I have discussed bilingual proficiency in translation, in this text I am going to continue this point and discuss some other qualities.
Let’s look at another example.
Buyer must give Seller notice of any claim within 30 days after arrival of goods at port of destination. Unless such notice. accompanied by proof certified by an authorized surveyor, arrives at the Seller’s office during such 30 days period, Buyer shall be deemed to have no claim．
Translation seems have no problem, but some defects will be found after study the connation of the original sentence. “written” should be added before “notice of any claim”. Because in the case of claim must be submitted in a written form and normally through FAX or Email to inform in the early stage, a detailed statement will be submitted lately.
After proofread, this translation can be used. Some possible defects of goods during the validity of agreement are hard to notice. A definite claim time is disadvantage for buyer, thus we can add this provision “Seller shall nevertheless be responsible for latent defects of the merchandise regardless of any delay of Buyer to give such written notice of claim．”
This kind of process can reflect the understanding of Chinese and the good expression of English from a translator, as well as professional.
3. knowledge of the subject matter
A qualified international business contracts translator should acquire a certain amount of professional knowledge. Actually, the master of English and Chinese is not enough to comprehending original file. Translators should acquire specialized knowledge that is related to international business contracts, which including foreign-related legal and law, WTO principles, customs of international business and so on.
Besides, it also involves all kinds of specialized knowledge, such as commodity, market, commodity inspection, transportation, insurance, international finance, arbitration, exchange rate etc, especially for other difficult contracts. Such as international technology trade contracts, except for general knowledge of international business contracts, it also involves investment, law of tax, foreign exchange management, technology service, technology improvement, infringements and confidentiality etc.
4. theory and practice on translation
Theory is a summary and overview of translation practice, in the contrary, it can be an indicator for translation practice which provide translators a possible solution. In the way of translation practice, translators often suffer this: the meaning of a professional provision is fully understood, but it is hard to give a standard and fluent translation, which result from indistinction of original files and real meaning of phrases. Under this situation, we should not translate them rigidly, but to change another expression and exercise other translation skills that we have already studied.
Other thing we should be careful is misused phrases. When we translate especially for business contracts, choose an inappropriate words will lead to inaccurate expressions and ambiguity. Abide by and comply with all have meaning of “遵守”, but we must use ” abide by ” when the subject is human, thus “comply with ” should be used when the subject is impersonal.
Another example is change A to B and change A into B. “把A 改为 B” should be translated “change A to B”, while “把 A 折合成/兑换成 B” translated “change A into B”. another example is the use of by, per, ex. “承运” should be translated “by”, while “运走” is “per”.
In summary, phrases used in contracts are really different from the ordinary words, even the most common and simplest words have a “hidden” meaning, which is hard for us to full master and a biggest obstacle when we translate contracts. However, we still should master more phrases or memorize professional words that will be helpful for our translation.
As a whole, theories are not strong enough to support a brilliant translation. Practice makes perfect is a true words for all of us. We should exercise constantly, more importantly, in a purposeful way.
Summarize our exercises is an crucial part which will guide our practice and give us valuable experience. This will improve our translation skills and become our own theories which play a role as indicators in our following translations.