Difficulties of Legal Translation

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Difficulties of Legal Translation

difficulties of legal translation

4 Difficulties of Legal Translation English into Arabic 

Legal translators face difficulties in translating legal texts, as some legal concepts are not easily transferrable into the target language. In fact, legal translation is a complex matter. It requires a professional and experienced translator, who can convey the text precisely and accurately into the target language.  A legal translator needs to possess an in-depth knowledge of both legal systems involved. In this blog, we will discuss some of the challenges of legal translation from English into Arabic.

Challenges of legal translation from English into Arabic

Legal Translators need to be particularly careful when translating legal texts, as there is no room for errors within the field of law. The following are the major challenges legal translators face when translating from English into Arabic:

  1. Legal Systems 

Differences in legal systems in countries whose native language is English and countries whose native language is Arabic pose many problems in translating legal texts. The difference between English and Arabic law is that the Arabic legal system is an example of civil law, other whereas the English legal system is based on the common law. Also, each legal system is formed within a certain social and political framework related to language, uses, and habits of a particular group. Thus, this framework differs from one country to another. This makes a translation of legal texts more difficult. So, the legal translator should have a good knowledge of the legal system in both English and Arabic languages. 

  1. Absence of Equivalence 

 Absence of equivalent of certain concepts in Arabic is another challenge faces legal Translators.  As in the case of the term “Probation Officer” which is used in USA to refer to the officer who observes the person who is released from prison under certain conditions. In order to solve such a problem, a translator may add a note to explain the concept. 

  1. Culture Differences

Arabic and English are derived from different cultural and represent different influences. Legal language of a text is influenced by the culture of the country, which also influences the structure of the legal system. Thus, legal translation cannot be done without taking into account the cultural aspects and differences in legal systems.  Legal Translators need to understand the culture of the target language in order to translate legal texts accurately.

  1. Legal Terminology

In Legal Translation, it is important to convey the exact meaning of the source language to the target language. The translator may not find the exact terminological equivalent in the two languages, because of social, cultural and historical differences that influence the legal systems. So, legal translators are required to understand the exact meanings of legal terminology in both languages and research the legal concept of a term in the source language when the equivalent term in the target language is not clear in order to provide an accurate and consistent translation. 

Conclusion 

The many differences between English and Arabic history, tradition and legal systems, pose a great challenge for any translator working on legal translation. Thus, a professional translator should be aware of such differences to overcome the challenges of legal translation and produce a high-quality translation. The Translators should be aware to overcome this difficulties to achieve progress.

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