ULG’s Language Solutions Blog

International Investigations: What Have We Learned?

Posted by Kenzie Shofner on October 7, 2016

There is so much to keep track of when navigating solutions to your legal translation needs in an international investigation. The pressures of court mandated deadlines and potentially huge amounts of documents to translate make the choices available to you overwhelming, especially as you’re just starting a multilingual case.

Over the past six weeks I’ve touched on a number of aspects and details of the industry. We’ve taken a look at diverse subjects from how to best use translation technologies to working with the FCPA to stop international cases before they happen. Here’s a look back on everything we have learned about the importance of translation and the demands of multilingual investigations so far.

Pay Attention to All Regulations

Statutes like the FCPA, the UK Bribery Act and other anti-corruption policies from around the world have landed many global businesses into lengthy international investigations. Having a full understanding of these laws and their implications, and then integrating that understanding into your company’s anti-corruption policies and training will prevent future errors.

In the case of the FCPA it has to be understood that many actions fall under the definition of a bribe, including but not limited to meals, entertainment and charitable donations. In addition, the FCPA has previously prosecuted companies for the actions of independent contractors and third-party vendors, not just a given company’s direct employees.

Know what your responsibilities are under the FCPA and other anti-bribery policies. Knowledge and preparedness are some of your best defenses against breaking the law

Technology is Your Friend

We learned what machine translation looked like in its earliest days. After decades of struggling to make machine translation a viable technology, breakthroughs from Environment Canada and the University of Montreal in the 1970s showed that it was in fact possible for computers to successfully and accurately translate on language to another.

Years and several more breakthroughs later, we have the choice of translation technology we have today. Tools like foreign language keyword identification and Language Identification (LI) can quickly analyze and reduce the amount of documents that require further translation.

However, even the latest translation technologies have yet to prove to be completely accurate. When strategizing how to get your translation project done, technology by itself usually cannot complete the job. After machines have identified the most important or relevant documents, bring in a human translator with subject matter expertise to get the job done right.

Use an Experienced LSP in Your International Investigation

Perhaps the most important thing we discussed was the fact that you are not alone as you seek language solutions for your international investigation. Along with knowledge of international anti-corruption policies and translation technologies, a language service provider (LSP) with experience in the needs of legal translation will be your biggest resource.

Legal translation projects have particular requirements such as a need for confidentiality, high volumes of documents, and non-negotiable deadlines. A language service provider that specializes in the needs of legal translation has solutions catered for the demands of international investigations.

In addition, language service providers can help in your company’s preventative measures. They can translate and localize training materials and internal anti-corruption policies, and build a translation memory for your company so that future translations will take less time and cost less money.

Working closely with an experienced LSP is taking an important step in both preparing and protecting your company in the case of an international investigation. Here at ULG, our years of experience have shown us just how important a close partnership is in the legal world. So don’t go it alone and use your resources as you navigate possible solutions for your language needs.

This is the 6th and last part of Jay Rosen’s series on legal translation and best business practices. For more, you can read parts 1-5 here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

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Topics: Best Practices, Consulting, Financial, Global News, Language Learner, Strategy, Technology, Translation, Legal