so that everyone involved can understand each other clearly and accurately.

Why is translation needed in the legal sector?

When you’re a barrister in court arguing your case it’s crucial that the judge understands your evidence. Where documents, such as contracts or forms, are not in the native language being used in court proceedings they’ll need to be accurately translated so they can fully understand them. The judges and other parties involved in the case may also need translations of any documents they’ve signed or received so they know exactly what they have agreed to.

Solicitors may also need to use translators to acquire native language versions of transcripts to support with legal applications for domestic purposes such as mortgages.

Why is interpreting needed in the legal sector?

To ensure that everyone involved in court proceedings is able to understand what is happening , it is vital that interpreters are used. The interpreter’s role is to communicate between parties who speak different languages. They won’t be interpreting statements, but rather translating what is said into another language so that other parties can understand it.

There may be more than one interpreter required. One interpreter to translate everything that has been said into another language while another member of the team interprets comments back into English for those involved in the court proceedings.

Any interpreters and translators involved in court proceedings will be fully vetted, with rigorous qualification checks.

What is legal aid?

Legal aid is a service that provides free legal help to people who are on a low income and would not otherwise be able to afford fair representation.

Legal aid can be provided by solicitors, barristers and judges, who are all specially trained in providing legal advice and representation.

How can you find a reliable translator or interpreter for your case?

It’s important to work with a trusted Language Solutions provider. They can help you find and select a translator or interpreter for your case, who will be able to provide accurate services.

A reputable Language Solutions provider should have membership with a relevant professional body. This means they’ll be able to offer translators and interpreters who have been fully vetted and are qualified in their field.

Here at Eldon (now NRL) for example we’re long standing members of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), which certifies our translation work.

Your chosen Language Solutions provider will also check the translator’s qualifications and experience before assigning them any work.

Working with experienced and qualified linguists

When working with Language Solutions providers, it is important to ask for someone with previous legal experience. This is because legal terms may not be translated literally, or the same way they are used in other languages. So someone with experience will be familiar with the terminology.

Another way to help you identify the right linguist to support you is by asking for recommendations from your Language Solutions provider. Your provider will know which interpreters and translators have good reputations within their industry and can steer you in the right direction when assigning an interpreter or translator for your project.

Supporting with integrity and confidentiality

Whether you’re engaging a translator or interpreter undertake as assignment for you, by partnering with a trusted Language Solutions provider you can be assured that the quality of the work completed will be of a high standard.

Furthermore, by following a strong code of conduct all parties involved can be confident that the linguist will work with complete integrity and discretion.

Get in touch

If you need translation and interpreting services for your legal firm, then get in touch with the team on +44 (0) 191 232623 or email

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