Contract Agreement Translation Services
Legal translation is the area of our company’s expertise. Within the realm of legal translation there is a growing need for translating consumer contracts and agreements from English to the languages of limited English proficiency (LEP) consumers.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs published an informative article on their website a few years back entitled, “Foreign Language Translation Of Consumer Contracts”.
If you ever doubted the importance of hiring only certified legal translators to provide contract translation services and legal agreement translation services, their article should eliminate your doubts.
Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Spanish Contract Translations
Their starting paragraph really says it all: “A person in a trade or business, who negotiates primarily in the Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean language in the course of entering into a contract with a consumer, must give the consumer a written translation of the proposed contract in the language of the negotiations. The translation must be an accurate translation of every term and condition in the contract or agreement. This requirement of California law applies whether the negotiations are conducted orally or in writing.”
Let us take a moment to revisit some of the key points in just that one paragraph.
Legal Translation of Multiple-Language, Dual Language and Bilingual Contracts
First of all, we’re not just talking about recommendations here. We’re talking about California law. Of course, California law doesn’t apply to companies in other states, but do not be fooled! Many states, such as Arizona, Illinois, Oregon, and Texas have very similar requirements. Still other states with large ethically diverse populations, such as Florida, Massachusetts, and New York, do not have such laws as of this writing. It will be prudent to expect that new language discrimination laws will appear in the next few years, and, therefore, prepare for it by having your company’s legal documents translated into the languages of your LEP clients. So consider obtaining multiple-language, dual language and bilingual legal contract translations soon. And check with your state officials to find out what the law says about legal document translation requirements placed on your business, if you are a solar energy contractor and wish to have your standard purchase contract translated into Mandarin, Spanish, Indonesian and other languages of your multilingual clientele.
Translating Contracts and Agreements from English to Any Language
Why does this law exist on the books in California? That question gets answered in paragraph 3: “The purpose of the law is to insure that Californians who speak a language other than English have a genuine opportunity to read the foreign-language translation of any proposed contract that has been negotiated primarily in that language, and to consult with others, before the contract is signed. It is never sufficient for the seller or creditor to give the foreign-language-speaking person the translation after he or she has executed (signed) the contract.”
In other words, not only is it good business to avoid document translation failures so that you don’t lose money due to poor sales, in many cases it is a legal requirement to have certified translations of legal documents, including contracts and agreements.
Certified Translations of Legal Agreements and Consumer Contracts
One of the things that bewilders us, given the large numbers of ways that translations have failed in the past, is that more businesses don’t demand certified translation services.
We think that kind of thinking is crazy, because it’s basically a case of setting yourself up for failure and disaster.
The bottom line remains the same. If you insist on hiring or involving translators who are not certified, you are actually taking your business’s future into your own hands, and not in a good way.
After all, you really don’t want the government cracking down on you for failure to obey government regulations about professional legal agreement translation services where business-to-consumer contracts are concerned. It’s so much easier to go ahead and order multiple-language legal translations into Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Indonesian, Arabic, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, or to request a legal document translation from English to Traditional Chinese and other contract translation services, such as translation of attorney-client representation agreement, fee agreement, retainer agreement, release agreement, settlement agreement, arbitration agreement, employment agreement, employment separation agreement, from our legal translations website.
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