Why Puerto Rico Legal Translation Stands Out

The work of Spanish-language legal translators in Puerto Rico is constantly under close scrutiny by highly bilingual attorneys, clients, as well as other bilingual parties –including judges– in the Commonwealth’s state and federal judicial system. It’s no surprise then, that experienced and successful translators in the Puerto Rico legal system are known for the high quality of their work.

Whereas it’s relatively rare for attorneys in the U.S. to be conversant in the fine points of legal translation, the opposite is true in Puerto Rico. In particular, federally practicing attorneys on the island are often themselves accomplished translators, since they regularly translate for clients or courts as part of their day-to-day practice. In many cases, the reason they contract legal translators is not because they could not do the work themselves, but rather because this is more cost-efficient for their clients and because of the requirement that translations filed before the U.S. District Court for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico be certified.

In Puerto Rico, even slight errors or questionable nuances in a translation are regularly pounced on for acute criticism by attorneys. However, it’s also the case that Puerto Rico attorneys often provide insightful observations on translations and terminology even when there are no errors as such in a translation. For example, sometimes there are errors and awkward or confusing phrasings in source documents, and translators in Puerto Rico can typically count on excellent suggestions from their attorney clients to help resolve translation issues.

At Font Translations, we salute the energy, dedication and perspicacity of the many attorneys, paralegals, and other bilingual professionals in Puerto Rico who over the years have kept us on our toes and provided an additional layer of motivation for us as legal translators.  For three decades, it’s been very rewarding for us to grow professionally and succeed as translators in a highly demanding jurisdiction such as Puerto Rico.

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