Given that traditional contract language is confusing for native English speakers, it stands to reason that translating contracts from or into English would be a problematic undertaking. That’s something I wrote about in this article for the Bulletin of the Institute of Translation & Interpreting. (Hey, I’d find a way to get an article on contract drafting in any periodical!)
It was because of that article that I was contacted by Juliette Scott. She’s a language specialist who’s working on a PhD at the University of Portsmouth. She also blogs at Words to Deeds, a blog aimed at building bridges between translation and the law.
Her PhD research looks at the legal profession’s experience with translation, in particular of corporate and court-related documents. As part of her research she’s conducting a survey of people who commission or work with legal translations. (Go here to access the survey.) She asked me if I would be interested in taking the survey, but I haven’t had much occasion to work with translated contracts. But I volunteered to mention her survey on this blog, and that’s what I’m doing now.
If you have any contact with translated legal documents, I encourage you complete Juliette’s survey.