A: Chinese lawyers and businessmen generally oppose the traditional language of the American contract. The Chinese use a simple contractual language. Often, U.S. companies insist on using American-style common law contracts. The Chinese page never reads English; They have the document translated into Chinese and collaborate with the Chinese. When a dispute takes place in China, the Chinese court will often say, “This treaty is just a translation of a standard treaty in the United States. Obviously, the Chinese side did not understand anything. That is why we will ignore the most important provisions that you rely on and we will not apply them. Many banks and investment funds have learned this at their expense. For example, many overseas futures contracts have been rejected in China because the courts have concluded that the Chinese side simply did not understand the contract. The result is that Chinese companies have been free to move around, which is not a trivial problem. The parties and their counsel should consider the time and resources (including attorneys` fees) that are spent on the design of contracts. No lawyer would dream of telling a client that the exact language used in a contract “doesn`t matter.” However, by not checking the translations offered in multilingual contracts, lawyers do so.
Parties often sue for the meaning of a single word in a contract. Contractual disputes arise in the event of an obvious conflict between two words, phrases or paragraphs in a contract. The lack of precision in a translation invites problems in the absence of necessity. Why is this necessary? The treaty law of most nations follows the well-known principle that there must be a meeting of minds to establish a binding treaty. If it does not exist, there is no contract. Each foreign nation has different rules as to whether to prove what is admissible as evidence if one demonstrates what the parties understood they received in the benefit of the agreement. Many laws allow the use of parol evidence. For example, the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods allows the courts: Which apply “all relevant circumstances” of the treaty – this would apply both to the contract in the original language and to the translation (cf.
z.B. MCC-Marble Ceramic Center, Inc. v. Ceramica Nuova D`Agostino, S.p.A., 144 F.3d 1384 (11th Cir. 1998)). The use of Parol evidence is even more applicable when the translation has been signed by both parties and the translation has dealt with a subject or scenario that appears to have eroded the original language. The unfortunate result is that the courts (or arbitral tribunals) have to rule on these types of cases, as it is less likely that the parties will be able to settle their own disputes amicably. Instead, they will all believe that their own interpretation of the treaty is feasible and will spend far too much money arguing over that interpretation. If this option does not meet the expectations of the other party, we have no choice but to implement the bilingual model. Your customer may tell you, “I can`t read a Chinese contract.