Legal translation
For our legal translation services, we have often called on specialists to assist us. The reason is that contrary to other fields, the concepts we need to translate are often specific to one of the legal cultures and do not have a direct equivalent in the other. Each legal system has its own specificities, court system and legal professions...

Some concepts already have accepted translations, based on functional equivalence. But in many other cases, there is no accepted translation and we need to make choices using different translation processes in order to convey the spirit of the law as accurately as possible, while ensuring that our text is perfectly understandable to Spanish-speaking readers.

For example, for the translation of the French Commercial Code, we were confronted with different forms of companies that did not exist in Spanish law. To determine whether such companies existed under another name, we had to make sure that we precisely understood their characteristics. Owing to the lack of reliable dictionaries in this field, it is through constant cross-checking with our legal consultants that we were able to solve a certain number of problems.

In short, the significant experience gained in this field has taught us that the secret of a good legal translation lies in the capacity to combine different translation processes, in proportions that vary depending on the context of each translation.

In some problem cases, the best solution may be a literal translation accompanied, as required, by a translator’s note or a definition intended for Spanish-speaking readers. But in other cases, the solution may be an explanatory translation which consists of bypassing the obstacle using an explanation included in the body of the text. In still other cases, we could choose to leave the terms in English or in French, where literal translation creates more difficulties than it solves.

In all cases, without exception, a good legal translation involves in-depth knowledge of the legal systems of both countries and good command of the different processes available to us, so as to make the best possible choices depending on each text we need to translate.
The legal and institutional field
Contracts, powers of attorney, certificates,
articles of association, financial reports,
notarized documents, proxies...

Legislative and regulatory texts
texts (for example, intellectual property code,
new government procurement code, commercial code,
monetary and financial code, environment code,
1978 data privacy act, subcontracting act).
Articles from international legal publications, UNESCO copyright bulletin, etc.
European institutional translations: INTERREG,
URBAN projects, etc.
UNESCO, European Union, international organisations,
French Ministry of Finance…
For more information on our legal translation methodology, see the paper presented by F. Feldman at the colloquium “Traduction du droit et droit de la traduction” (Translation of Law and Law of Translation)