Language Translation, Legal Interpreting Services and Foreign Language Document Review

When a case involves the reviewing of foreign language documents, an attorney has several options, including the use of a foreign language translator and machine/computer based translation services. In order to ensure a defendable document review, it is best to outsource the project to a bi- or multilingual foreign language translator.

The purpose of a foreign language document review, at least in the discovery stage, is to gain a good understanding of the nature of the documents. The key,however, is to get a foreign language translator that is familiar both with the language of the document and English, but also with the nature of the document’s content. After all, the proof is often in the context. This, of course, is precisely the problem with computer-based translation services. Although these services may be sufficient for gaining a basic understanding of a website or article, they lack the ability to translate context. Further, it is questionable whether or not a computer-based translation service can be certified in the sense required for presenting a foreign language translation as evidence.

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