The only way to ensure accurate translation is to check for inconsistencies point by point, clause by clause. Ideally, a translation is done by a lawyer (either within your firm or by a contract lawyer mandated abroad or on site) who can provide legal advice on the right language for the translation. In cases where this is not possible, it is advisable to use translation companies with experience in drafting legal documents and explaining the impact on the choice of words, so that the lawyer who does not speak the foreign language can make decisions on the choice of words. If the lawyer does not have the linguistic capacity and the client does not wish to engage additional legal assistance to confirm the translation, the client must be warned of the potential for incorrect translation and the impact on the contractual conditions. Why is this necessary? The treaty law of most nations follows the well-known principle that there must be a meeting of minds to establish a binding treaty. If it does not exist, there is no contract. Each foreign nation has different rules as to whether to prove what is admissible as evidence if one demonstrates what the parties understood they received in the benefit of the agreement. Many laws allow the use of parol evidence. For example, the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods allows the courts: Which apply «all relevant circumstances» of the treaty – this would apply both to the contract in the original language and to the translation (cf. z.B. MCC-Marble Ceramic Center, Inc.
v. Ceramica Nuova D`Agostino, S.p.A., 144 F.3d 1384 (11th Cir. 1998)). The use of Parol evidence is even more applicable when the translation has been signed by both parties and the translation has dealt with a subject or scenario that appears to have eroded the original language. The unfortunate result is that the courts (or arbitral tribunals) have to rule on these types of cases, as it is less likely that the parties will be able to settle their own disputes amicably. Instead, they will all believe that their own interpretation of the treaty is feasible and will spend far too much money arguing over that interpretation. Poor translations lead to the loss of accurate language. In many cases, a solo or small lawyer tries to reduce costs for the client by hiring a non-lawyer to translate contracts. There are stories of people using secretaries to translate contracts («She speaks Spanish, no matter what dialect») or computer programs. Even obtaining flat-rate translations of translation services can be problematic if they do not explain the range of potential translations that may result from a particular legal sentence. A translator may be required to choose between three, five, ten or zero words in a foreign language for a particular legal concept that the lawyer initially described in a legal contract.
A translator who is not a lawyer may not fully understand the goods or services described, the conditions of use and use in the industry used, or the importance of maturation in this description….