Law – A Translator’s Wonderland

Jumping into the rabbit hole of legal texts can make translators feel like Alice in Wonderland.

Court decisions, Sales Agreements, Divorce Decrees, Affidavits, Promissory Notes, Lease Agreements, M&As, they all are inherently tricky and sometimes hard to understand even for attorneys. This is mainly due to legal terms, intertwined structures and what is known as legalese.

Legalese is like the Red Queen in the land of law, being one of the major obstacles for intelligibility. Its soldiers are verbosity, archaic words, and madly long and complex sentences.

Some examples of these soldiers are the following:

Verbosity: “Client may terminate the Agreement if control of Service Provider is to be transferred (wh

ether directly or indirectly, or in a single transaction or series of related transactions), or all or substantially all of the assets or business of Service Provider are to be acquired by any organization.…” This sentence can actually be expressed in a simpler way “Client may terminate the Agreement if Material change to ownership of Service Provider is imminent.”

Archaisms/Latinisms: “the party meets its burden of making a prima facie case that a contract existed” – instead of using “on a general/preliminary basis”.

Long sentences:Mary Dowe, who is hereinafter referred as the “Client”, needed a Spanish translation, which is hereinafter referred to as the “Service”, and wrote to Baquero Translations, which is hereinafter referred to as the “Translation Provider”, and the Translation Provider told the Client that they will fulfill the Service by the expiration of one (1) day, provided that (i) the agreed payment is carried out by the Client, and if the Client needed DTP services, which is hereinafter referred as “Design Services”, the Translation Provider commit itself to complete fulfillment of the Design Services by the expiration of the same duration, which is one (1) day, in the sole and unfettered discretion of the Translation Provider to complete the satisfaction of the Client.” – Its plain form would be “Mary Dowe needed a Spanish translation and wrote to Baquero Translations. BT told her that they will translate it and have it for the next day in exchange of the agreed payment. If she needed DTP services, they could provide it within the same day”

Even though many people are now trying to overthrow this Red queen, legal jargon is in the realm of law texts. Its reign started many centuries ago; thus, law reference material—the majority being old— is populated with legalese. Furthermore, universities use these documents, which made them a great input of legalese to the “lawyers-to-be” during the whole course of studies.

As with most texts, a professional translator should first drink the potion to plunge into this new world and unveil the meaning and intention behind each of these intricate legal statements. They need to convert all the “above mentioned” into plain language; and then, create a new text in the target language being as accurate, as unambiguous, or as intentionally vague as the original author intended it to be, with exactly the same verbosity and solemn style as the original. This is a mad tea party, from which only trained and experienced translators can return.

Having extensive experience in legal translations and subject matter expert translators, editors, and reviewers, BT’s team is as mad as a hatter and as brave as Alice to help you overcome this challenge.

By: Andrea Chetti

Adaptation, the Goose of Golden Eggs

Miami has become one of the greatest financial hubs in the US, second to only New York banking center. Florida’s banking has flourished in the last years, but what is their goose of golden eggs? How have the financial services of the sunshine state thrived?

In a word, the answer is adaptation. This does not refer to natural selection, but to opening to new markets –the Hispanic.

According to the data from the US Census, about 18% of the U.S. population, which is approximately 58.9 million, corresponds to Hispanics. Miami’s financial institutions have seen the opportunity and adapted their services and products to reach Latin American consumers. The purchasing power of this growing population plays a key role in Miami’s economy; actually, Florida’s Latin households generate $6.7 billion in buying power.

As a response to the Latin population growth both at the Southern borders and in the whole country, most banking and financial institutions have adjusted their offer to the needs of Hispanic clients. The first step they took was to bring Spanish directly into their institutions by staffing with Spanish speaking employees, internationalizing and localizing their product offerings, and culturally adjusting them to these new communities.

When Spanish-speakers come into institutions like Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo or any other important financial institution in Florida, an assistant will greet them and ask them the reason of their visit. If the assistant knows they speak Spanish, he/she will immediately switch the language, which can evoke different emotions in clients, such as the following:

  • Feeling the institution cares about them.
  • Feeling safe in an environment that can be quite hostile.
  • Feeling assured that they will more easily understand the financial jargon.
  • Feeling confident enough to make questions.
  • Feeling at home.

Having a clear communication strategy is a key factor to succeed in business. Opening your market to new languages does not necessarily entail exporting products or services but adjusting to the new local market. It is of paramount importance that financial institutions generate trust and security to all their clients, including the Spanish speakers. A wise investment in translation is essential to achieve it. Baquero Translation is eager to help you reach Hispanic consumers by providing its top-notch translation services.

 

By: Andrea Chetti

FIFA Hears Women Roar!

Many well-known newspapers, such as The New Yorker, The Guardian, El País, and La Nación are posting articles about FIFA Women’s World Cup with information about each football match, details of the French cities hosting this event, different female football players’ opinion, among others. This cup has become so widely known that even Google has been dedicating doodles to the Women’s World Cup, one for each day.

The increase of media coverage of an event historically related to men, speaks about the great steps women have made towards equality. Recently, the first professional women’s league was established by the Argentine Football Association (AFA). This newly-created league will support 16 female football teams for the first time. The support means providing a place of work, i.e. appropriate facilities, and basic elements needed for training, and ensuring that, at least, 8 players have a professional contract. It is no coincidence that this success was achieved after two major events were made public: Macarena Sanchez’s claim and the national football team’s complaint. The former refers to a demand from a football player to be recognized as a worker, which led to her expulsion from the team. This event reached a large audience thanks to the posts of many newspapers, and likes and shares on social media- it even became a trending topic on Twitter. The latter has to do with a popular photo showing the national team players posing with their hands behind their ears. Argentine players made this gesture in a sign of protest for not being heard –they had claimed to have their basic needs met, such as appropriate pitches, clothing, and travel allowance with no success. The picture circulated and echoed loudly.

 

Unlike other industries or sports fields, the translation industry is an industry where women have always had a strong and world-wide-heard voice. At BT, we support diversity in all its forms and are happy to work in a gender-equal environment.

By: Andrea Chetti

Why you need to localize your website

Today’s technology and global communication have erased almost all borders and made the expansion of your brand possible. Actually, if you are proficient in the English language, you might have enjoyed most of the content developed on the web since it first started. However, it is necessary for companies to understand that in the same way they invest in a good website design, they need to take language seriously and consider good translation as a powerful tool to reach foreign markets. Localization is a process that involves not only translation but also adaptation of your message so that it can be accurately transmitted and culturally acceptable in a different culture.

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world” said the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. In our globalized world, we can understand these words as not having your website translated could limit your company by keeping foreign markets out of reach. In the same way/Similarly, the phrase “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy” simply indicates that when consumers do not find data in their language, they do not buy since they believe they do not trust their knowledge of the foreign language as much as to make decisions. Surveys indicate that 75% of consumers in non-Anglophone countries prefer to buy products in their native language and 60% never buy from websites in English only. By translating and localizing your website, your company can gain new markets and reach more prospects, not only internationally but also locally, since there are communities speaking their home-country original languages. It is necessary to count on highly qualified translators and editors to ensure that your brand’s message is adapted to a specific culture. This includes analyzing and adapting ways of expressing ideas, approaching people, meanings conveyed by certain images or colors, currency, measurements, among others.

Once your website is effectively localized, you can create a strong bond with your clientele. Offering your product in your consumers’ language shows that you care about them. Therefore, your brand’s reputation can grow bigger, and you can also have an edge over the competition.

It is possible to state that localization results in a threefold benefit: gaining new markets, building consumers’ loyalty, and increasing revenue. If we take into account that only 25% of Internet users are native English speakers, there is a 75% of foreign users who you can potentially sell to (data taken from Internet World Stats). This percentage of non-native English users corresponds to speakers of different languages, such as Chinese, Spanish or Arabic, thus, reaching one of their cultures would imply a boost in your company’s income and brand exposure.

Many factors are involved in the successful expansion of a company, but there is no doubt that translation plays a key role in going global. You can trust Baquero Translations to expand your brand effectively and to reach the heart of foreign consumers. BT has the expertise and cultural awareness needed to get your message through into another culture.

By: Andrea Chetti