A Mistake in Law Translation

As it is well known to all, accuracy is very important to law translation, one tiny mistake can cause significant damage. Here I want to share one example I came across lately.

The sentence needs to be translated: The Company confirms the transfer of all the assets and liabilities of AST Global S.A. to AST Global Investments Inc. as per 29.12.2010 in accordance with the minuted decision of the sole shareholder of AST Global SA and in accordance with the balance sheet of AST Global SA as per 29.12.2010.

Original Translation: 公司确认自 2010 年 12 月 29 日开始根据 ASI Global S.A. 公司唯一股东在会议中作出的决策以及 ASI Global S.A. 自 2010 年 12 月 29 日开始的资产负债表将 ASI Global S.A. 的资产和债务转让给 ASI Global Investments Inc. 公司。

My revision: 根据 2010 年 12 月 29 日 ASI Global S.A. 公司唯一股东在会议中作出的决策以及 ASI Global S.A. 2010 年 12 月 29 日的资产负债表,公司确认将 ASI Global S.A. 的资产和债务转让给 ASI Global Investments Inc. 公司。

Read Also: An Example of Mistranslation for us to Study

Analysis: Clearly the translator misunderstood the phrase “as per”, he regards it as “from that day on” while the meaning is “in according to”. You might say this is a minor mistake, but the meaning is very different. As it is in an important document, this can lead to crucial damage.

English itself is an ambiguous language. One sentence can be interpreted to be this meaning or that meaning while they can be both correct. Then we need more context or background knowledge to understand what the writer really meant to say. But in the case above, there is no ambiguity in the sentence and the mistake should be totally avoided.

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