It is always an up-hill task no matter how simple the document can seem, while translating documents that is to be produced in the Court of law. A wrong translation can lead to severe problems for all parties involved and could result in hundreds and thousands of dollars wasted. It also results in valuable time being wasted by the judicial systems as well and in tun slowing down the legal process in a country. It is said that the courts the world over waste at least a million to 2 million pounds a year due to translation and interpreting errors. That is a huge sum of money, think of what that money could do to the under-privileged and mal-nourished children in Africa or in worn torn regions like Afghanistan.
The problems of legal translation can result from the smallest of figures which can be mis-interpretted and thus leading to a ton of damage. I am a English to French Translator and I do Project Management as well for our company and I specialise in Legal Translations for our firm. I recently had a survey done by our translators and found that even though most of them were Sworn Translators and duly assigned by their countries Judicial System to carry out certain translations they always felt nervous before the start of every Legal Translation. It's just the way it is, we are after all only human and to make mistakes comes naturally to us but when there is so much at stake it generally calls for nothing short of perfection!
As my friend always says when ever I get a court job I have butterflies in my stomach, not so much though as I used to when I started of initially but it is still there never the less and as he puts it "When a footballer runs to take a penalty kick there is always a level of anticipation and excitement among everyone watching it and even though we may be many many miles away form the actual action the anxiety that we feel and the rush that one gets is equivalent to at least 5 to 10% of what the player feels who's actually going to take the free kick. But unlike a football match where they may not be necessarily as much at stake in a Legal Translation it involves too many people and the consequences could even lead to someone spending the rest of their life behind bars for being wrongly acquitted due to mis-interpretation of facts because of wrong translation or interpretation.
On the other hand however the translation Industry plays a very very important role in the complex world of Judiciary the world over. We are a very important part of the entire process. I mean think of it rationally how many multi-lingual companies have collaborations today and how many of them need to have these Legal documents translated and documented if the translation industry never existed none of these would have been possible so amidst the problems of Legal translations I strongly believe like any coin has two sides to it so does every industry, its about harnessing the the power of being able to do it right and do it correctly that will eventually win in the long run, yes there will be problems and pit falls but hey which industry doesn't.
I enjoy my job and what's more important is I get to learn new things about people, cultures and countries I may never visit as long as I live. I do know one thing though that even though I may be Maryland my entire life and never travel outside 200 miles out of the state my work is being represented the world over and if I don't carry out my job to the best of my ability someone, some firm, somewhere will suffer dearly because I couldn't do my job to the best of my ability. It is this that motivates me day after day to do the job to the best of my ability and the pride that I get to know that I am helping people by simply doing my job and doing it right!