Guest Blog – Translation Services: What You Should Know If You Are A Legal Professional


By Bria Berry 

Linguistic diversity

In a country with a diverse population of approximately 332 million individuals, translational services are important especially to legal services because you may find yourself serving or interacting with a person who does not speak English. Nearly 22% of the U.S. population speaks a language other than English. While there are more than 350 languages spoken in America, the six most common languages are English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and French.

Linguistic challenges and why it is important to have a live interpreter

Language barriers are challenges in communication and dissemination of information, and should be considered in any process involving expert witnessing. Our translational experts know that a slight difference in the meaning of a word or phrase in a contract, court document, or regulation can compromise the outcome of the case. While machine translation is a useful tool, a live interpreter/ translator is needed for the nature of legal language, confidentiality, the precise semantics, and the requirements of the U.S. court in terms of translated materials being used as evidence.

Seven instances where our translation services may be needed

  • Oral or spoken courtroom testimony
  • Production of official or certified court document that translates foreign-language documents into the court’s language
  • Deposition or recorded piece of evidence from one language to another
  • Examining expert’s opinion regarding a particular court document or transcript originating in a different language
  • Disputes based on variant translations of contractual stipulations
  • Translating medical records, specifically records include essential patient information such as medications, conditions, and other terminology that requires precision and expert-level translation
  • Translating priority documents with specific requirements

Case study

A litigation partner at a leading law firm contacted our Expert Witness consulting firm with an urgent request for translation of a 5-page Spanish document that the other side was insisting be signed before negotiations could continue. The client gave us a short deadline and required for confidentiality reasons that only an attorney could be permitted to work on this material. We were able to beat the tight deadline after having the document translated by an attorney and legally proofread prior to completion.

If you are looking for a translational expert

With so much diversity in linguistics in the U.S., there will always be a role for experts in translation services. If you are a legal professional looking for assistance in translation services, please reach out to MED LAW Consulting ([email protected]) for assistance in identifying Certified translators.

Bria Berry
Epidemiology Fellow
Epidemiology and Behavioral Science Consultants, LLC


Bianchi, C. (2020). Translating Medical Records Is Like No Other Translation: How to Know You’re Getting It Right. Accessed from

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U.S Census Bureau. (2021). Accessed from

Ziegler, K. and Camarota, S. (2019). 67.3 Million in the United States Spoke a Foreign Language at Home in 2018. Accessed from

Disclaimer: Content is for educational and informational purposes only.

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