All translators are called upon to translate a contract at some point in their careers, but what appears at first glance to be an easy task can turn out to be more complicated than it looks.
Consider the very title of the document, for instance. Even beginning language students can tell that “contrat” means “contract. What is not obvious is that lawyers use the word “agreement” in the title when drafting contracts in English.
And how should we translate the “conclusion du contrat”? Not only do English-speaking lawyers rarely use the word “conclusion” in connection with contracts but they might even understand the “conclusion” of the contract to be its “end”—which is just the opposite of what the French phrase means.
Attendees Will Learn
- Where contracts fit in the common law and civil law systems
- False friends in translating contracts from and into French
- How to translate common phrases
- What the dictionaries won’t tell you about contract language
- Where to learn more
About the Presenter
Thomas West founded Intermark Language Services in 1995 after practicing law for five years with a large Atlanta law firm. Intermark recently celebrated its 18th year in business.
Tom received his B.A. degree in French and English from the University of Mississippi, summa cum laude, and his M.A. in German from Vanderbilt University, where he was a Harold Stirling Vanderbilt fellow. He earned his J.D. at the University of Virginia School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1990.
From 2001 to 2003, Tom served as president of the American Translators Association. He is an ATA-certified translator from French, Spanish, German, and Dutch into English.
Tom has conducted seminars on legal translation throughout the United States, Europe. and Latin America, most recently at the 2012 ATA Conference in San Diego. The second edition of his Spanish-English Dictionary of Law and Business was published to wide acclaim in late June 2012.
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