Why timeliness is the hallmark of a great legal translation

Home » News » Why timeliness is the hallmark of a great legal translation

Why timeliness is the hallmark of a great legal translation

Posted on

A great legal translation will be precise, accurate and it should be translated by a mother tongue speaker. It will also be translated by someone with an in-depth understanding and comprehension of the subject matter.

However,  there is one element of great quality translation that often goes unnoticed.

This is that translations have to be provided at the time that they are needed and that deadline will vary from document to document.


In order to be of any use to the customer, legal translations must be completed when they are needed. Timeliness is that missing factor that we hear so little about but is so important. A document that is translated for a customer after the point in time when it was required is of no use, even though the translation may be of a very high quality. In the fast moving business world laws, customs and practices can change often and quickly so a fast turnaround time is the hallmark of a great translation company.

Meeting the demands of global business

In the 21st century business is conducted 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. When people are arriving for work in San Francisco, workers are preparing to go home in Berlin. When Londoners are going to bed, companies are opening for business in Beijing. Consequently, legal translation services must be able to meet the demands of doing business round the clock and in different time zones.  For companies that are able to provide clear accurate and timely legal translations there is almost limitless demand for their services. Conversely companies that are unable to meet the demands of global business fall by the wayside, never to be heard of again.

Speed vs. Quality

When it comes to professional language legal translation Speed, and quality, in are certainly not mutually exclusive!

Some clients may be fearful that, in order to turn around documents quickly, they will have to compromise on quality.  This could not be further from the truth! If they have been established for a long time they will have a large pool of talented linguists to draw on. You can be confident that legal translation companies are perfectly aware of the impact of imprecise or inaccurate translated documentation, which includes more expense, legal action and damage to the company’s reputation.

Plan ahead

Keeping your translator in the loop and planning ahead are there best practical steps that you can take to ensure that the linguist you are working with has as much time as possible to undertake your translation. However, there will be times when time-scales change, perhaps legislation changes, for example, and you have a relatively short period of time in which to update and amend existing legal documents. Furthermore, bear in mind that if you are under pressure to update your legal documentation there is a chance that other companies in your industry are having to do the same, with the same short deadlines involved. This puts additional pressure on your translation company and, as there are only a finite number of top quality linguists available at any one time, you can see the danger in delaying translations until the last minute.