Legal Translations

  • Public tenders
  • Contracts and agreements
  • Immigration
  • NDAs
  • Lawsuits, judgments and appeals
  • Powers of attorney
  • Contracts of employment
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Legislation in all fields
  • Minutes of AGMs and board meetings
  • Civil, administrative and criminal proceedings
  • Real estate

Legal translations tend to be urgent affairs. Lawyers usually want their translations quickly because of a fast-approaching court date or meeting to sign a contract. This is where the pace of the business world can really get fast and furious. Often, especially when dealing with government agencies such as courts, the tax or immigration authorities, etc., lawyers will require certified translations or official translations, which are performed strictly by official translators approved by the Mexican judiciary.

The need for accuracy in legal translations goes without saying. A poor quality translation can cause a court case to be adjourned or the signing of contracts or agreements delayed until a satisfactory translation is obtained. The art is to get it right first time, regardless of the urgency. Professional legal translators have to work with speed and precision to make sure the terminology is absolutely spot on and – as is often overlooked in these cases, despite seeming a statement of the obvious – that the whole of the document or documents is translated. An incomplete translation is just as problematic as an inaccurate one.

So, a two hundred-page purchase agreement comes in on Thursday evening and it’s in Spanish. The law firm needs it first thing Monday morning to send to London in British English. We are aware that 9 am Mexico City time is 3 pm in London, so we get on the job straight away.

The document first needs to be analysed for terminology and a glossary compiled or selected from our stock. Then it is divided into as many parts as there are legal translators taking part in the job, each of whom will refer to the same legal glossary to ensure the right terminology is used uniformly throughout the translation. Once the initial translation has been completed, the different segments are then put together and checked thoroughly by the proof-readers, who make sure the translation is complete, accurate and consistent in terms of legal terminology. If a certified translation has been requested, it will be printed out, stamped and signed by the official translator before delivery to the customer. All of this is done before the agreed deadline.

Medical Translations / Pharma Translations

  • Dossiers
  • Research papers
  • Regulatory
  • Certificates of analysis
  • Stability tests
  • Procedures with COFEPRIS, FDA and other health authorities
  • Clinical studies
  • Patient / doctor information
  • Export licenses
  • Biotechnology

A substantial percentage of the day-to-day work of many sizeable translating agencies is accounted for by medical translations and/or pharma translations. This is largely due to the sheer size of this pharma sector. According to the statista website, in 2020 the pharmaceuticals industry was a worth whopping $1.27 trillion USD (https://www.statista.com/topics/1764/global-pharmaceutical-industry/#dossierKeyfigures).

In spite of this astronomical figure, it is important to put things into perspective by pointing out that the pharmaceutical industry is just one part of the medical or healthcare sector. This state of affairs is invariably reflected in the expertise – both deep and broad – required to be a medical translator.

Translations for alternative medicine

For instance, alternatives like homeopathic medicine, shiatsu and acupuncture have been around for a long time and bring a very different view of human health to the discussion. And in more recent times the spectrum of options has opened up significantly to embrace a whole host of new treatments and remedies, ranging from Ayurveda to holistic massage and far greater spending on investigation into the health benefits of substances used in ancestral medicine such a psilocybin, THC, mescaline, DMT and other psychotropic plants. Any medical translator worth their salt needs to be completely up to speed with the universe of terminology inherent to these alternative therapies.

The rise and rise of the wellness market

Then there is the alternative approach to healthcare afforded by the wellness market, which has also been around for many years but is now soaring to stratospheric heights. According to some estimates, this sector is already bigger than the pharmaceutical industry in terms of revenue (https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/feeling-good-the-future-of-the-1-5-trillion-wellness-market) and currently experiencing two-digit annual growth.

Like so many aspects of life, healthcare is currently undergoing profound changes in terms of the options available and the demands being made by an increasing well-informed public. Whatever the outcomes of these trends may be in the short, medium and long term, translation companies need to stand at the forefront to make sure that the very latest developments can be known quickly and accurately all over the planet regardless of language or geography.

Technology Translations

  • Telecommunications
  • Cybersecurity
  • Cloud services
  • IoT
  • AI
  • Blockchain
  • User manuals
  • Software and programming
  • Websites
  • SAP
  • Data processing
  • Technical specifications

Technology is without doubt earning its place as an all-pervasive and mandatory presence in our day-to-day lives. The Internet of Things (IoT), the Blockchain, cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the increasing sophistication of everything from smartphones to database management all form part and parcel of our daily activities and interactions. According to the Computing Technology Industry Association, the technology market will be worth 5.3 trillion dollars in 2022.

AI in professional translations

This dramatic advance in the use and omnipresence of technology affects Language Service Providers in a number of ways. Firstly, AI-based translation software is capable of translating increasingly complex sentences using a far broader range of accurate technical terminology covering every sector and industry. In practice this means that many translating agencies perform the initial translation with select software and then involve human proofreaders to check and correct the text generated in the target language.

Secondly, the expanding participation of advanced technology in our everyday lives means that people from all walks of life are now required to have a solid command of all the new technology-related terms and expressions. In particular, technology translators need to master these terms in different languages and fully understand the context in which they are used.

Then there are all the countless acronyms that inhabit the world of IT that translators of technology texts have to contend with. Whether we’re talking about a DSL, a LAN, an SSHD, a VPN or even SaaS, the challenge is to understand exactly what this is and get it absolutely right in the translation. And just to put things into perspective, this isn’t the future: this is right now.

Energy Translations

  • Public tenders
  • Upstream, midstream and downstream
  • Contracts and agreements with government authorities
  • Correspondence with authorities
  • Financing and loans
  • Platforms, pipelines, refineries and other facilities
  • Reports and studies on energy sector SWOT
  • Energy, civil, mechanical and chemical engineering
  • Soil and seismic studies
  • Power plants
  • Safety at work and environmental regulations
  • Official Mexican Standards
  • Good manufacturing practices

Today it is impossible to talk about energy without sparing some thought for the environment. The two are now inextricably linked and the future of the energy sector will necessarily depend on its ability to accommodate increasingly urgent and vociferous environmental concerns.

Energy translations already need to encompass a huge array of specialist fields, from tenders and contracts for projects such as exploration, exploitation or storage, to the whole question of loans and financing for these projects, and other highly specialist fields such as engineering, chemistry and geology. But as the environment continues to top the agenda for many governments and NGOs, translators working on energy-related matters will now have further specialist fields to conquer.

International agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Accords and the recent COP26 Conference have all instituted changes in the way we conceptualize energy, at a time when demand for energy is sky-rocketing. These changes, in turn, pave the way for new regulations, new technologies and a completely different approach to choosing how we power the planet and the consequences of these choices.

The challenge for energy translators and translation companies is, as is the case in other sectors, staying abreast of all the new terminology generated by these developments in all the different languages. When the issue in question is one that affects the whole of humanity, as is the case of the environment and the role of the energy sector in protecting it, information needs to move fast and reliably across the world’s different languages, with a single voice conveying a single message.

Infrastructure Translations

  • Transport and logistics
  • Airports and aviation
  • Railways
  • Ports and maritime
  • Energy
  • Automotive sector
  • Gas and oil pipelines
  • Telephony
  • Architecture and reviews
  • Roads, bridges and highways
  • Hydraulic facilities
  • Technical manuals
  • Operating manuals
  • Construction

According to the infrastructure consultancy firm, Global Infrastructure Hub, the infrastructure sector is currently undergoing four sweeping changes (https://www.gihub.org/articles/four-infrastructure-trends-that-will-shape-our-future/):

  1. Increasing climate change
  2. Increasing natural disasters and the need for resilient infrastructure
  3. The aging of current infrastructure, and
  4. Urbanisation and population growth

New considerations now come into play as time conjures up new realities not contemplated by previous generations of civil engineers and town planners. These new considerations will require new solutions and these new solutions will, without a shadow of a doubt, arrive hand-in-hand with a whole new lexicon that professional infrastructure translators and translation companies will have to master very quickly.

Language evolves every bit as rapidly and comprehensively as the things it describes, which in practice means absolutely everything. In few fields is this as evident as infrastructure, where factors such as the advent of cutting edge technologies like IoT, the accelerating switch towards an eco-friendly society and the planet’s ever-shifting demographics are exerting an increasing degree of influence on the trends in this sector.

If we also bear in mind that the trends and challenges that need to be addressed in this field are mainly – if not exclusively – global, there can be little doubt that infrastructure translations in a whole host of languages are going to play a crucial role in shaping the future. This is why truly specialised and expert translators are going to be valued more than ever before.

Financial Translations

  • Financial statements
  • Audits
  • GAAP
  • Minutes of shareholder meetings
  • Reports and studies
  • Accounting
  • Taxation
  • Trust agreements
  • Invoicing
  • Tax and accounting legislation
  • Loan and credit agreements

Few things in life are as stressful for CEOs and CFOs as a run-in with the taxman. This is where company executives can suddenly go into overdrive to address the situation, beginning with identifying who they need to get on board to ward off this threat to company finances. In practice this will usually mean a team of accountants, tax lawyers and, of course, expert financial translators. But why financial translators?

Certified translation of invoices for purchases made abroad

In the arithmetical realm of assets and liabilities, the more expenses you can demonstrate, the less tax you will probably be required to pay. But what if a substantial part of those expenses were incurred abroad? No problem; this is nothing that a certified translation can’t remedy. All those invoices issued in Europe, the US or Canada for goods and services not available in the domestic market may well be acceptable to the local tax authorities as justified expenses if they are translated into the required language by an official translator or a certified translator.

Translations for the entire financial sector

But this is really just one minute aspect of the extensive and highly-specialised field of financial translations. The financial terminology used in, say, the minutes of a shareholders’ meeting may vary significantly from the language featured in a loan agreement or an audit. An expert financial translator or translation company will have a solid grasp of all financial lexicon and be conversant enough to speak the same language as a stock market trader, a banker, an accountant or the CFO of a major multinational. The challenge is to get it right first time with speed and accuracy so that users of financial translations get the solution they need when they need ito.

Insurance Translations

  • Adjustment reports
  • Claims
  • Insurance policies
  • Insurance legislation
  • Forensic studies
  • Hydro-meteorological hazards
  • Mechanical and engineering
  • Roads and highways
  • Civil liability
  • Robbery against transport
  • Subrogation
  • Maritime insurance
  • Lawsuits

The insurance industry is one of the silent giants of the business world. What it may lack in glamour or profile, compared with other sectors and industries, it more than makes up in sheer pervasiveness. Insurance is everywhere. Your home, your car, your health, your business, your loans, and even your life itself are all insurable.

We all know that things sometimes go wrong and getting insured is often the means we turn to in order to take the sting out of the blow. But such is our penchant for this option that in 2020 the insurance industry was worth no less than $1.28 trillion USD (https://www.iii.org/publications/a-firm-foundation-how-insurance-supports-the-economy/introduction/insurance-industry-at-a-glance#:). That’s gigantic by any stretch of the imagination.

Another surprising fact is just how complex the art of insurance translations can be. Let’s take an adjuster’s report on a claim involving a truck hitting and damaging a bridge. This report, often between ten and twenty pages in length, will mention the damaged components of the truck, the materials used in the construction of the bridge, the clauses of the insurance policy to identify whether or not this kind of loss is covered and the figures involved in the claim, as well as possibly making some reference to insurance legislation. This means that, for this short document alone, an expert insurance translator will have to have a thorough command of the terminology of car mechanics, civil engineering, legalese, finance and legislation – most certainly an array of linguistic talents that not many translation professionals and translating agencies will have at their disposal. This is why it is essential to send insurance translations to a real expert.

Tourism Translations

  • Publications and reviews
  • Holiday brochures
  • Aviation
  • Hospitality
  • Events
  • Resort and activity profiles
  • Menus and wine lists
  • Car rental
  • PR and advertising
  • Hotel administration
  • Hotel, restaurant and resort websites

If you’re a professional translator it’s likely that the first thing that comes to mind when considering tourism translations is the high profile clanger that appeared on the Ministry of Tourism’s official website in 2020 featuring Guerrero, the name of a state on Mexico’s Pacific coast, which was translated into English as “Warrior”. This unfortunate mishap opens the door to whole host of bizarre possibilities. Would Newcastle in England have to appear as Castillo Nuevo in Spanish language travel brochures? Or Liverpool as Piscina de Higado?

Humour aside, the consequences of cutting corners and turning to inexperienced and/or careless translators just to save a few pesos turned out to be extremely costly in terms of prestige and credibility. What was at stake here was nothing less than the image of a state and a nation in the eyes of the country’s foreign visitors.

Given that around 88% of Mexico’s international tourists the previous year (2019) came from the US, Canada and the UK, which are all English-speaking countries, (https://datosmacro.expansion.com/comercio/turismo-internacional/mexico), maybe spending just a little more to get a professional tourism translator on the case to ensure a decent job would have been a good move. Obviously the error was quickly corrected, but the damage had been done, turning this episode into a classic example of prevention being so much better than cure.

An expert tourism translator needs to amass a lot of knowledge and skills in order to produce good quality work for this sector, which accounts for 9% of the country’s GDP (https://www.eleconomista.com.mx/economia/Dia-Mundial-de-Turismo-el-sector-aporta-9-de-cada-100-pesos-al-PIB-de-Mexico-20210927-0058.html). But perhaps the very first thing he or she will learn is that proper nouns, such as place names, are usually left unchanged in translations.

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