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March 18, 2019By legaltranslationsblog

Some Great Legal Translation Tools

Legal translation jobs are sought after by translators because they require in-depth and specialist knowledge so they pay well. It requires a lot of perseverance on behalf of a legal translator to become competent and confident enough to perform good legal translations. Hours and hours of work have to be spent reading legal web pages and blog posts in the pair of languages to get a full understanding of legalese used in the two languages. Fortunately today, more and more legal translation apps are being developed.

Document Translation Apps that may help Legal Translators

One of the commonest tools used by any legal translator is the dictionary. The apps go far beyond just offering a bare definition of words but it fits them into their context too.

  • The dictionary app “Linguee,” because it’s online, can access translated legal documents that show how a legal word or term is used.
  • The Dictionary is a second useful translation tool which is a combination of a dictionary, a thesaurus and an encyclopaedia. It doesn’t just cover legal terminology but other topics like financial and medical< It’s available in key languages, such as French, German and Spanish.
  • Lingvo is more of an online dictionary supporting 20 languages with more than 6.5 million entries accessed via 200 dictionaries.

Other important translation apps are Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools. There are a couple worth mentioning one of which is SDL Trados Studio which is a helpful translator app that has a translation database. It also has tools to enable machine translations, finding terminology, and localisation software useful for legal translations. You can manage translation assignments by editing and reviewing as well. Matecat is an open-source CAT tool which is web-based and enables access to an extensive shared translation memory database. You can incorporate your own translation memory as well.

Machine Translation can be Helpful to Legal Translators

Google Translate isn’t known for its accuracy but if you are stuck finding a word to word translation it might just jolt your memory. You can quickly access even from your cell phone’s camera and if you want to use your voice you can get a translation from your spoken words as well. It supports more than 100 languages.

SDL Free Translation is a translation tool that’s available in 43 languages and you can upload multiple text files in many file formats at up to 5 Mb. Reverso Translation supports 13 languages but it’s known for its accuracy. It has a spell-checker, and apps for Android, iOS and Chrome extension.

Management Tools for Legal Translators

All translators need management tools and there are plenty of good ones available these days. BaccS is helpful for freelance translators and can do invoicing, accounting and CV creation. It can also assist in the generation of project reports and so that you can view all the details of your present projects on one dashboard. Memsource is a cloud platform that offers a practical working scenario for legal translators such as managing projects and optimizing the productivity of the process of translation. Close to this is another cloud translation business platform. It’s suitable for both legal freelancers and agencies and offers translation management systems, client portal and CRM. It has CAT tools available and offers website integration.

Tools for Translation Memory (TM)

Virtually every legal translator uses translation memory to ensure quick and accurate legal translation. There is a number available such as the free Wordfast Anywhere. It’s web-based and doesn’t require the need to install any software and can be used on any current platform. OmegaT. is a free translation tool for professional legal translators. Numerous translation memories can be used, custom glossaries can be created, and it can work with more than thirty file formats. Fusion translate is a TM tool which allows a legal translator to manage translation databases and work with other legal translators. Additionally, it offers contextual information throughout the translation. Fluency Now is a CAT tool which focuses on translation memory for legal freelancers. It has available a proofreading tool and project management facility.

Additional Tools for Legal Translators

There are a number of online tools that are available, but not specifically for legal translators. One of these is Grammarly, which checks grammar in English only. OpenOffice is an alternative to Microsoft Office and can be used to write text accurately and has editing tools. If several legal translators wish to work on the same translation and have a tight deadline to complete the using Google Drive is a good option. It enables translators to access a document that has been loaded onto Google Drive anywhere without the need for it to be sent by email. It can be edited and proofread by one translator and then if required by a second translator. For a freelance legal translator, Podio is useful for translation management as it helps to manage the translator’s time and organise translation projects.

In conclusion, even though the human legal translator is the best translator available for legal translations this doesn’t mean legal translators don’t use technology like apps to help them achieve their goals and produce a highly accurate legal translation.

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