ISO 20771:2020 – Legal Translations

ISO 20771 (Legal Translation – Requirements) is the only ISO standard for language services designed specifically for individual legal translators. It specifies the requirements for the competences and qualifications of legal translators, revisers, and reviewers, as well as best translation practices and the translation process. All of these factors will have a direct impact on the quality and delivery of legal translation services.

This international standard lays out the requirements regarding numerous aspects of legal translation services provided by individual translators. These range from core processes and resources to confidentiality, training and professional development requirements. By fulfilling all of the requirements outlined in this document, individual legal translators can demonstrate their conformity to this standard when delivering legal translation services. It also supports them with delivering and maintaining a level of quality that meets a client’s needs.

Furthermore, some legal translations are performed in various countries and settings that require certified translators who must adhere to official requirements. These linguists may also be referred to as court-appointed translators, sworn translators, or court-authorised legal translators. Following this standard enables such translators to adhere to the requirements needed for them to fulfil their roles.

ISO 20771 certification does not cover the use of machine translation output, even with post-editing. A legal translator’s use of raw machine translation plus post-editing does not constitute the use of machine translation plus post-editing.

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