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Legal translations

legal translationsSpecialist translations in the legal sector not only need to reproduce the content of contracts, court decisions or official documents accurately, but, most importantly, need to be legally watertight and in some cases even authenticated by a certified translator. As well as overcoming linguistic and cultural barriers, a precise knowledge of legal interpretation in the country of the target language is also important here. The following information will demonstrate the challenges faced in dealing with legal translations and will explain what is important for this special type of translation service.


1. What is a legal translation?
2. Legal translations for companies and private persons
3. Particularities and challenges when dealing with legal translations
4. Benefits of a high-quality specialised translation by tolingo
5. Certified translations with tolingo
6. Summary: Being right, legally

Contacting tolingo / ordering a legal translation
Customer opinions
FAQs about legal translations

1. What is a legal translation?

On the most basic level, legal translation means translating content from the legal sector. Translators have the least amount of room for interpretation when it comes to legal translations, as their translations must produce legal certainty in communicating between two addressees that speak different languages. Examples of translations from the legal sector are:

2. Legal translations for companies and private persons

Translations of court documents, evidence, vital records and reports are especially needed by lawyers, notaries and courts. But companies and private persons also experience situations where a legally watertight rendering of texts in another language is required. Companies may need translations of their General Terms and Conditions for their international websites, certificates of registration, business contracts with international partners or texts on legal matters concerning patent rights. Private persons, on the other hand, most often require certified translations of official documents and attestations as well as translations of certificates.

3. Particularities and challenges when dealing with legal translations

Legal translations require a particularly sound level of expertise. Legal texts are very abstract, containing complex terms and, for non-specialists, often written in a strange style. As well as this, legal systems differ from country to country, which is also accompanied by differences in document structure, phrasing and the terminology used. The translator must be familiar with the current laws valid in the country of the target language and formulate the text in such a way that it can stand up in the relevant court and can be legally defended if necessary.

An incorrect reproduction of the text can have civil or penal consequences and, in the worst case, can lead to damage claims or cause other legal problems. Legal certainty and flawlessness are the most important attributes of a good legal translation and something that tolingo’s customers have been able to rely on for years.

4. Benefits of a high-quality specialised legal translation by tolingo

legal translations from tolingoThanks to many years’ experience with legal texts and close cooperation with specialists from this field, tolingo is able to offer a high level of expertise in a variety of different language combinations.

Because of the high demands of translations in the legal sector, all legal texts at tolingo are processed exclusively by specialised translators, who either have a degree in law or have gathered many years of professional experience in a legal environment. Not only are these translators consummately familiar with the terminology, they also have access to sources of specialised information and contact with experienced legal experts in the countries of the target language, who can help research specialist terms or explain certain contexts.

To make sure that mistakes are avoided, our translation process also involves a second native-speaker specialist translator, who checks the translated texts for grammar and syntax, correct reproduction of the original text’s content, spelling, punctuation and completeness. This process at tolingo is certified in accordance with the international standard ISO 17100 for specialised translations and includes the following:

Secure legal translations

Data security

We make it our priority to treat your documents with strict confidentiality. Every tolingo translator has signed a non-disclosure agreement. We would be happy to also issue you with a separate non-disclosure agreement. All data in our online shop is transferred by means of SSL encryption and is therefore fully protected.

5. Certified translations with tolingo

Of course, you can also receive certified translations from tolingo. For certified translations, which are required for certificates and other official documents, tolingo employs specialist translators who have an official governmental certification for the relevant language combination and for the country of the target language. Simply ask directly for a certified translation when submitting your enquiry. tolingo also takes care of acquiring an apostille for your certified translation should this be required.

6. Summary: Being right, legally

Legal texts should be translated and proofread by specialist translators with an educational background and considerable experience in the legal sector. This is the only way to guarantee legal certainty. tolingo provides a high level of security in international legal affairs with carefully selected translators, certified processes and a large selection of language combinations.

Customer opinions

Diekmann lawyers

»We are a Hamburg-based law firm, specialising in intellectual property rights as well as food and health law. We have put our trust in tolingo since it was founded with various legal texts and are always satisfied with the quality delivered and the processing time. Over the years, tolingo has proven a skilled and reliable partner, particularly when it comes to the translation of very long, highly specialised documents within a short timeframe. We are delighted to have found tolingo and would wholeheartedly recommend the company to others.«

As experts for national and international commercial law, the law firm DIEKMANN Rechtsanwälte regularly orders legal translations from tolingo. The strictly confidential texts for different clients, who mainly come from the medical and pharmaceutical industry, are painstakingly translated by specialist legal translators in line with the highest quality standards, then proofread in accordance with the “four-eye principle”. tolingo uses translators with expertise in the relevant area of law for DIEKMANN Rechtsanwälte in order to ensure an exact reproduction of the specific terminology.

All native-speaker translators are also sworn to discretion on confidential information, which is particularly important for DIEKMANN Rechtsanwälte. Thanks to the innovative tolingo technology with which translators from all over the world work, the text leaves the system in no time and is thus in the best hands at all times.

FAQs about legal translations

Does tolingo also issue apostilles for certified translations?

An apostille confirms the authenticity of the signatures and stamps on certificates. If required, tolingo can take care of applying for an apostille with the relevant authorities. Please note that acquiring an apostille can take several weeks, depending on the office or court. tolingo GmbH has no influence on how long this takes. Of course, you can also acquire an apostille for your translations yourself at any time. We would be happy to discuss the topic of apostilles with you personally.

Is a legal translation from tolingo legally watertight in the target country?

The specialist legal translators at tolingo make sure to produce a first-class translation of your legally watertight documents which corresponds exactly to the original text. However, tolingo cannot guarantee the legal certainty of this translation in the target country. For this legal certainty, a lawyer must be hired in the target country – someone who is familiar with the legal situation in the target country and who can check the translation based on this. Only lawyers may issue legal advice. It is only then that legal certainty can be guaranteed in the target country.

Do you also offer express translations?

Yes. We know that some customers also value the time in which they receive their translation in addition to its quality. Deadlines or proceedings are often scheduled at short notice, which requires a fast translation of contracts, pleadings or offers. We take these circumstances into account and usually translate your documents within the timeframe specified by you. Please indicate these when contacting us.

Should I write my own General Terms and Conditions (GTC)?

Based on our extensive experience in translating GTCs, we would advise against drafting the GTC for your company yourself. These GTC can often attract legal disputes in your home country. If such GTC are translated into other languages by tolingo, then content errors are also transferred to the target countries. To avoid any misunderstandings, GTC should always be drawn up or revised by appropriate and sufficiently qualified lawyers before you have them translated by tolingo.

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