Your client can tell you, «I can`t read a Chinese contract. What am I going to do with it? I don`t know what I have to do. It may be quick, cheap and easy when we have a conflict in China, but it seems to me that is not the case at the moment. The simple solution is to provide your client with a translation for his own use and daily reference. Is it the same as the recommendation to include in the treaty a clause stipulating that the Chinese version of the contract is official and that the English translation applies, except in the event of a conflict? No no. The English translation is only for reference purposes – it does not even need to be made available to the other party, and it does not need to be signed by them. The mere copy of a contract means that there is only one language negotiation, a sentence negotiation and a version of the contract that could never be controversial. The question of whether the rebus sic stantibus clause applies to a given situation requires a case-by-case analysis of the circumstances of the contract22.22 It is important to note that the case law establishes a very high level which, in most cases, will be difficult to meet. The finding of the rebus sic stantibus implies: A court may modify the obligations agreed by the parties in order to rebalance the obligations and benefits of the parts of the contract or terminate the contract for the benefit of the party who does not perform it24 The parties and their counsel should take into account the time and resources (yes) , including legal fees) that are devoted to the drafting of the contract. No lawyer would dream of telling a client that the exact language used in a contract «doesn`t matter.» But if the translations offered in multilingual contracts are not verified, that is exactly what lawyers do. The parties often pursue each other over the meaning of a single word in a contract. Contractual disputes are challenged on appeal where there is a clear conflict between two words, two sentences or two paragraphs in a contract. The lack of precision in a translation invites problems when there is no need.
So how do you translate a contract into Spanish? Legal translation, including the translation of contracts, agreements and other legal documents, is not easy. A typical legal translation must be precise, the terminologies translated with absolute precision and nothing lost in the translation. In addition, legal conditions, contractual meanings and technical words vary from country to country. Once the notary is satisfied with his identity, he will allow the parties to read the contract, but he will have to read it to them himself – word for word. Indeed, it is the notary`s duty to ensure that the parties have read and fully understood what they are signing. As we can see, the three concepts reflect the idea of the agreement as it is used in the legal texts. They are so closely linked that one is defined directly after the other and can be used interchangeably depending on the context. No – but in practice, it is very desirable that the contract either in Spanish or in bilingual version (Spanish in one column, and your language chosen in the other). This is the norm in the contracts we prepare in our practice. If it is in bilingual format, make sure that the legally binding version is declared a Spanish version.