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Legal Translation in the USA
Thread poster: Angel_7

Angel_7  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:51
French to English
+ ...
Apr 1, 2007

Hi there

I was thinking of moving to the USA from the UK but obviously I realise the nuances of American legal language and the court system etc. won't be quite the same. How can I obtain training on legal translation within an Amercian context? Do any universities offer it and what are the requirements in becoming a court translator?


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Surf Apr 1, 2007

Your best bet is to start surfing and finding the answers to your question which are quite broad. You'll find a lot.

It is also good to think of the potential benefit of making the move vs. staying where you are, such as

1.- Whether there would be more lor less demand for your skills in the USA than in UK. I would think there would be much less demand for French.

2.- The difficulty of having to learn to play a new game and the learning curve involved. It could take a long time.

But surf.


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Laura Tridico  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:51
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
I don't really see a difference for you in working here or there... Apr 2, 2007

I'm US based with a specialty in US legal translation, but most of my clients are in Europe and I translate for both markets (US and UK). (BTW, I was a US -trained lawyer for a number of years). I'm not sure why you would need to change your specialization (UK law) or your client base if you live here, given how easy it is to work with European clients via the Internet.

Unfortunately I can't speak to the requirements for being a court translator, since I don't do that (and Henry's right, there isn't a huge market here for French>English in the courts). But you can do quite well doing French>English legal translation here on the international market

NYU offers an on-line translation certification program, and they offer two courses on legal translation. It isn't cheap, but it's a possibility...I haven't taken them, though, so I can't really speak to what is covered.

I hope this helps a bit.

Laura


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Angel_7  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:51
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Apr 2, 2007

Thanks for this. It is possible that my other language, Spanish would be in higher demand in the USA so this might be something I would need to think about.

It's encouraging to know however that I wouldn't really need to change my specialisation to work over there and could continue to work with the same clients. I hadn't thought of that.


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slabejka
Local time: 09:51
Slovak to English
Over-emphasis on differences Apr 2, 2007

People waste much too much time analyzing the differences between US and British English. To be sure, there are many differences, nuances as you say, but in the end these are mutually compatible languages and after a few translations, especially with respect to official offices and such, you should have absolutely no problems with translations. And from what I see on my trips home to the US, everything is available in Spanish as well as French in addition to English, although Spanish is definitely more prevalent. I wouldn't worry too much about any expensive retraining. The internet will be a great source of information that should be sufficient to overcome the "differences".

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Spanish Apr 2, 2007

There is a vast demand for Spanish in the USA, but there again, you would be competing against people who have an intimate knowledge of the dialectical varieties involved, with which you may not be familiar.

However, the idea of continuing to work for current clients is a very good one. You certainly should not leave them behind.


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:51
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Visas? Apr 2, 2007

Not to be a downer, but it's not easy to move from the UK to the US, just as it's very difficult for US citizens to move to the EU to work. Have you looked into the legalities?

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Angel_7  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:51
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Legalities Apr 2, 2007

Daina Jauntirans wrote:

Not to be a downer, but it's not easy to move from the UK to the US, just as it's very difficult for US citizens to move to the EU to work. Have you looked into the legalities?


The Green Card isn't an issue. It's more a question of what work would be available.


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Angel_7  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:51
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Time difference between US and uK Apr 2, 2007

Laura

Just a thought: isn't it difficult to work with European clients in the US due to the huge time difference?


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Laura Tridico  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:51
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
It hasn't been an issue at all... Apr 2, 2007

The time difference hasn't been an issue, it just takes minimal planning. My clients know that I live at GMT -5, so they generally don't send me e-mails before 12:00 GMT+1, and usually later.I check my e-mail when I first get up and throughout the day thereafter. I'm wrapping up a teaching contract and have kids at home, so I usually work later in the day and into the evening.

I've actually found the time difference can be advantageous - if I get a "rush" project late in the European work day, I can still usually accept it because I have all day to work on it over here. If I send a document in the evening, it's on the client's desktop in the morning. I just keep in mind that if a project deadline is Friday, I really need to have it completed and sent on Thursday evening to account for e-mail issues, etc.

If a Green Card isn't an issue and you have the right to work here, I wouldn't worry at all about maintaining your current clients and keeping your business active. I suppose its possible a couple of clients may fall away based on geographic location, but in this day and age it isn't any big deal.

Best of luck!


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Angel_7  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:51
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Apr 3, 2007

Thanks for your advice Laura.

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