What Makes English to French Legal Document Translations Unique
English to French translation services are often required by businesses and law firms. If your company is thinking about having some French financial or legal documents translated into English, or having some English financial or legal documents translated into French, here are some important considerations to keep in mind when working with a legal translation service company. We utilize French to English certified translators and English to French certified translators to provide you with the best legal translation from French to English and from English to French.
The French securities watchdog, the Commission des Operations de Bourse, passed a new rule in 2001 stipulating that all financial prospectuses issued in France be drafted completely in French as opposed to being presented to market authorities in summary form only. This has caused consternation in some circles, as reported in an article published in the Securities Industry News, on the grounds that it goes against the trend towards standardization and the use of English in the financial industry. The English-speaking author claims to be more comfortable with the English term Stock Options, than the “much more poetic-sounding ‘Options sur Titres'”. However, this concept is often rendered in French by other terms, such as “option de souscription d’actions” or “option d’achat d’actions”. Obviously, if competent French translators who have good writing skills and work into their native language, French, are used, this will cut down on misunderstandings. If an attempt is made to cut costs by using translators who are not native French speakers, or by using translators who do not specialize in financial translations this can lead to more confusion.
Furthermore, not all professional translators are capable of providing accurate legal and financial translations. For instance, a translator not familiar with finance and accounting may translate the term “écart d’acquisition” literally as “acquisition difference” rather than the correct term “goodwill”, or the term “résultat” literally as “result” instead of the correct technical term of “income” or “earnings”. An inexperienced French to English translator may translate “résultat courant” as “current income” instead of “income before exceptional items and tax”. One way to avoid confusion is to give the technical term in French in brackets in italics the first time it is translated into English.
If your company requires English to French legal document translation services, please remember that there is still a good deal of inconsistency among French language financial terms and their British and US equivalents. This is due partly to the fact that in some cases there are several acceptable ways to say the same thing. Sometimes this comes down to the preference expressed by the client or target audience.
Good communication between you and your legal translation services company is key. Try to provide your French to English translators with the guidelines regarding documents that describe complex financial products, such as FCPE (fonds communs de placement d’entreprise) with conditions that apply only in France. Different clients have different preferences for translating this term into English (e.g., “employer-sponsored mutual fund”, “employee share savings fund”). Therefore, it is often better to use the French term to avoid confusion after explaining it once in brackets using the term your company prefers.
Contact All Language Alliance, Inc. today to obtain legal document translation rates for French to English translation services, for French legal text translation, legal contract translation, pre litigation translation, and for patent litigation translation. Hire our French deposition interpreters and French medical interpreters today.