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Legal Budget Uncertainty — 9 Solutions to Help Control Your Case Budget

Legal Budget Uncertainty — 9 Solutions to Help Control Your Case Budget

How much budget is enough? How much is too much?

You’re the Lead Counsel or Head of Litigation Prep for an important case. You have a massive quantity of foreign language documents to translate in a limited time.

To feel confident about the quality of your information and your ability to meet Court-imposed deadlines, budget is a huge factor.

How much will it cost your client to achieve the translation objectives and, more importantly, to win their case? How much is enough? How much is too much?

Linguistic Systems’ offers 9 solutions to address Budget Uncertainty, and we can help you feel confident in your translation spending. Here’s a quick look at those challenges and our solutions.

Overall Challenge: Budget Uncertainty

Translating everything via human translation can cost a small fortune. Machine translation can help you save. But if machine translations are unintelligible (which is often the case) or wrong, it can cost your client much more. Where do you cut?

We see 3 related concerns for this challenge: Budget Uncertainty, Resource Uncertainty, and Value Uncertainty. Here are our solution steps.

LSI Steps to Overcome Budget Uncertainty

— How much budget is needed to successfully achieve your case objectives? Will spending match your client’s expectations?

  • Pre-Project Cost Estimate — Quick analysis of likely process paths and timelines can provide a pre-project cost estimate and facilitate initial client signoff.
  • Approved Process Cost Estimate — Finalization of the cost estimate is achieved once the agreed process is determined and initial eDiscovery content streams are analyzed.
  • Contingencies Cost Estimate — Provides updates to agreed budget as case dynamics change or additional work becomes necessary and approved.

LSI Steps to Overcome Resource Uncertainty

— How many internal and external resources are needed to achieve case objectives? Do internal legal and LSI teams have the right quantity and skills mix?

  • Pre-Project Resource Audit — Analysis of internal legal team reviewer resources (both quantity and expertise) and available LSI team resources to determine if ‘project start’ resources are sufficient.
  • Project Resource Plan — Assignment of resources (sources and roles) to accomplish project at each stage of plan. Includes internal and LSI teams.
  • Resource Contingencies Plan — Provide recommendations for resource adjustments in reaction to changing case dynamics or translation results.

LSI Steps to Overcome Value Uncertainty

— Will the budget produce the desired translation results and achieve case objectives? Could the money be spent in better ways, for better results?

  • Pre-Project Value Assessment — Estimation of ROI of successful case outcome versus anticipated investment.
  • Mid-Project Optimization — Analysis of existing processes, costs, value and ROI during project execution to consider alternatives to improve outcomes.
  • Project Post-Mortem — Analysis of pre-case estimates and ROI versus actual results. Includes refinements for future projects.

LSI Translation Consulting Services can help you with all phases of foreign language legal translation. We know that winning your high-profile case is your only option. And we’ll help you overcome any uncertainty over your information, timelines, or budget. Just click below, and we’ll help you get started.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Linguistic Systems uses a combination of advanced proprietary technology and 7,500 skilled, certified translators to deliver high-quality translations in 120+ languages. With 50 years and billions of words of experience serving 25,000 clients, including many Fortune 100 and AmLaw100 firms, you can trust us with your must-win foreign language translation projects.

Legal Timeline Uncertainty — 9 Solutions to Help Control Your Case Schedule

Legal Timeline Uncertainty — 9 Solutions to Help Control Your Case Schedule

Part 2 of 3: Intelligent Translation Services Consulting

As an attorney, particularly the Lead Counsel on an important case, you’ve achieved much in your career by mitigating risk. But when aspects of the case aren’t in your control, it’s much harder.

An area where you sometimes have the least control is Court- or DOJ-imposed deadlines. If you’re required to produce thousands of foreign language documents in English within 3 weeks, that’s a hard-stop on your translation time. If you’re not lucky enough to secure an extension, you can still rest easy. Here’s why.

Linguistic Systems’ offers 9 solutions to address Timeline Uncertainty, and we can help you produce on time. Here’s a quick look at those challenges and our solutions.

Overall Challenge: Timeline Uncertainty

— Court-imposed deadlines may be unmovable. Do you have the right processes and resources to comply on time? We see 3 related concerns for this challenge: Deadline, Process, and Contingencies. Here are our solution steps.

LSI Steps to Overcome Deadline Uncertainty

— Are all case deadlines known? Are all project deadlines understood? Will any flexibility be granted in moving case deadlines?

  • Legal Deadlines Audit — Identification and consolidation of all court-related deadlines and delivery expectations.
  • Project Milestones Audit — Identification and consolidation of project milestones, associated deadlines, and assigned owners to achieve objectives.
  • Timeline Mitigation Recommendations — Identify deadlines most at risk and support a request to grant a document production continuance.

LSI Steps to Overcome Process Uncertainty

— Will the right process be chosen to enable your team to meet imposed deadlines? What are the tradeoffs for each process decision?

  • Process Tradeoff Discussion — Examination of pros and cons of each process option and how they might affect case strength, timelines, cost.
  • Process Recommendations — Development of multi-modal process strategy to achieve optimal results within agreed timelines and budget.
  • Project Burn Rate Analysis — Tracking and projection of delivery dates for each component of translation process, and likelihood of meeting deadlines.

LSI Steps to Overcome Future Uncertainty

— What additional, unforeseen deadlines may be imposed? Can the translation process and team support changing dynamics?

  • Timeline Flexibility Analysis — Where are the potential flex periods and logjams in the timeline?
  • Resource Flexibility Analysis — Which resources are potentially stretched, and which can provide additional capacity?
  • Project Scale Analysis — If new requirements and work efforts are added to the project, will the timeline be at risk? Where are the vulnerabilities?

At first glance, this may feel complex. But we’ve been executing complex translation projects for more than 50 years. We’re here to assist you.

In fact, we offer LSI Translation Consulting Services which address all phases of foreign language legal translation. We know that winning your high-profile case is your only option. We’re here to help in that regard.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Linguistic Systems uses a combination of advanced proprietary technology and 7,500 skilled, certified translators to deliver high-quality translations in 120+ languages. With 50 years and billions of words of experience serving 25,000 clients, including many Fortune 100 and AmLaw100 firms, you can trust us with your must-win foreign language translation projects.

9 Steps to Mitigate Legal Info Uncertainty

9 Steps to Mitigate Legal Info Uncertainty

Part 1 of 3: Intelligent Translation Services Consulting

If, like many of our clients, you’re leading a high-profile international legal case, these 3 challenges probably keep you up at night. They are Information Uncertainty, Timeline Uncertainty, and Budget Uncertainty.

Information Uncertainty is when a mountain emerges of foreign language documents that are central to your case. But they’re not in English. You’re not sure what’s in them. You don’t know the full extent of your client’s risk. And you’re going to have to rely on others — internal translators or external partners — to inform you.

Will they be right? And how much risk are you and your client facing?

The second major challenge is Timeline Uncertainty. The Court has imposed deadlines for you to produce thousands of documents — maybe tens or hundreds of thousands — in translated form. What combination of machine and human translation processes are needed to produce these on time? Is that enough time? What if an extension request isn’t granted?

The third major challenge is Budget Uncertainty. Translating hundreds of thousands of documents via human translators would cost your client a small fortune. It would also seriously strain your relationship to charge them that much.

Deploying machine translation technologies saves considerably, but sacrifices quality. True meaning can remain buried in hundreds of thousands of incomprehensible or imprecise partial sentences. How much should you spend for higher quality? How much is too much? How much is not enough?

The good news: We’ve thought long and hard about these issues during our 50+ years of serving major corporate and legal clients  — including most of the Fortune 100 and AmLaw 100. And we’ve developed solutions and processes that address each concern.

In fact, we’ve taken it farther. For each of the 3 previously mentioned challenges, we’ve identified 3 contributing concerns. And for each of these sub-concerns, we’ve developed 3 solutions to help alleviate your fears.

What’s the math on that? It translates to 27 LSI solutions (critical process steps) to address 9 contributing concerns related to your 3 major challenges.

In the first of this 3-part article, we’ve outlined the 9 solution steps below that can help you feel more confident about the relevance, accuracy, and expertise associated with your foreign document translations. Here are the first 9 solution steps.

Major Challenge: Information Uncertainty

Contributing Concern: Relevance Uncertainty

Will all relevant content be correctly identified and categorized?

LSI Solution Steps:

  • eDiscovery Audit — MT or Neural-based eDiscovery to enable preliminary evaluations and tagging of your client’s foreign-language content.
  • Outliers Audit — Development and refinement of custom glossaries to clarify untranslated words and expressions.
  • Post-Audit Validation — Human examination of MT results to validate, or modify, preliminary relevance and categorization decisions.

Contributing Concern: Expertise Uncertainty What additional industry, legal, or local/cultural expertise is needed? LSI Solution Steps:

  • Subject-Matter Audit of preliminary screened content to determine, collaboratively with you, what additional data or industry expertise is needed.
  • Localization Audit of high-value content to ensure that local meaning is correctly understood.
  • Internal Audit by your in-house legal review team to identify potential gaps in expertise to be augmented by LSI’s resources or network.

Contributing Concern: Accuracy Uncertainty Will all relevant content be accurately translated, verified, and understood? LSI Solution Steps:

  • Human Translation and Post-Editing of core segments of content that are of highest value and complexity — including for Court- or DOJ- mandated translation processes.
  • Content Risk Analysis — Determine collaboratively the value of translating (and potential risk of not translating) each content grouping.
  • Content Accuracy Analysis — Access the accuracy of content in high-value groupings using Blue Score or other means.

Finally, we don’t expect you to have 50 years of expertise in implementing these solution steps on your own. That’s why we’re here … to support you, to alleviate your concerns, and to ensure your success. To do that, we offer LSI Translation Services Consulting to assist you in all phases of foreign language legal translation. We know that winning your high-profile case is your only option. We’re here to help in that regard.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Linguistic Systems uses a combination of advanced proprietary technology and 7,500 skilled, certified translators to deliver high-quality translations in 120+ languages. With 50 years and billions of words of experience serving 25,000 clients, including many Fortune 100 and AmLaw100 firms, you can trust us with your must-win foreign language translation projects.

Are You Innovating In Only One Language?

Are You Innovating In Only One Language?

Your Patent Deserves Equal Clarity in Global Markets

2016 was a record-breaking year in technology and invention according to the World Intellectual Property Organization. With more than 233,000 patents issued, that is a lot of innovation.

If you’re an intellectual property owner, you want to protect your patents and content while also enabling other potential contributors throughout the world to collaborate. To do this, you must present your intellectual property in a form that is highly accurate while still understandable for readers in many other languages. Whether you need to translate into 1 language or 15, hiring the right translator is essential. With the right translation, other innovators can build off your work while staying original.

A multilingual approach to your innovation can help others to search and analyze your patents. Transparency can also help them to make important decisions related to pre-existing patents. Without a properly translated patent, you run the risk of misinterpretation and patent or copyright infringement. So, what kinds of things should you verify while looking for the right translator?

  • Expertise in the desired language – there are words in almost every language which have multiple meanings. You need a translator with expertise on a native level to choose the right vocabulary for your translation.
  • Industry experience – translating a patent takes more than just language expertise. It requires a fluency in the technical and industry-specific knowledge involved in the translation. Look for a translator who has worked within the industry of your intellectual property.
  • Education level – understanding terminology comes from both experience and education. Look for a reputable translator with an industry-specific degree and knowlege.
  •  Patent translation experience – having the right education and industry experience is just part of the picture. When dealing with legal issues, work with a translator familiar with the litigation process to avoid unwanted complications.

Your intellectual property is too important for translation mistakes. By taking the steps to ensure you have the best translator for your needs, you can be more confident that you are reaching your audience effectively.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Linguistic Systems uses a combination of advanced proprietary technology and 7,500 skilled, certified translators to deliver high-quality translations in 120+ languages. Trust us with your next translation project.

When (and How) Do You Certify a Translation?

When (and How) Do You Certify a Translation?

When Your Documents May Need Extra Validation 

On occasion, you may be asked to provide written proof of the authenticity and quality of a translation. In these cases, you have the option to present either a certified copy, or a notarized certification.

As the client, you determine which one to use. Are you confident that you would choose the best type for your needs? Here’s how to decide.

A certified translation must have a signed document by the translation organization validating that the translation presented is true and accurate. In essence, it is a translated document with a signed letter by the translator or translating organization. They must attest to the accuracy of the translation.

A translator can be certified too. Organizations like the American Translator Association offer exams to translators to test and certify their language abilities. However, a certified translator does not always equal a certified translation. You must have the needed signed affidavit from the translator or translation service provider for it to qualify.

A notarized translation is the same as a certified translation, but with an extra step. To notarize a translation, an official government representative or notary of the public must be present to sign off on the document.

In situations involving some government documents, a notary may act  as a representative to authenticate a document’s translation. When an important document must be verified, like a contract or will, a notary stands in as an official witness commissioned by the government to attest to the validation of the translator’s work.

“Certification is needed for a variety of corporate situations including: mergers and acquisitions, translation of financial statements, and testimonies from corporate officers.”

It is important to know when you may need a certified translation or a notary. Legal and governmental situations require certified translations, and occasionally a notarized translation. Certification is needed for a variety of corporate situations including: mergers and acquisitions, translation of financial statements, and testimonies from corporate officers. Personal examples include: Court documents, birth certificates, university transcripts, wills, and documents pertaining to immigration. These translations will additionally need a notary. Chances are that the notary cannot translate the document at hand. Therefore, they are not validating the translation but standing as a witness to the completion of the translator’s work. Also, a notary’s authority is limited.  They cannot give legal advice, or make any edits or corrections to a translation.

It is important to beware of legal professionals who advertise as public notaries in the U.S. They may be trying to fraudulently attract business in immigration situations from people who knew “public notaries” to be lawyers in their home country.

If you would like to certify your translated document, here’s what to include:

  • a copy of the document in its original language,
  • a translated copy,
  • a signed affidavit attesting to the accuracy of the document and the competency of the translator or translating service.

Be sure to contact an official notary of the public to properly conduct the appropriate document process if you would like to have your document notarized.

With the right certifications and the right translator, you can be more confident that your translated documents will be accepted and understood. Work with your translation service provider to ensure you have all the right tools in place to verify the accuracy of your translation and to create tighter understanding between you and your intended audience.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Linguistic Systems has delivered high-quality legal translations in 120+ languages for 50 years. We’ve served most of the AmLaw 100 and Fortune 100 legal teams. Trust us with your next translation project.

Machine Translation: The Hidden Value of Outliers

Machine Translation: The Hidden Value of Outliers

Would You Invest $1 for Enhanced Machine Translation to Save $198?

Savings can hide in the most curious places – particularly when doing machine translation (MT) to translate vast quantities of foreign language content.

Machine translation is usually the starting point in the legal profession, corporate law, and many other high-volume content situations in order to churn through large amounts of foreign-language documents. But as powerful as machine translation engines can be, there are countless words that MT engines aren’t trained to know.

These “outlier” words can take many forms:

• No machine translation engine contains all the words of a language (e.g., English is thought to have more than 1 million words);

• Words may have multiple uses, and machine translation can mistakenly apply the wrong context (e.g., “cranes by the riverbank” referring to birds and a body of water, are not the same as “construction cranes used to build the bank by the river”);

• Some words may be rarely used (e.g., in English where grammatical use has changed, words like “thee,” “thy,” and “whom” may be unknown);

• Words may be newly created (e.g., in German and Russian, it is common to see new words pop up or combinations of words with new concepts);

• Company names and product names should generally not be translated, although there are certainly exceptions in some languages; • Personal names should not be translated, (e.g. – “Mr. Grey” is a person and not a “man of a certain color”);

• Some chemical compound names may not be present in a machine translation word repository; • Industry-specific terms may not be widely known outside the industry.

What do you do with these “outlier” words?

Linguistic Systems’ translation analytics capability allows us to extract all words that the machine translation engine “did not translate” (DNT). An output file of those words is then created which includes the number of times they occurred. This file is used to create a new proprietary client glossary (or to update existing glossaries) with DNT words. The glossary then serves as a reference for the machine translation engine, for this client’s specific project or case going forward.

The next step is most important. We collaborate offline with our clients to prioritize and define the outliers so they can be added to a custom glossary with “DNT” words for that client and project. The job can then be rerun with the custom glossary. The result: Significant savings of both time and money for a portion of the files. Here’s how it works.

“The process keeps getting quicker, more efficient, and less expensive with each additional job.”

Economics

Here are the numbers for a project that contains 2,000 files to be translated. Starting with machine translation, we might run 400 files (one fifth) as straight MT with no updated glossary. (We would leverage glossaries if they exist from previous jobs.)

Our machine translation engine would isolate the outlier “DNT” words and their number of instances. After collaborating with the client, the project is rerun – all 2,000 files — with the updated glossary in place.

To use round numbers, let’s assume that straight machine translation is charged out at $1 per document. The cost might go to $2 per document for enhanced machine translation (using the custom glossary) on the 400 documents to be examined more deeply. However, this $1 increase per file may enable savings of much more for this segment of identified files where human post-editing is recommended to significantly improve clarity.

Post-editing could run $200 per document for the files that require it. That’s $198 per file in savings times 400 files, which translates to $79,200 in savings by not having to post-edit that segment of machine translation work.

There should also be a significant savings in time if machine translation plus an augmented glossary can be used. The next time a project is run for that same client, a more robust glossary is already in place, and collaboration time on new “outliers” should be less. The process keeps getting quicker, more efficient, and less expensive with each additional job.

Machine translation is still limited in its quality. Even files that have gone through an enhanced glossary may require additional human translation if their end purpose demands it.

Machine translation — even with enhanced glossaries and post-editing — is nowhere near “certification grade.” An attorney could not go into court unless the content has gone through a full and careful human edit. But by augmenting the machine translation process with custom glossaries, this can be a very cost-effective option for segments of large projects.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Linguistic Systems uses a combination of advanced proprietary technology and 7,500 skilled, certified translators to deliver high-quality translations in 120+ languages. Trust us with your next translation project.