Ecommerce & legal translation

The translation of Terms & Conditions of websites is the legal backbone of any company that
wants to dip or go full-on on e-commerce.
That’s a well-known fact and most of the companies I have worked with understood it, and entrusted this job to the lawyers or legal experts.

Lawyers or translators?
My role in those translations was a proofreader and I wasn’t surprised that most of their terms were well translated. Those legal professionals knew their dictionaries, but I was surprised that the phrases were in many cases word per word translations, and I had to do my best to find all the equivalent phrases in the target language.

Service of process
This innocent looking phrase was the biggest mistake I found. Service of process is a legal
process, it is the initial legal action of a lawsuit. So those lawyers failed to understand
something that is second nature for professional translator. Without context meaning is
ambiguous at best, so volatile at worst. In this case, it was dangerous and meaningless, to talk
about a service that provided this processes.
For sure lawyers know their laws, but translators know their translations too.