gdpr translation

The Challenges Related to GDPR Translation


The General Data Protection Regulation was established in 2016 by the European Parliament and Council with the goal of providing consistent protection of consumer data across EU nations. Since the EU is comprised of 28 countries and 26 official languages (if we count Norway and Iceland) GDPR translation consistency is a true feat and a great responsibility.


Consistency impacts the innerworkings of the EU

For starters, maintaining consistency throughout legal document translation is fundamental.  Any minor difference will result in discrepancies in the interpretation of the law and the way it is applied. Truly, gdpr translation is key in maintaining a balanced ecosystem within the European Union.  This becomes especially imperative considering most countries conduct business in multiple member states or must comply with EU law, even if they are established outside the union. With all this in mind, it’s important to hire a global translator offering GDPR translation services.


International Legal Interpreting Discrepancies

One example of the perils of conflicting translations and subsequent legal discrepancies occurred in 1996.  The Council reviewed an agricultural regulation and discovered that the German version had a seemingly minor, but influential mistake.  They had translated “sweet cherries” as opposed to “sour cherries.” Similarly, the Dutch text for article 38(3) state that the DPO reports directly to the “highest manager,” as opposed to saying the “highest management level.”  This seemingly minor detail changed the way the law was interpreted because it meant a DPO could report to another board member rather than the CEO. The problem was that company law stated that “…the board acts in unity and the CEO does not outrank any of the other members.” However, this is not what the Dutch translation required.  This mistake meant the DPAs could have issued a fine for improper procedures.


Suggestions for interpreting GDPR translation

When reading a legal translation of a GDPR matter, compare the local language version to one of the major language versions that’s widely circulated, such as one in English, German or French. It’s also possible that the text can just be read in English, as it’s likely to be the common language in which GDPR compliant text are written. Finally, be sure to use the official wording of GDPR policies to minimize the likelihood of potential misunderstandings.

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