What is immigration and why do people choose to immigrate?
Immigration is the action of coming to permanently live in another country that is non-native to the individual. It is interesting to note that the act of immigration is one that transcends human history and is in fact a fundamental aspect of it. It is also interesting to note that it is only in the last century that documentation has been a legal requirement for the purposes of resettling in a new country.
There are a wide range of reasons as to why people immigrate from their birth country and these include escaping conflict zones, environmental factors such as flooding, escaping poverty, to embark on higher education or to seek better job opportunities. The list is endless.
However, documentation is very important and needs to be sorted out in advance and for this you will need a legal translator; someone who can understand the source and target languages accurately.
What is legal translation?
Legal translation is the highly skilled field of translating legal documents from a source language into a target language. There might be temptations here to use a regular translation service or even an internet based translation service, but there are a myriad of pitfalls if either of these options are chosen over a qualified legal translator.
Legal translation is complex and requires someone who understands more than just the source and target languages. They need to be able to comprehend the vast amount of legal terminology and be able to translate it quickly, efficiently and most importantly, accurately for the client. Failure to do so can warrant penalties and fines, as just some of the problems that may be encountered if a legal translator is not employed for this task.
In addition to this, by using a legal translator, they will have a firm understanding of the legal systems of both the source and target language. This is especially important as legal systems can vary enormously and do not always marry. For example, the Russian, Ukrainian and German legal systems are all conducted under civil law, whilst the English legal system is conducted under common law. The many complexities that this situation brings when translating immigration documents, can be overcome by employing a qualified legal translator.
The importance of using a legal translator to translate immigration documents
Translating immigration documents comes under the field of certified translation, as these are official documents that will determine citizenship status of individuals. For them to be fully certified though they need to be translated by a legal translator and there are a number of benefits of employing someone qualified in this expertise.
Firstly, the documents that need completing in order to apply for immigration are lengthy and challenging for a non-native speaker to fill in. They would undoubtedly have trouble understanding the various sections, but nevertheless have to complete the document regardless of their proficiency in the target language. This is where a legal translator can help enormously, not only with completing each section accurately, but also ensuring that it is in line with the legal system of the target country.
Another reason to seek the services of a legal translator for translating immigration documents is that there will be a variety of documents required to support the application. This will undoubtedly include a birth certificate, but may also extend to such documentation such as marriage or divorce certificates if they are applicable and bank statements. All of these documents need to be presented in both the source and target languages. They must be accurate as there is no margin for error. Mistranslations can ultimately be the result of citizenship being granted or not, hence why a legal translator should once again be employed for this task, as this risk is significantly reduced.
Furthermore, by engaging a legal translator to sort the translation of these extremely complicated and important documents, it gives government departments an assurance that they have not been forged. Such a level of validity should not be overlooked or underestimated. Therefore it makes sense to invest in the services of a qualified legal translator, as they know what they are doing, are accurate, efficient and will avoid mistranslations.
Prepared by Yuliya Kinash, certified German & English to Russian/Ukrainian translator