To do a good contract agreement document translation, the translator should possess extensive literacy, and the following four conditions are essential:

1. Sense of responsibility

As a translator of the International Business Contracts, who must have a high sense of responsibility and a serious, meticulous work style. International Business Contracts are related to the economic interests of the Chinese and foreign parties. Translating contract documents should take legal, economic, and social aspects to consider, and good at using the correct stand, viewpoint, and method to analyze the deep meaning of the original content.

2. Bilingual proficiency

Take the word “market” as an example, which can either as a noun in English and also is used as a verb. When used as a verb, it either can be a transitive verb, or intransitive. As a noun, it generally understood as the “market”, but on different occasions, its expression will be different. For example:

“The retail list price of party A’s Products represents the fair market value to the consumer”. In this sentence “fair market value” should understand as “公平市价”,and translation is ”甲方产品的零售定价对于顾客来讲是一种公平市价”。

“We shall write to you again once our end-users are in the market for you r Product”.In this sentence “in the market” should understand as “要买货”,and the translation is “一旦我方用户对贵方产品有需要时,我们会另函告你”。

“We at are glad to say that just now the market is in a very strong position”.In this sentence “market” should understand as “行情”,and the translation is “我们高兴地告知你方,现在行情上涨”。

3. Knowledge of the subject matter

A qualified translator of an International Business contract must possess a certain degree of expertise. Obviously, to understand the original English correctly, only have Chinese Proficiency alone is not enough, but also should have expertise related to international business contracts. This knowledge includes foreign-related Chinese laws and regulations; relevant WTO rules, international trade practices, and various practices, but also all types of business knowledge, such as commodity markets, commodity inspection, transportation, insurance, international finance, arbitration, exchange rate, and so on.

Especially some difficult contract, such as international technology trade contract, except general knowledge of international business contracts, also which contains investment, tax law, foreign exchange management, technical services, technical improvements, infringement of confidentiality and other aspects knowledge. If one hasn’t the knowledge of the expertise involved in the original contract, then it is impossible to properly understand the original text.

4. Theory and practice on translation

During the process of translation, the linguist often meets this kind of problem: Although knowing the meaning of jargon terms, but it is difficult to use the standard and fluent translation expression. The problem lies that the translator do not fully understand the exact meaning of the original sentences and idiomatic phrases. For example:


The original translation:
“Party B failed to get the goods ready for loading in accordance with the time of shipment as stipulated in the Contract. Therefore it resulted in time on demurrage for the vessel sent by Party A for 48 hours.”

There is no problem in grammar, but not precise enough, nor accord with the English expression. If we change the part of speech, that is change the verb” fail” to “failure”, combine two sentences as one, which will make the translation more rigorous.

Change the translation as below:

“Party B’s failure to get the goods ready for loading in accordance with the time of shipment as stipulated in the Contract has resulted in time on demurrage for the vessel sent by party A for 48 hours.”

Of course, only knowing some translation theory and lack of practicing is not enough. Because only “practice makes perfect”. Therefore, as a linguist, we should understand some theory, then constantly invest translation practice, and good at summing up the successful experience.

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