Law: Specialist legal translations & interpreting services

In addition to the translation of texts from the fields of medicine, pharmacy and technology, we also focus on specialist legal translations and interpreting services.

As a professional service provider of specialist legal translations, we translate various types of legal documents, such as:

  1. GTC (General Terms and Conditions)
  2. Court documents
  3. Business reports
  4. Expert opinions
  5. Extracts from commercial registers
  6. Patents
  7. Terms and conditions of use
  1. Data processing contracts
  2. Protocols
  3. Articles of association
  4. Agreements
  5. Contracts
  6. Powers of attorney
  7. Data protection, confidentiality and customer protection agreements

Legal fields

We also provide specialist translation and interpreting services in the following legal fields:

  1. Antitrust legislation
  2. Banking law
  3. Trade proceedings
  4. Complex legal proceedings
  5. Building law
  6. Consumer group action lawsuits
  7. Litigation for companies
  8. Environmental protection
  9. Export control
  10. Financial services
  11. Government contracts
  12. Healthcare services
  13. Intellectual property litigation
  14. International trade litigation
  15. Industrial and employment law
  1. Biological sciences
  2. Maritime law
  3. Medical malpractice
  4. Mergers and takeovers
  5. Personal damages
  6. Free legal services
  7. Manufacturer liability
  8. Real estate litigation
  9. Supervision of transactions in securities
  10. Tax assessment
  11. Technology
  12. Trademarks
  13. Economic, internal and state investigations
  14. International arbitration proceedings

Challenges in the translation of specialist legal texts

Nowadays not only the relations and partnerships between individual companies are actively established and maintained. More and more networks are created, even across different industries. These processes involve a certain amount of documentation and, in light of this, the professional translation of legal texts and documents is becoming increasingly important.

The translation of specialized texts always presents certain difficulties, particularly with regard to the interpretation of highly specialized terms and contexts. One of the most difficult types of translation is the translation of legal texts and documents. These contain numerous difficulties and details which can only be dealt with by specialists.

Particularities of legal terminology (1)

Although lawyers often use easily understandable words and terms from normal everyday language, legal texts nevertheless often seem convoluted and are often difficult to understand for non-lawyers. This is due to the fact that legal language is characterized by some specific features that distinguish it from other specialized languages:

  • Abstract wording ensures that laws and legal regulations can be applied to a variety of cases and situations. Thus, it is quite general while also allowing lawyers to make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
  • Simplicity: The use of plain and simple language is also typical of legal texts. Embellishments and stylistic devices can therefore not be found in specialist legal texts. Instead, logic and precision come first, but this means that the texts are often harder for laypersons to understand.
  • Clarity or detail: Many legal documents, such as contracts, are either short and concise or appear to be particularly comprehensive and detailed, so that disputes in court over the interpretation of a text can be avoided wherever possible.
  • Technical terms are mainly found in special laws or texts aimed specifically at experts or authorities. Often, reference is also made to other legal texts.
  • Terms used in everyday language are often interpreted differently in a legal context or must first be defined.
  • Ambiguity of legal terms: In addition, many legal terms can have completely different meanings depending on the field of law. The interpretation of legal terms therefore highly depends on the context and requires extensive specialist knowledge.
  • Latin terms: Since our present legal system is largely based on Roman jurisprudence, legal texts usually contain a multitude of technical Latin terms and formulations, which are also much more precise than the corresponding expressions in the respective national language. An example of this is the well-known saying "in dubio pro reo" - when in doubt, for the accused.

Nevertheless, laws, contracts, powers of attorney or other legal documents are not only full of technical terms and expressions, but also have a very specific syntax. Characteristic features of legal texts include the excessive use of compound sentences (hypotaxes), participial constructions, clauses and phrases as well as a word order that is unusual for spoken language. In some languages, the syntactic structure of legal texts has its own specific features which must be taken into account by the specialist translator.

Differences between various legal systems

A significant difficulty in working with legal texts are the differences in the legal systems of various countries. For example, there are terms for which it is extremely difficult to find a suitable equivalent in the other language for the simple reason that such cases do not exist in the legal system of the target country.

When translating legal documents, it is imperative that the specialist translator also takes the cultural aspect into account. Idiomatic phrases and specialist expressions with distinct cultural nuances are often found in legal texts. In order to translate such linguistic constructions, the language expert needs good general knowledge, substantial vocabulary and a well-developed intuition for language.

In practice, all professional translators are faced with difficulties arising from the differences in legal and religious systems. Discrepancies between the source language and target language can arise from both historico-cultural aspects and current situations. For instance, the Russian and European legal tradition originates from Latin law, whereas British law is based on the Anglo-Saxon tradition. The differences between the sources of legal norms, court systems or liability measures are generally also reflected in their respective specialist terminology.

In addition to this, translating the titles of public authorities can often be problematic. Similar-sounding names of public officials can represent quite different fields of competence of various departments, and thus pose quite a challenge for the translator.

Our recommendation

If you need to have a legal document translated into German, English, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Hungarian or another world language, we strongly recommend finding a translator who does not just have the appropriate training and professional experience but is also a native speaker. Only a native speaker can make a text sound authentic and interpret specialist terms in the respective context correctly, which is a paramount prerequisite for legal texts. The choice of such a specialist translator can take a lot of time and, in the worst-case scenario, can go very wrong. For this reason, it is much more practical to directly contact a specialist translation agency that already has substantial expertise in the field of law and jurisprudence. A team of qualified professional specialist translators with top qualifications and many years of experience in this sector are available to all clients of the language agency AP Fachübersetzungen.

In addition to this, we are frequently and comprehensively supported in our proofreading projects by lawyers. This guarantees that the text corresponds to the reality of the legal system in question.

AP Fachübersetzungen: The specialist for the translation of legal documents and texts

Our specialist translation agency distinguishes itself from competitors first and foremost with the fact that we work with legal texts of all types and all degrees of difficulty. We have competent experience in this field and can guarantee that we will provide you with high quality translations that comply with all requirements for legal texts.

Every legal document that is processed by our Nuremberg-based language service provider is not just translated by an expert professional, but is also proofread several times and checked for quality.

If you contact AP Fachübersetzungen, you will receive a high-quality legal translation that complies with all international and linguistic norms and quality standards.




(1) Source:, status: 24/02/2020

AP Fachübersetzungen - reliable without exception!

We are happy to help you with legal translations.
You can call us at: +49 (0)911 - 650 08 650.