eulenhaupt translation services – translation and editing services by lawyer-linguists for lawyers and businesses

Translations by lawyer-linguists for lawyers and businesses

Have you ever commissioned a translation agency to translate or revise a legal document only to find out that the translation or revision does not meet your expectations with regard to legal translation and legal editing state-of-the-art expertise?

But what you know is that translation and revision work in the field of law and finance must be concise, unambiguous, accurate, precise and certain in every point. You know that, don't you.

This is where Eulenhaupt Translation Services comes in.

Eulenhaupt Translation Services is a group of lawyers, operating as linguists, engaging in legal translation and editing services, economics and finance professionals, operating as linguists, engaging in financial translation and business translation services, and graduate linguists, engaging in legal and financial translation and editing services.

The way we work

As a network, Eulenhaupt Translation Services operates on the principle of dual control through interdisciplinary collaboration. Consequently, in order to ensure a second opinion in the true sense of the word, every translation by a lawyer or an economics and finance professional is reviewed by a graduate linguist. And vice versa, every translation carried out by a professional translator is checked by a graduate lawyer and a financial expert, respectively.

Centre of interest

The focus is on translating voluminous complex legal documents, e.g. contract translation.
As bilingual and bicultural lawyers we see the substantive and procedural differences in Civil law and Common law systems.


As indicated before, law is subject to the culture of a country and may vary substantially and essentially. And therefore, legal translation is considered one of the most challenging specialties. Not only does any high quality legal translation demand syntactic, idiomatic, orthographic, semantic and grammatical correctness but also correctness of the contents in a broader sense. There is a necessity for both linguistic skills as well as legal skills to fulfil both demands.
  • In the words of the American lawyer Francisco Avalos it reads as follows: “Legal translating requires two basic skills. The first skill is a fundamental knowledge of the original and target languages. The second skill is an intelligent grasp of the legal system of each of the countries involved. The state of these two conditions, in the legal translator, will determine the quality of a legal translation. A good legal translator has the ability to not only retain the integrity of the legal information of a document, but to capture nuance inherent in a language, while also respecting the author's writing style.“
  • The Chinese Australian linguist and legal scholar Deborah Cao adds: “Given the complexity and difficulty of legal translation, one may wonder whether law is translatable and whether true equivalence can be achieved in legal translation. If one beliefs that no two historical epochs, no two social classes and not wo localities use words and syntax to signify exactly the same things [...], then one may question whether translation attempting to achieve equivalence is indeed possible. It is a fact that one major and frequently encountered difficulty in legal translation is the translation of foreign legal concepts.”
  • Furthermore, notice what the Danish linguist Jan Engberg has to say: Comparative Law and Legal Translation are close relatives, they work across the barriers of languages and legal systems, they intend to create bridges enabling users to see relations between different legal and linguistic settings and understand the unfamiliar, and they rely upon each other in their activities. Despite the fact that the focus of performers of comparative law and of legal translators are somewhat different, there is enough overlap concerning focus, methods, and basic assumptions for them to be directly comparable and to learn from each other.
  • And finally, a quote of the Croatian lawyer and lecturer in legal translation Susan Sarcevic: “Making reliable decisions (as a legal translator) requires not only legal competence but also considerable intuition. In legal translation intuition is not a natural ability but is acquired through interdisciplinary training in law and translation.”
Moreover, the Hungarian American mathematician John von Neumann summarized it all superbly in one single quote: “There's no sense in being precise when you ([sic] i.e. a linguist without legal background) don't even know what you're talking about.”


In late 1995 Eulenhaupt Translation Services was established as a network of legal translation professionals by lawyer-linguist Michael Eulenhaupt who began translating legal documents when he was student at Amsterdam Law School. As a German native speaker living in Holland for many years, it seemed the obvious thing to do.

As of February 1995, after graduating with a masters degree in Dutch law from the Universiteit van Amsterdam, while fully engaging into professional legal translation in his capacity as a Dutch-German common lawyer Michael gradually became an English-Dutch-German legal language expert - one out of a very small number.

Media/computer hardware

When doing business best possible i.e. timely communication is more important than ever. Use of the smartphone, netbook and desktop computer ensure optimal internal and external communication; i.e. communication within the translators´ network and between you as the customer and us as the supplier.

Computer software and Computer-Assisted Translation

Every single translator of the network is very experienced in dealing with computer software and the Internet. Consider automatic speech recognition and computer-aided translation which can substantially simplify the processing and management of texts that are (largely) identical, not only in terminology but also in structure. 'Computer-Assisted Translation' software memorizes words and syntax. This is especially useful not only with repetitive text but also with information that needs frequent updating. However, with legal translations, experience has proven the relative value of such tools. Which does not mean, on the other hand, that they are useless.

Post-Editing Machine Translation

When it comes to automatic translation, it should be noted that, as the third decade of the 21st century has begun, the evolution of machine translation, which has been going on since the end of the 20th century, is becoming a revolution, as these automatically generated translations may be utilized as a first draft in almost every field (excluding the field of literature but including the field of law). Keywords: statistical language recognition, statistical language modeling and self learning algorithms. As a result of the development, the translator's profession profile will not disappear but will be streamlined. Only the real experts in their respective field will remain (lawyer-linguists in the legal field for example). In the foreseeable future, conventional translation as we have known it up to now will be replaced by mere revision (proofreading and editing) which is known as 'Post-Editing MachineTranslation'.

In order to effectuate a smooth process of post-editing (revision ex-post), it is recommendable to also implement a process of pre-editing (revision ex-ante).

Although largely suboptimal, not to say dull and routine, in terms of style, such advanced automatic translations often appear syntactically, grammatically and semantically correct. However, terminological error, but above all terminological inconsistency, incorrect contextual reference and improper and inaccurate contextual attribution require a highly skilled eye to be detected. Nevertheless, terminological consistency, correct contextual reference and proper and accurate contextual attribution are key factors and thus crucial when translating legal matters!

A compelling reason for not entrusting the translation of any kind of legal text and/or the revision of such writings to legal translators, but for calling in Eulenhaupt Translation Services' experienced lawyer-linguists in their legal language, legal translation and legal editing expert capacity, doing what is called 'legal PEMT' (newly coined expression), which means attentively scrutinizing automatically translated legal text: spotting and fixing inconsistencies, detecting and correcting errors, discerning and supplying omissions, uncovering and rectifying misconceptions and identifying and eliminating imprecise and ambiguous terminological choices. Remember the "five Cs" to summarize a copy editor's job in common, which is to make a copy (legal text for that matter) clear, correct, concise, coherent and consistent.


Data safety and thus the maintenance of confidentiality is a major concern ever since computer networks exist - all the more so recently in connection with so called cloud based 'services'.

In our capacity as a tech-savvy legal translation provider all assignments will be treated by us with the utmost confidentiality. It goes without saying: confidentiality, along with quality and punctuality, is the most important factor in Eulenhaupt Translation Services' relationship to its clients.

E-mail and file encryption

As of September 2013 we provide for secured file transfer. Our PGP public encryption key - which you can find in the side menu at the upper right-hand side - is available for those correspondents who wish to send us information in confidence, and also for those who value the meaning of privacy, even if one has got nothing to hide.

Network character

Eulenhaupt Translation Services' Amsterdam branch of is a main supplier of Dutch - English - Dutch legal translation services and legal editing services ('juridische vertalingen Engels - Nederlands - Engels') and Dutch - German - Dutch legal translation services and legal editing services ('juridische vertalingen Duits - Nederlands - Duits') whereas the Berlin branch provides state-of-the-art German - English - German legal translation services and legal editing services ('juristische Fachübersetzungen englisch - deutsch - englisch').

Since there is a high standard of personal understanding within each member of the network Eulenhaupt Translation Services can respond very quickly and flexibly to any request for the translation and revision of legal writings.

In other words, due to the special nature of our lawyer-linguists' network we are in a position to provide you with high quality legal translation, revision and editing within the shortest turnaround times.