Pre-trial discovery has always been an essential component of fair procedure and due process. To prevent a “trial by ambush” on both sides the legal teams of the case must offer full exchange of any relevant documents. Discovery is becoming more and more complex because of the growth in the global economy of cross-border. One or more languages are often involved in cross-border litigation and dealing with multilingual documentation throughout discovery makes filtering, collecting, processing and reviewing a far more difficult job. It is recommended to follow an algorithm to make sure your legal firm can complete discovery as quickly as possible, with accuracy and efficiently.

For the smallest volume of multilingual discovery documents that are less than 1,000 words and need only to be translated into 2 languages, the most correct action is a complete legal document translation for all the pages by human translators who have legal expertise. Legal translators fully understand that the source text language reflects a particular legal system that has to be translated exactly so that it is fully understood by the targeted reader.

When discovery does produce large amounts of documents in many different languages, a complete human translation can be far too expensive. In this situation, the solution is to set up an agreeable relationship with a good translation company that is able to filter the documents and send to human translators only some of the most important ones.  A professional translation service relies on 2 main options, which are: foreign language document reviews and machine translations in order to filter documents.

Review for a Foreign Language Document Includes:

Stage 1: The translation services hire onsite reviewers which could be multilingual attorneys or professional legal translators who have legal expertise and are able to apply the legal principles of privilege and work out which are the most relevant documents.

Step 2: This is for the documents whose role is unclear so on-site reviewers prepare written or oral summaries for reviewing by the internal legal teams.

Step 3: The reduced number of documents that are relevant to the case go through a full translation by human translators.

Process for Machine Translation

Stage 1: Scan, OCR and index all of the documents and feed them into a machine translator that is able to determine the general “gist” of the contents of each document.

Step 2: Your legal team goes about reviewing the machine translated documents so as to identify which are most important to the case.

Step 3: All those relevant documents are to be translated by a qualified legal translators word for word

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