Over the years I have translated and interpreted in a wide variety of environments, including the Justice System, Social Security, Business, and Engineering to name a few. I have come to specialise particularly in legal and technical translation, covering areas such as Arbitration, Contracts, Personal Documents and Immigration, Environmental Impact and Remediation, Construction, and Naval Engineering.
That said, the notion of ‘specialisation’ can be somewhat blurry: how does one categorise an aeronautical engineering document that also quotes statutory or regulatory provisions, or a compensation judgment that quotes complex technical analysis on metal fatigue and material failure?
Thus, one useful way to visualise what a translator does is to consider what happens when a lawyer or barrister takes on a case: they immerse themselves in the ‘brief’ so that they can argue confidently on all relevant points – both points of law (in which they are acknowledged experts), and also points of scientific or technical fact (where their expertise in research, logic, and discourse comes into play). So a trained professional translator is like the ‘counsel’ that helps you advocate your documents or ideas before the ‘court of opinion’ in another language.