Translation has a legal effect only if the language in question is further defined as a contractual language. If there is no contractual language clause, the applicable language (regardless of subsequent translations) derives from the jurisdiction and the law applicable to the contract. In cases where German law is applicable and no language of the treaty is indicated, the English translation is only for informational purposes and is not legally binding. In the international treaty, the same applies to cases under foreign law. It is important to keep in mind that in many languages of the Treaty, one of them should be a priority to ensure a clear interpretation in the event of a misunderstanding. What needs to be taken into account to ensure that a treaty written in two different languages becomes legally binding in both countries? Think about how long it usually takes to design and negotiate an English-language trade agreement for your client – and to what extent the parties can argue over the registration or exclusion of a single word or phrase. In the event that two languages are used and signed by a client, negotiations and questions should focus on both contractual formats. When the parties sign a contract and it is considered part of their agreement, they should be aware of it; their ignorance of the foreign language will not be an excuse. A contract is concluded in German law and translated into English. What is the legal status of English translation? Is the German version still predominant and the English text is only used for information when it comes to the legal interpretation and assessment of the treaty? For a contract written in several languages to enter into force in all the countries concerned, it is important to include specific general conditions. Legal concepts must be chosen that make the agreement applicable in all the countries concerned. In practice, up to 90% of international trade agreements are subject to arbitration. In these cases, applicability should also be taken into account.
All of our translators have at least five years of legal translation experience and are also regularly tested. We know that confidentiality is the key, which is why all of our translators sign strict confidentiality agreements to ensure that the content of your documentation remains private. The reason is simple: if you expect to sue in a Chinese (or foreign) court, the employees of that court will not speak English. You won`t read English. Even if they read English, the Tribunal`s procedural regulations will require that the documents be translated into the national language. If you have already found that the party with whom you enter into a contract has no fortune outside of his own country and that discharge in the district court is faster than an arbitration procedure, why would you want an English-language contract to salt these foreign proceedings? The only language for the foreign court is his, and contracts that are in several languages will confuse the subject. A single contract in a single language (the jurisdiction that sees and imposes it every day) will make the procedure faster, cheaper and simpler – three words that make the customer happy. Poor translations lead to a loss of precise language. In many cases, a solo or small lawyer tries to save costs for the client by using a non-lawyer to translate contracts. There are stories of people using secretaries to translate contracts (“She speaks Spanish, no matter what dialect”) or use computer programs.
Even obtaining flat-rate translations of translation services can be problematic if they do not explain the range of potential translations that could result from a given legal formulation.