The advent of globalization has been a big boon for the global economy. It has helped companies transcend borders and do business in foreign countries, a feat unthinkable during the cold war era. While the process of globalization has helped to demolish borders left and right, it has also, on the hand, created a seemingly insurmountable problem—the problem of bridging the language divide.
To do business in offshore countries it is imperative for companies to understand the legal nuances. But achieving this feat is easier said than done. This is because in countries such as China, Japan, South Korea or Russia, the constitution is drafted in the local language and it is highly unlikely that the European companies have the in-house resources to understand the intricacies of the native legal system.
The European Union Example:
The European Union (EU) is one example of best example to understand the concept of globalization and the problems associated with multilingual states. The union is the collection of 28 member states with 23 official languages. Such a plurality in people and tongues often gives rise to the most common problems of transactions involving multiple legal languages—terminological inconsistency and disjunction among directives, which can jeopardize cross-border transactions.
Judges are often called upon to carry out the tedious job of interpreting versions of EU regulations and directives in multiple languages and resolve the conflict among the various authentic versions of legislation. Harmonization of legal standards as proposed by many is not an option, as per the experts. This is not just because of the disjunction of terminology across languages, but, more basically, due to the lack of uniform concepts across the union, particularly in consumer law.
Not just member states, the plurality of tongues is also hampering the functioning of large European conglomerates. The need to use a language that is alien to them as a de facto language for all their legal communications is not helping the cause of large business houses that needs timely permissions from various legal establishments to function seamlessly across multiple locations. And the lack of legal lexical equivalents between culturally and legally distant languages is complicating the woes.
The EU example highlights one of the most basic problems that is hampering globalization and affecting millions: the lack of a ‘universal culture, identity, or brand of thinking,’ which would assist in the creation of a common legal language. And as long as this issue is not successfully tackled, there will always be a need for professional help with regards to translation.
Reliable legal translation and interpreting services are not hard to find if you are looking in the right places. Numerous high-profile companies can easily provide you the required linguistic services, which in all probability should render the occurrence of mistakes obsolete.
In a highly globalized world, legal systems everywhere adhere to rigorous standards and leave no room for inaccuracy and amateur mistakes. In such a scenario taking legal translations lightly can backfire and cause huge damages, resulting in lawsuits and legal exposure that will consume all their resources.
Unexpected delays, legal fees, and opportunity loss are a few plausible outcomes that you may have to face when you take the foot off the paddle with regards to legal translation. And in the most extreme of scenarios, a dispute regarding legal translation has the potential to dismiss a particular point and water down your chances of winning an extremely important argument. Hence be on guard and find a translation provider you can trust.
Do bear in mind that in legal translation the demands of accuracy and inventiveness are greater than in literary translation. Hence opt for a service provider who can comply, not only with the rules of the foreign language, but also, with the rules of the foreign legal system. Also assess their familiarity with the legal culture of the target language in order to reformulate an equivalent meaning and hire an outsourced translation service provider based on their experience and proficiency.