LEGAL

When it comes to legal writing, and especially contract drafting, translators must be fully acquainted with the legal terminology used in both languages. Accuracy is certainly a requirement, but so is a natural adaptation to the style of the target language.

For instance, many translators often translate the Portuguese expression “O documento tem caráter confidencial” quite literally as “The document is confidential in nature” or even as “The document has a confidential characteristic,” when the most fluent and accurate English expression would be “This document is confidential”.

Another example is how numbers are written in a contract. In Portuguese, numbers always appear in numerals first, then in words in between parenthesis: “USD 1.000,00 (mil dólares)”. In English, that order is reversed: “One thousand dollars (USD 1,000.00)”. One must also remember that the thousand and decimal separators are reversed relative to the other language.

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