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How To Become A Thai Legal Translator?

Posted by Anne Q. on April 19, 2022.

Translators are now one of the occupations gaining a lot of interest from young Thai people, particularly in the legal area, where the demand for translators is also growing. Being a Thai legal translator, you can enjoy many perks, from flexible working hours to a multicultural experience and a good income.

If you are looking to start your career as a Thai legal translator but don’t know where to start, this post will show you all the necessities of the job and help you prepare better for your future projects.

#1. Have Excellent Thai Language Expertise

It goes without saying that to become a Thai legal translator, the very basic requirement you have to meet is to be a native speaker of the Thai language and be fluent in (at least) one foreign language. If you wish to become an English to Thai legal translator, for example, you should be a Thai native who has excellent English proficiency.

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Of course, it is possible for you to translate content from Thai to English. However, most translation agencies and clients prefer translators whose first language is the target language of the legal translation project. If your mother tongue is the source language and you learn and speak the target language as a second language, it is likely that the rate you are offered will be lower than the other way around.


#2. Earn Related Language and Legal Certifications

Growing up in bilingual families is beneficial to a translator. But by no means does having the ability to speak two languages guarantee your ability to translate a document, especially when that document contains legal content which is considered one of the most challenging types of content to translate. Taking specialized language courses and/or earning a translation/language degree is a great way for you to strengthen your language ability as well as your understanding of the language pair you work with.

We recommend you take a look at the Thai Translator and Interpreter Association of Thailand where you can find translation and interpretation training courses to sharpen your skills.

Now that you have solid language skills, it’s time to deepen your knowledge about the legal field to become a professional Thai legal translator. You will work with many complex legal terms associated with the legal systems of two countries, one of which is Thailand. Thus, it is important that you understand correctly the terms and find their accurate equivalences in the Thai language. This requires long training and self-research.


#3. Update Your Knowledge of The Legal System

The effective method to obtain accurate legal knowledge is to comprehend the legal system of Thailand and the country of the source language. You need to understand how the legal systems in the two countries work and how they are different from each other to put things in the right order.

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Well-translated Thai legal documents are essential in assisting individuals in better understanding their legal issues and avoiding any serious misunderstandings. One mistake in your Thai legal translation, whether because you choose the wrong term or because you are unaware of new changes in the laws, might lead to serious consequences, directly affecting the life of your clients. Therefore, you must work in the utmost careful manner and make sure that your legal insights are always up-to-date.


#4. Deepen Your Thai Culture Understanding

You may perfectly comprehend the content of a source legal document and accurately express each word in the Thai language, but there is still a chance that your Thai translation is not highly appreciated. One reason might have something to do with the fact that you miss the localization part of your work. Adapting the content to fit the Thai culture and audiences is a must.

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Having a deep knowledge of culture may help you translate more effectively. A bad translation is an easy way to spot ignorance. Working as a translator necessitates meticulous attention to detail in every sentence, as well as semantics in each paragraph of the material. As a professional Thai legal translator, you must know when to make adaptations in your translation for it to make sense to your target audience, not just translate word-for-word.


#5. Get Familiar with Translation Tools

Science and technological advancements have had a positive influence on many sectors of life, including the translation industry. A Thai legal translator may now use a variety of tools to aid their translation quality and work efficiency, rather than relying solely on traditional translation methods.

CAT tools, which were first introduced in the mid-80s, have become must-have tools for any Thai legal translators. This technology allows translators to utilize certain resources to complete a legal translation task faster, more accurate and more consistent.

Other productivity tools for your workflow as a Thai legal translator include online proofreading, OCR, and quality assurance software. After you have finished translating a file, you may use a number of proofreading tools to find mistakes in your translation, increasing the quality of your translation. Meanwhile, OCR aids in the conversion of PDF files or scanned pictures into editable text forms, saving translators a significant amount of time.


#6. Get More Translation Experience as a Thai Legal Translator

Clients generally do not want their projects handled by translators with no or little experience, therefore, if you are a rookie Thai legal translator, you may find it difficult to get well-paid projects at first. You can get started by doing voluntary translation tasks for some non-government organizations or local events.

Our recommendation is to get engaged in translation tasks from professional translation businesses. The major goal is to assist you in gaining real-world experience and expanding your Thai legal translator portfolio. Professional translation businesses are continuously looking to strengthen their staff’s skill sets in order to demonstrate their expertise to partners and increase productivity. As a result, they invest a lot in training courses to boost staff credentials and professionalism. Furthermore, these courses will assist you in “upgrading” your worth, making it simpler for you to obtain a better job in the future.

GTE Localize is a reputable translation agency that consistently provides the best Thai legal translation services. We have a team of experienced native Thai linguists with a track record of 100% client satisfaction. If you are a Thai legal translator who is passionate about translation work and want to obtain work experience from real translation projects, join our team by sending your CV to

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