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Top 6 Challenges Of Vietnamese Legal Translation and How To Overcome Them

Posted by Anne Q. on February 15, 2022.

Legal translation is not simply the act of converting a legal text from one language to another. In order for the legal language to be conveyed in a meaningful, clear and accurate way, translators must have a deep knowledge of languages and the legal systems of both countries. There are many challenges that you will face when handling a Vietnamese legal translation project.

With this type of document, there is simply no room for mistakes. Even the smallest mistake can have very serious consequences and can be costly for your business. Legal language and legislation should reflect the culture of that country. Legal translators must understand the cultural differences of the legal system in the country to which the Vietnamese legal translation is targeted.

#1. Over-Translating

Unlike translating other documents, translating legal documents has a strict time limit for completion. Legal documents are tied to facts related to the trial, deadlines and the company’s operational plans. They all have some things in common in terms of strict timing. Therefore, you need to determine and consider which content should be translated among the large over-translating of Vietnamese legal translation projects. This industry delay can trigger a series of frustrating events for those involved as well as your customers and business partners. Therefore, you should let your legal translator know the following:

    • What parts of specific documents need to be translated?
    • Legal Vietnamese translation for internal or external use?
    • Who is your target audience translating? Are they well versed in the legal field or completely ignorant of it?


#2. Using Machine Translation

Translating legal documents into a foreign language is often rated as more difficult than translating other technical documents. Legal terminology is the cause of this difficulty because each country has its own legal system and terminology. These aspects also often differ between countries that speak the same language. Meanwhile, machine translation cannot reach this professionalism, it can even cause confusion for readers.

Machine Translation

When dealing with international legal issues, lawyers must use words that need to be correctly written, whose accuracy depends on the correct sentence structure, syntax, and word choice. That is why you need legal translators with the necessary experience and knowledge of legal terms in both the source and target languages. For the problem, the ideal solution for you is to work with professional legal translators.


#3. Lacking Knowledge About Vietnamese Legal Systems

To be able to invest in Vietnam, foreign companies and organizations must complete all legal procedures in Vietnam. Foreign nationals coming to Vietnam must understand and comply with the laws in Vietnam. Other countries approach Vietnamese law to solve legal issues. Legal systems in different countries vary greatly, and so do legal documents. This diversity of paperwork causes ambiguity in the translated text. The context in your Vietnamese legal translation should be correct to avoid misunderstandings with unfortunate consequences.

Without in-depth knowledge of legal terminology, it is easy for translators to overlook some important details. This is easy to cause disputes later, in the worst case, the consequences can affect the property and reputation of your business.


#4. Don’t Prepare A Legal Translation Glossary

Translators need familiarity with legal terminology in the original document when translating legal documents. Your legal translator needs to convey the language correctly according to the law, conveying the content and meaning of the original text as much as possible. Therefore, you need to prepare a translation glossary for your legal translators. 

There are many documents that need Vietnamese legal translation, including birth certificates, cover letters, technical patent confirmations, testimonies, financial statements, evidence documents, legal documents and business contracts. In that case, some terms may not have the same meaning and be used as is commonly thought. That is why there is a need for accuracy and consistency in all project translations. Working with a glossary and building a solid translation memory can be the best ways to overcome this challenge in translating legal documents. This also saves linguists time and reduces the risk of translation mistakes. You can prepare a glossary of legal terms for your translators or ask for their assistance.


#5. Setting Unreasonable Deadlines

Translation, by its nature, is already a complex process involving many specific skills. Translating Vietnamese legal documents is even more demanding because even a small mistake involves a complicated legal process, not to mention the financial cost of correcting that error. Therefore, a quality legal translation takes time. 

legal translation services - deadline

You can’t expect to have a legal contract translated within a day and still deliver the quality you want. Therefore, to ensure the quality and consistency of your legal translation project, don’t set too tight a deadline for your translators. You can manage translation projects and assign deadlines that are enough to produce quality translations for your translators.


#6. Working With Bad Vietnamese Legal Translators

Last but not least, translating Vietnamese legal translation requires highly experienced translators to meet all the requirements in this field. Usually, they are required to have specific certifications to be able to do this job. A professional legal translator must have knowledge of the legal basis and terminology specific to the covered areas of law and typical forms of legal translation.


To Sum Up

As you can see, translating legal documents is not an easy task at all. This is a complex task that requires language skills, legal knowledge, and deadlines. It is not possible to succeed in this field without specialized training. Also, working with CAT tools and using translation memory can make the job easier.

To overcome these common challenges, get in touch with GTE Localize. Our team of native translators with many years of experience in translating legal documents will help you get the fast, accurate and high-quality translated documents you need.

GTE Localize, an Indonesian-based translation agency, can assist you in all your Vietnamese legal translation projects. If you need help with an upcoming legal translation project, contact our team of language experts. You can easily request translation quotes and consult translation services on our website. 

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