Translation mistakes in virtually any industry can have a negative impact on your business, but this is particularly true in the legal field, where credibility, accuracy, and thoroughness are paramount. The consequences of poor translation services can be especially severe in the legal profession, where even the smallest error can have devastating consequences. Here are just a few translation mistakes that may harm your law firm:

• A poorly translated website can convince new clients to look elsewhere for legal services. Your firm’s website is often your first opportunity to connect with potential clients. From your landing pages to the lawyer profiles to the descriptions of your services to the contact forms provided for visitors to the site, a poorly translated website could easily derail your efforts to build your client base. Put simply, if translation mistakes are made on your website, you run the risk of losing clients before they ever come onboard.

• Depending on machine translations can be disastrous. In an effort to find the most cost-effective options available, you may be tempted to use some form of online translation service or translation software. This, however, would be a huge mistake for any law firm. For documents where one poorly translated word can mean the difference between winning and losing a case in court, translations should always be done by human translators.

• Choosing translators with little or no legal experience. Not only is it important to choose human translators for your legal translations; it’s also vital to select a translation agency that employs professional translators with experience in the legal field. Look for translators with backgrounds in your field of expertise – whether that involves contracts, wills and trusts, criminal law, immigration, trademarks and copyrights, business law, etc. Hiring a translator who has little or no experience with legal terminology is risky at best, and at worst can result in your law firm losing cases and clients.

• Poor translations can ruin your marketing efforts. Accurate translations are absolutely essential to the success of your marketing campaign – whether it involves TV ads, online advertising, direct email campaigns or social media. In order to connect with the widest range of potential and current clients, they’ll need to understand the services you offer – no matter what language they speak.

While it’s true that accurate translation services are vital in any business, they are absolutely essential in the legal profession, where even the slightest mistake – such as one inaccurately translated word or a misplaced punctuation mark – can mean the difference between success and failure. Your clients depend on you, which is why you should depend on the services of a professional, experienced human translator for all your law firms’ translation needs.