12+ tips to translate your contract into Russian

12+ tips to translate your contract into Russian.
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12+ tips to translate your contract into Russian

Do you need a contract to translate into Russian? You have no idea about it? Read this first and find 12+ useful steps that you can use it. Sure, you want to get a professional translation of your business contract. When you have to translate an agreement, you may contact a legal translator. But please remember, it should be accurate and make sense to people signing the contract. In other words, it seems a challenge.

One reason for this is that the legal system in Russia is not the same as the legal system in the U.S. and E.U. After all, they are entirely different. In most cases, to translate a contract is about using the right legal terminology into Russian. On the other hand, it means that the original version and translated version will have some inconsistencies in the document language. Therefore, a legal translator must help you to avoid possible legal arguments over the contract in the target language.

List of useful tips for your business contract

Here are 12+ tips you can use to benefit your business.

#1: Jurisdiction clause.
#2: You need to understand everything before signing up for the contract.
#3: Be clear about the principles of contract if you want to translate it into Russian.
#4: You better contact a professional legal translator in Russia.
#5: Check the credibility of the translator.
#6: Choose between native speakers.
#7: Be noted about the difference between the legal definition in English and Russian.
#8: Grammar cohesion in English and in Russian.
#9: Language layout for your contact to translate in English and Russian.
#10: Misalignment in a contract for two different languages.
#11: Use just one term to identify one concept.
#12: International dates.
#13: Active voice vs. Passive voice in your document.

#1: Jurisdiction clause.

Make sure your contract includes a jurisdiction clause. In other words, this clause states how a court will determine all disputes between the parties. If you mention a jurisdiction clause in the wrong way, there are risks for you. In that event, you will pay additional costs. By the way, there is also a potential delay in solving disputes between the contract parties. Therefore, you better add as reference to regulations of private international law.

For instance, you run business in New York or in Berlin and sell products to Russia. And you sell some industrial equipment to your Russian buyer in Moscow. Indeed, you do not want any legal proceedings in Moscow. Otherwise, it will cost you. Above all, some of the contract terms are not enforceable under the law in the Russian Federation.

#2: You need to understand everything before signing up the contract

After all, do not sign a translated contract if you do not merely follow it. Existing inconsistencies in the translated document can cause commercial losses for you. As a result, you may find a consultant to review it. And this consultant should be a native speaker of the target language. In this situation, it helps you to save a lot of money and avoid unnecessary legal fees caused by the wrong translation.

#3: Be clear about the principles of contract if you want to translate it into Russian.

The contract law in Russia is based on principles of the market economy. Russian law governs contractual relationships. The primary basis of these laws and regulations is the Civil Code. Following the doctrine of the Russian civil law, a contract is an agreement between several parties about the establishment, change, or termination of civil rights and liabilities. A principle of freedom of contracts consists of the following parts:

Parties can do any type of contract.
Parties have the right to establish any contractual terms except when a particular term is governed by law.

The importance of knowledge of local laws

Now, let’s analyze imperative provisions. The parties cannot change them. If you make a contract with terms using imperative provisions, in case of a dispute between parties, imperative provisions will be applied.

For instance, we can analyze the most common contract between a seller from the U.S. or E.U. and a buyer from Russia. That is a supply contract. Parties have agreed that the seller shall not be liable for the quality of the supplied equipment for the fabrication of a specific product. Then the buyer is responsible for product delivery. In this case, the buyer received an additional discount.

But there is something that happened. After receipt of the product, the buyer detects that the product is defective. The reason is the absence of a controller. Then, if there is a dispute between the parties, this contractual term would be declared invalid. The court will take the side of the buyer because Article 469 of the Civil Code is applied here. It says: The quality of the goods shall correspond to the terms of the delivery contract….the quality of the products shall meet compulsory quality requirements if they are established about these goods. So, be clear about local law to ensure your business has no risks.

12+ tips to translate your contract into Russian
The importance of knowledge of local laws

The wise choice of a legal translator

Tip #4: You better contact a professional legal translator in Russia

You can consider an individual translator who can offer tailored and high-quality services. It is an especially beneficial choice for your business. You can find a professional translator who specializes in legal translation. And he can translate your contract into Russian. When it occurs, translating legal documentation requires specialized knowledge and relevant experience. A legal translator must state he specializes in legal translation. For example, as a legal translator, I have a suitable background and master in the Civil Law of the Russian Federation.

Tip #5: Check the credibility of the translator

You may ask a translator to provide some references. And then, contact a translator who provides them. It can be some documents that contain positive feedback from other clients of this translator. And if to say a few words about myself, you also can find the reference via the link: “What clients say.” I have been translating for companies from the USA, the E.U., Japan, Russian, and China. If you want to know more, please chat with me.

Tip #6: Choose between native speakers

While evaluating the translator you work with, you may consider whether these translators are native speakers of the language you need. The best option is to find a professional legal translator who is a native speaker. As mentioned, if your business partner is a Russian company, an experienced translator from Russia is an ideal choice. This translator is suitable for you and he can translate a contract into Russian.

Special features of the target language and your contract

#7: Be noted about the difference between the legal definition in English and Russian

Russian contracts do not use long chains of terms. Sometimes, it is hard to find an appropriate equivalent in Russian for English legal terms. If you render all these terms (they are often synonyms in Russian), it sounds quite odd to Russian speakers. On the other hand, a translator is responsible for accurate translation.

#8: Grammar cohesion in English and in Russian.

As you can hear about the Russian language, this language has a lot of different grammar forms for every single word. Besides, there is grammar cohesion in Russian. If you change only one single word, no matter how long it is, you need to make relevant correction in the whole sentence or even a paragraph.

#9: Language layout for your contact in two languages.

You can adapt the best practices for your business contract. In simple words, it is a bilingual layout of your agreement. So, you put the English original on one side and the Russian translated text on another side. If you do so, it ensures that you and your foreign business partner sign both languages versions at the same time. By the way, it also helps to edit documents.

Besides, please remember that it is useful to divide the whole text into several cells. It is much better than having one column. Likewise, there will be two texts with different length in English and Russian. In this case, it will be hard to read for you and your partner. Usually, the text in Russian is quite long than in English. For instance, you end up with section 10.2 in English, and your business partner ends up with 8.1 in Russian.

#10: Misalignment in a contract for two different languages.

It is recommended to put each section and subsection into an individual cell. In this case, it will keep it synchronized with the counterpart section in the target language. If you do so, two versions will remain point by point in the entire contract. And you can easily edit your agreement at any time.

The English text is always shorter than the version in another language. Therefore, it means that you need sufficient space to express your legal concept in the targeted language. The sentence length and even single word length both vary. I just give you an example of another language I also work with. So, it is the German word “Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften.” And it translates in English as “Insurance companies providing legal protection.” As you see, it is a big difference. Similarly, it can also do not fit into an allotted space for contract text. Well, please plan ahead to save a lot of headaches.

Tip #11: Use just one term to identify one concept

If you use synonyms for your contract, it can merely influence to document clarity. While using different ways to describe a single legal concept, it will not only affect the overall consistency of the translated document. It also can cause decreased quality, and increased turnaround between you and your translator.

#12: International dates

It is an undeniable fact that formats of large numerals, units of measurements of weight, height, time, etc. are different worldwide. It varies for each language combination. Therefore, please be clear about it. For example, we write 04/07/2020. Is that July or April? It depends where I am. In Russia, it reads as July, but in the U.S., it is April. As a result, you better spell out the name of the month.

#13: Active voice vs. Passive voice in your document.

As you know, using the active voice rather than the passive increases the readability of the document.