Contract Translation Guide
Contracts are a concept that has been known since ancient times and that people from all nations know, no matter where they live or which language they speak. Once contracts build links across linguistic barriers, contract translations are needed. Whether they are property rental contracts, employment contracts, purchase contracts, etc. – contract translation is one of the most important areas within legal translation. Today we will discuss some aspects of contract translation that will prove useful to anyone who needs to have a contract translated.
THE EMINENT ROLE OF LINGUISTIC TECHNOLOGIES IN CONTRACT TRANSLATION
Linguistic technologies (which are NOT the same as machine translation, as explained in our FAQ about linguistic tools) have advantages for all sorts of translation projects. In contract translation, these advantages are particularly evident. Here is why:
First, in contracts it is crucial to use terminology accurately and consistently. Linguistic tools contain functions, which make sure that translators use terms that clients supply (if needed), and that terms are used consistently throughout contracts, no matter how long they are.
Second, professional translation tools come with quality check functions. They will, for example, warn linguists about wrong or omitted numbers (which can be a real problem, for example when costs, delivery deadlines, etc. are specified in a contract, as we will illustrate below).
Third, linguistic tools can help reduce contract translation costs significantly. Most contracts contain many repetitions. Linguistic tools will detect and count such repetitions in a text analysis. Language service providers can consider this analysis and charge repetitions at discounted rates, which makes contract translation services more affordable than you might expect.
CONFORMITY WITH THE ORIGINAL TEXT MORE MEANINGFUL THAN STYLISTIC ASPECTS
Ideally, a good translation should sound perfectly natural and at the same time resemble the original text 100%. In practice, however, translators constantly need to choose between a natural sounding translation or a more literal translation. The type of text plays a big role in the decision making process: For example, when linguists work on PR/marketing translations or translations for the hospitality sector, it is often preferable to accept minor, insignificant differences between original and translation for the sake of a compelling, natural sound and style. In contract translations, in contrast, there is a strong tendency to translate much more literally to avoid any differences between the original and the translation – even if staying close to the original means that stylistically the translation will not be 100% flawless.
WHY ERRORS MUST BE AVOIDED
Contract translations belong to those translations in which errors can have real consequences. Imagine that a translator leaves out a single digit of a number, and, for example, writes that a purchase price is “1.000 USD” instead of “10.000 USD”. Such errors can not only be extremely expensive, but also lead to legal problems. To avoid issues like this, whenever you need legal translation services, choose high quality service providers.
CONTRACT TRANSLATIONS – A JOB FOR TRUE EXPERTS
Many companies spend a lot of money and efforts to have legal documents written by law experts. These investments of time and money can be rendered useless when such documents are later translated with poor standards. A professional legal translation services provider, in contrast, will take several measures for quality assurance to avoid errors or problems, including a rigorous selection process of linguists, following the TEP (translation, editing, proofreading) principle with three different native speakers, holding clear briefings for translators based on specific client requests, applying modern linguistic technologies, etc.
elionetwork has an impressive pool of outstanding in-house and external legal translators to support your contract translation needs in more than 55 languages. No matter if you need a certified legal translation of a contract, translations without certification or any other linguistic service – we are looking forward to hearing from you! Our impressive list of clients demonstrates that we are a truly reliable partner for all your translation needs. Contact our friendly team in Singapore, Bangkok or Phnom Penh now to see how we can support you!