Business Brains

Software makes sure documents are not lost in translation

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TransPerfect Legal Solutions has come up with an application that helps legal types figure out whether documents in foreign languages should be included in e-discovery.

The e-discovery process is time-consuming and expensive enough. Now consider what happens when lawyers need to decide whether or not documents written in a foreign language should be included. Apparently, the scenario is not atypical among multinational companies.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how Relativity data analytics technology from kCura is helping streamline the e-discovery process, by helping lawyers filter and seek documents that are most relevant for the case or investigation at hand. It turns out that one of kCura's partners has developed a translation add-on service for Relativity that integrated machine translation. Simple put, the software can translate relevant search terms in 15 different languages, which would help lawyers who are dealing with the decision about whether or not to have something translated.

Jim Iseman, global director of e-discovery for TransPerfect Legal Solutions, said the Integrated MT service does not remove the need for a lawyer to ultimately have a professional translation of a document made. What it does help legal teams avoid, however, is the need to have documents that may or may not be relevant translated just to figure out whether they apply for a case. That process can cost a great deal of money, he said.

"You are able to use search terms and analytics in order to cull the data set down into a much smaller document set," Iseman said. "You don't want to translate documents that aren't responsive to e-discovery."

TransPerfect offers its translation application for a monthly service fee. Although Iseman did not disclose the amount, he said it represents a substantial savings over having documents translated just to figure out whether they are responsive, plus it can save time along the way.

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure