The General Principles in Drafting a Contract

Language, as a cultural phenomenon, is not isolated. It interacts with social and economic development. United Kingdom, the first country that carried out industrial revolution, has been the most developed country in the world. As the flouring development of the overseas trade and colonial expansion, the English language is spreading in the world. The English contract is not limited to contract of America and United Kingdom.

The Chinese law is more profoundly influenced by continental legal system than Anglo-American one. Therefore, it is difficult to translate contract from Chinese to English not only in language but also in spirit. What is more, it is impossible and necessary to do so.

The Language Requirements of English Legal Translation

Generally, English contract include many synonyms and homoionym and the grammatical structure is often complicated. For example:

To purchase, take on lease or in exchange, hire or otherwise acquire and hold any estate or interest, any lands, buildings, easements, rights, privileges, concessions, patent rights, licenses, secret processes, machinery, plant, stock-in-trade, or any real or personal property of any kind necessary or convenient for the purpose of or in connection with the company’s business…

This is the expression about entering into an agreement. This dialogue uses several verbs and terms with the same meaning of entering upon a property, such as purchase, take on lease or in exchange, hire, moreover, the drafter even use “or otherwise acquire” to reveal all the details.