The Future Of Legal Translation

Translation is one of the oldest professions in the world, and particularly legal translation has always played a crucial role in human history. The modern legal translation industry that we know now is the result of a development as old as humankind – and this development is not over yet. On the contrary, changes take place all the time and we expect the legal translation business to evolve and transform further. Today we will share some industry insights into the future of legal translation and what can be expected in the coming years.

The Future Of Legal Translation

Improvements Of Translation Tools, But Machine Translation Remains An Absolute No-Go

Translation tools (which are NOT the same as machine translation – see here for details) are constantly improving. AI will support the further development of additional quality check features and also make the translation process faster. This means that both translators and clients will profit from such innovations. Machine translation, however, will not become an alternative, particularly for legal translation, a field in which mistakes can have severe consequences.

translations tools

Language Pair Shifts

English has been extremely important in international transactions and will certainly remain in huge demand. However, we can also see that more and more other language pairs are requested for B2B and B2C legal translation. This is a direct result of newly created or developing business connections between different countries. For example, when new free trade agreements are signed, or when businesses approach new target markets in emerging countries, the demand for quality legal translation automatically follows.

New Fields Of Specialisation Among Legal Translators

In the past, many translators have already specialised in fields such as contract translation or legal translation for foreign direct investment. Given recent economic developments, trends and changes, it can be expected that some linguists will specialise in other content, such as legal texts for online transactions, compliance, copyright on the internet, etc.

Changes Needed For Certified Legal Translations

An area within legal translation that needs to catch up is certified translation. The standard process for certified translation is to affix a signature and a stamp or seal on a paper copy of the translation. Needless to say, this cannot be done online and therefore requires more time than a translation that is delivered via email. Possible solutions could include digital stamps/signatures, allowing more alternatives to certified legal translation (such as declarations signed by linguists in which they confirm the correctness of their work), allowing wider usage of translations without certifications, or combinations of the above.

changes needed for certified legal translations

More Legal Translation Services Required By Small/Medium Sized Businesses for E-Commerce

Global expansion has previously mostly been reserved for large enterprises. With the internet and e-commerce, however, global expansion becomes a realistic and attractive business opportunity for small enterprises and even individual entrepreneurs. We expect that more and more legal translations (of purchase terms and conditions, disclaimers, etc.) will be requested by small businesses with e-commerce activities.

Emergence Of Remote Interpretation

The availability of more technological resources, but also environmental awareness and the Covid-19 crisis have all led to a growing demand for remote interpretation. Remote legal interpretation might soon be accepted as the standard rather than the exception, even in formal and official situations.

Emergence of remote interpretation

elionetwork has been in the translation and localisation industry for two decades. Thanks to our rich experience we are ready for whatever the future holds for legal and other translations. Contact our friendly team in Singapore, Bangkok or Phnom Penh now to discuss your translation needs or request a free quote!