Our Guide to Spanish to English Translation

Spanish to English Legal Document Translation

The quality of your Spanish to English translation can make or break your cross-border deal or litigation proceedings. Spanish is the 4th most spoken language in 2020, with more native Spanish speakers migrating to the U.S. every year as well as more Americans becoming bilingual in English and Spanish.

Therefore, the demand for certified document translations from Spanish to English will continue to remain stable.

Spanish to English Translation Needs

Used widely both in Europe and the Americas, Spanish is the official language in 21 countries. By some estimates, there are nearly 550 million Spanish speakers globally, 125 million of whom speak Spanish as a second language. Fifty million Spanish speakers reside in the U.S., and that number is expected to rise to 100 million by 2060.

According to the Pew Research Group, 25% of all U.S. immigrants in 2018 arrived from Mexico, making it the most significant group migrating to the U.S. Given the sheer number of countries with native Spanish speakers, as well as the ties between the U.S. and Spanish-speaking countries, certified Spanish to English translation services will continue to be in high demand for decades to come.


Spanish to English Legal Translation Services

Spanish-language legal documents such as contracts, affidavits, patents, divorce decrees, and court and immigration papers are frequently required to be translated to English for legal purposes in the U.S. With Spanish to English translation in high demand, many legal translation services will offer translation in that language pair to support clients on their ongoing cases.



Legal documents in Spanish are required to be accurately translated and certified when produced in U.S. federal courts and government agencies, including U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) as well as the State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC). Hiring a certified translation service will help mitigate potential delays in immigration cases by providing accurate and certified documents. Fixing any translation errors and resubmitting the documents can take several months or longer, and a certified translation service can help you avoid such delays.


Marriage and Divorce

Divorce decrees are required to verify a marriage has legally ended before a person can remarry. In cases where one marries in a different country or plans to migrate to another, divorce decrees need to be translated and certified in order for subsequent marriages to be valid. Hiring a certified translator will help ensure that divorce decree translations are accurate and valid, mitigating any potential delays in cases involving immigration or subsequent marriages.


Litigation Documents

Reading legalese and court papers can be difficult even for native English speakers, let alone non-native ones. The wording used in such documents can sometimes have alternate or vague meanings that could get mistranslated. Using expert linguists with experience in the Spanish-English language pair ensures that your clients are best protected with certified and accurate translations.



It can be difficult to enforce contracts from foreign jurisdictions in the U.S. Incorrect or vague translations create the potential for conflicts between two or more parties. Therefore, using a certified Spanish to English translation service can help detect potential issues within the contract and prompt the involved parties to clarify and resolve them.



Certified translation services are vital for Spanish-speaking patent applicants. A U.S. patent provides enormous benefits to inventors and society, but the patent translation needs to be completely and totally accurate. Otherwise, translation errors may inadvertently leave a patent without adequate protection.



All information on sworn statements, declarations, and affidavits needs to be complete and accurate for any federal and state court proceedings. Such documents originating in a Spanish-speaking country need to have accurate English translations, because if there are any translation errors, they can be deemed invalid and thus delay your case.


How to Choose the Right Spanish to English Translation Service

Choosing the right translation service will allow you to provide better legal services to all Spanish-speaking clients. There are several key factors to take into consideration when hiring a Spanish to English translation service.


Does They Employ Certified Translators?

The American Translator’s Association (ATA) is the industry standard for certified translators in the U.S. The ATA requires stringent testing to become certified. While certification by a body such as the ATA isn’t usually a requirement for a translator to translate and certify legal documents, there is rarely a guarantee the translation will be completely accurate. Working with an ATA-certified translator will give you the highest quality documents protecting you and your client, along with peace of mind that your documents are being translated with the greatest care and precision.


Does Their Expertise Match Your Needs?

Using a translation service with the right expertise in cases similar to yours will help provide faster turnaround with more accurate translation, particularly for immigration or cross-border M&A deals. Legal translators understand the complexity of specific legal documents and determine where to research to produce the most accurate translations. You can verify their expertise by merely asking them about their past work for similar clients on similar cases.


Do They Rely on Machine Translation?

While AI technology can be a great tool to assist with translation, it should never replace human translators. Although AI and machine learning have come a long way, they are not as accurate as humans when it comes to translation because they don’t account for linguistic nuances and system-specific differences. To make sure you aren’t getting a machine translation, ask your potential provider to translate a sample of a few hundred words and check it for yourself.


What Are Their Procedures?

Finding a Spanish to English translation service with a clear and comprehensive translation process will give you the peace of mind that professionals will carefully handle the translation of your documents. When vetting translation agencies, be sure to ask them about their processes and procedures.



Legal documents written in Spanish will likely need certified translation to English for use in the U.S. By using a well-vetted and professional translation agency with certified translators on staff, your legal and business documents will be translated carefully with complete and total accuracy.

Before hiring a translation service, make sure they use professional legal translators with sufficient experience on cases similar to yours. To put your mind at ease before hiring them, you can ask them for samples of their work and talk to them about their procedures.

 At HIGHLEX, we are highly experienced in the translation of documents from Latin America for all types of legal purposes in the U.S. Contact us today for a custom quote on our Spanish to English translation services.

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