THE PROBLEM WITH LOSS OF MEANING
One of the most pernicious problems in translation is how translating text from one language into another language can lead to a loss of meaning. In some cases, this is because a literal translation many times omits the nuance, while in other cases, the translation has not been “localized” for the correct market, meaning, it has not taken into account the target audience, it’s more generic. Regardless of its ultimate cause, loss of meaning is a problem that promises to persist so long as text continues to be in need of translation.
HOW THE PROBLEM ESCALATES WITH THE TRANSLATION OF LEGAL DOCUMENTS
Loss of meaning becomes even more serious with business document translation involving passages of a legal nature. In part, this is because even small changes in the meaning of business document translation can exert significant influence over the users’ decision-making. However, part of the problem also lies in the fact that there is so much more room for error.
It is important to note that comprehension of legal jargon in even one legal system is not a common skill. For a translator to be able to produce accurate translations, said individual must be able to comprehend the legal system behind the text and then somehow reproduce the meaning using terms belonging to the legal system with which the user is familiar. Failure on one end can cause serious problems involving significant sums, not to mention the fact that business document translation involving legal matters often carries time constraints.
HOW TO COMBAT THE PROBLEM
In the end, there is no simple solution to the loss of meaning that comes with translation in general, in particular legal texts. Skill and experience are very important to avoid these pitfalls, but translation of legal matters is one of the most demanding tasks in regards to both.