In this article, we will suggest you 5 absolutely effective ways to translate a contract into English. First, let me say that the efficiency and effectiveness of these methods are different. Being acquainted with these methods, you will be able to choose immediately the most optimal option that suits your goals.
First the case:
You have your own business and tomorrow you are going to sign a contract with the supplier from Europe. The contract is still in the process of formation, and it is necessary to make it bilingual – with the translation into English. You have a few hours for everything: proofreading, translation, coordination with your partner. The volume of the contract is on average 5 pages.
Let us consider the options.
Or any other automatic online translator.
Advantages: it is fast, accessible and free of charge; you can control the process. Several pages of text can be translated in a few minutes using the popular student method Ctrl+C / Ctrl+V.
Disadvantages: poor translation quality. An automatic translator doesn’t recognize all the nuances, implications, polysemous words and figures of speech. Although contracts are usually quite similar, written in a standard language, yet each text is different. Google Translate will not take this into account and as a result you will get a text similar to the product description on AliExpress. This option can be used when you are sure that your partner will agree to edit the translated text.
When you think about it, there are several people in your environment who speak English: it can be a translator, teacher, student, or just someone who knows English at a sufficient level.
Advantages: you can negotiate an acceptable price, perhaps even a quid pro quo.
Disadvantages: there is no guarantee concerning deadlines and quality, it is difficult to control the process, because it is not a business relationship. In addition, it is difficult to find such a performer on “the same day” terms, because everyone is usually busy with their own affairs. This option is suitable if you can minimize the disadvantages.
Quite a new, but already popular method to find a performer.
Advantages: a large selection of specialties, transparent system of agreements and payment, performers are ranked.
Disadvantages: a long selection process; not always an instant response of the candidate; despite the rating of freelancers, you cannot control the quality; there is little chance that your contract will be translated promptly.
In my experience, only a good specialist can find a good specialist in this field. Therefore, the only thing you can be guided by on the exchange is rating, and trust me, it is not so unambiguous. At least as far as translations are concerned.
I cannot help but mention this most reliable method, though completely inappropriate in a given situation. But of course, the most effective way to translate a contract is to do it yourself. We trust ourselves the most.
Advantages: full trust; adequate timing and assessment of own abilities; it costs nothing except your time and effort. Of course, if “nothing” is the right word. After all, we value our time and effort much more than that of the others. Therefore, our own translation will cost us a pretty penny 😉.
Disadvantages: to learn English and get a degree in translation, you should at least spend 11 years at school and 4 years at university, and it is also desirable to have a few years of experience, because it is an important task. We want the best for ourselves, so we won’t let an inexperienced person to work for us, even if we are this person. Also, the disadvantage is that we can spend this time more productively, for example, doing our business. That is, delegating responsibilities rather than be guided by the principle “If you want something done right, do it yourself”.
Of course, we, as a translation agency, advise ourselves. How could it be otherwise? But we stand by our words. We have been working on our reputation for a long time, looking for the best translators, weeding out the rank and file. We are developing; our company has been on the market for several years. We are known throughout Ukraine and even abroad. Therefore, I can safely say that we are the best option in this situation.
Advantages: immediate estimation of the cost of translation and determination of deadlines; wide range of reliable staff and freelance translators; flexible payment system; translation editing; we are responsible to our clients and protect our reputation. If you need an urgent translation, we will meet you halfway and work outside normal working hours so that you could receive your translation on weekends or at 5 a.m.
Disadvantages: to be honest, I cannot see any disadvantages. Everyone should do their job: a translator translates, an editor edits, a manager organizes the process. And we do all of it.
As promised, I listed 5 ways to translate a contract along with their advantages and disadvantages. It is up to you to choose one of them. You can try all possible and available ways and in the end make a decision. Or you can think about the pros and cons and make a final decision right away. You can also contact us, and we will try to convince you that we are the best.
The author of the article – Olha Iovenko, translation agency manager, translator, editor