Legal Writing Style

The legal translator must be more precise in his writing than any other translator. Most translators can expect the text to be read in good faith but they must write bearing in constant acknowledgment of readers in bad faith (i.e those looking for loopholes in the contract so as to avoid liability for their failure to perform.)

Not every legal document will be read by such foes. If all goes well, no question will ever arise. Nevertheless, a legal translator must take pains to translate precisely into the target language, no more and no less so that a person in good faith can understand and so that the person reading in bad faith cannot misunderstand.

Saying precisely what we mean is not easy. Many of the words are ambiguous and a legal translator must know how to use them properly. Also, in legal documents, it is important to use only one term for any concept. Referring to the same thing by different names, known as an elegant variation, may confuse the reader and it may create legal problems.

Source: BORJA ALBI, Anabel. Estrategias, materiales y recursos para la traducción jurídica.

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