Some companies and even individuals, who either need a legal translation of a document or they have been asked to get one, could fall foul of an important document being leaked, because a free online translation service is used to perform the translation. It’s not so much the online machine translator that’s the culprit, but the fact that the legal document has been posted online.
There was one newsworthy example recently that highlighted the problem of posting legal documents online for anyone to see. This story appeared in Japan News and related how a letter written by a lawyer to his/her defendant related to a criminal trial that needed to be translated was posted on an online free translation service. Also around the same time some government and corporate correspondence was posted online using the same online translation website.
The details contained in the correspondence included the name of the person, her telephone number, the date the incident took place and the legal situation of the case at the time. This is the sort of information that should not be made available to the public if the case in the court has not reached a final verdict.
Be Wary of Online Translating Companies
It’s important for everyone to know that selecting a translator from an online translating company is not much use if the document needing to be translated is confidential and should not be made available for the public to review. There are several reasons why people choose online translators but it’s mainly to do with cheapness due to the use of machine translators that do a lot of the work.
The jury is still out when it comes to the role of machine translations in the translation industry. This is to do with the quality of work when compared to that performed by a human translator.
There is little monitoring when it comes to machine translations which means that as far as legal translations are concerned there is no guarantee they are accurate and can be successfully used as true representations of the source document.