4 Steps to Reduce the Time and Money it Takes to Translate Business Contracts

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Steps to Reduce the Time and Money it Takes to Translate Business Contracts

4 Steps to Reduce the Time and Money it Takes to Translate Business Contracts

A seemingly trivial error in the translation of a business contract or a minor difference in terminology can result in an unexpected disadvantage that will last the lifetime of the contract. In some cases, it can even result in costly litigation and mediation to resolve. See details below;

4 Steps to Reduce the Time and Money it Takes to Translate Business Contracts

Professional translators with experience in contractual translation should be used when translating legally binding contracts to avoid mishaps and ensure accuracy of all agreements. Despite high-quality translation services for contracts coming at a price, there are steps you can take to reduce the financial outlay along with the turnaround time.

Remove Legalese

Contracts often include legal terminology (legalese), some of which is necessary and some which is not. Words such as ‘hitherto’ and ‘forthwith’ have no clear definition and as such should be avoided.

Words without clear definitions often do not have precise matches in other languages and are therefore undesirable in the original document as they introduce ambiguity to contracts. Instead, it is wise to use legal terms that clarify the meaning of the contract or clause and are enforceable.

Sometimes legalese is the most useful terminology available, in which case it should be used. A simple rule to adhere to when writing contracts is: if the words make the meaning clearer keep them in – if not, avoid them.

Avoid Repetition

Repetition in contracts is quite commonplace and equally unnecessary. Word-numeral pairs and sequenced synonyms such as ‘$105,000 (one hundred and five thousand dollars)’ or employment agreements which state an employer ‘engages, employs and hires’ a person simply elongate a contract. The don’t add any further value in terms of clarity or precision.

In some cases doubling-up on words can introduce ambiguity or redundancy to a contract, which is something most companies would wish to avoid at all costs. As most professional translators charge by the word, removing repetition and duplication will not only increase the clarity and ability to enforce your contract, it will also reduce the cost and time taken to translate it.

Take Advantage of Translation Memory

Translation memory is essentially a database of terms, phrases, sentences, and other fragments of text that are kept on file for future use. If you regularly translate contracts and other documentation, you should take advantage of this resource.

You can request your language service provider to effect the use of translation memory for your work and some may automatically use it anyway. Doing so will not only reduce the overall translation time and cost, but also ensure consistency and accuracy across your documentation.

Utilize Contract Templates

Each country has differing rules and expectations for the presentation of contracts and other documents. The order of principles, language, and tone used in American contracts is significantly different to that of Russia or France.

Understanding these formatting differences will enable you to create an easily translatable contract for the target language and therefore reduce the time and cost associated with translation. Using contract templates allows time to be saved on standard sections of text and also reveals areas that may be too technical for translation or where ambiguity could be introduced.

Conserve Quality and Reduce Costs

Quality translations are imperative for ensuring legally enforceable contracts are in place with employees and trading partners. If translation requirements are kept in mind when drafting contracts and other documentation, quality and accuracy can be ensured while simultaneously reducing the turnaround time and cost.

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