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Proper Italian contract translation is key for businesses moving into the Italian market. Italian is a Romance language. As such there are marked differences between Italian and English — a mostly Germanic language.
Approximately, 85 million people speak Italian. It is an official language in Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, and Switzerland. It is also the third-most spoken language in the EU, making it an important language in trade.
Businesses looking to appeal to an Italian audience will find customers scattered in nearly 30 countries around the world with sizeable pockets of Italian speakers. Suffice it to say, the Italian market has a lot to offer — and not just in Italy.
The absence of gendered nouns in English and the importance of them in Italian can prove challenging when translating between the two languages. The goal is to produce a document that sounds natural to a native speaker of the target language, which can be surprisingly difficult.
We offer expert translation services for a variety of legal needs including:
● Translating English contracts to be used in Italy
● Translating Italian contracts for English-speaking lawyers to review
● Adapting contracts to fit the local law code system
These days, businesses without an online presence basically don’t exist. Thus, businesses need to have a website that appeals to their target market.
Italian clientele isn’t interested in a website that is written in English. Though there are sizeable populations of Italians that speak English in larger cities like Rome or Milan, the majority of Italians don’t understand English.
Furthermore, machine translation is so basic that any native speaker will notice right away when a business tries to take this shortcut.
Proper translation is even more important when it comes to legal pages on a website. These include:
● Terms of Service
● Privacy Policies
Nothing can be left to slip through the cracks or be “lost in translation” when dealing with these important topics.
On occasion, English-speaking businesses in an Italian market will receive legal documents and contracts from vendors and other Italian businesses. These documents will often come in Italian — a problem for businesses that only have English-speaking attorneys. They must be able to review an error-free copy of the document in English before they can clear the document to be signed.
This is where high-quality human translation from Italian to English is crucial. When machines translate contracts, they can only create literal word-for-word translations. Unfortunately, the actual meaning or intent behind the words can be lost or misrepresented with this type of translation. Legal translation services offered by human beings with an intimate understanding of both languages is the best way to keep a business out of legal hot water.
When negotiating contracts with Italian businesses, it’s important to realize that the Italian people put a lot of emphasis on personal relationships. Here are a few tips for fostering positive interactions with Italians:
● Talk to local representatives to open conversation and build the initial relationship
● Let everybody know if you are running late as soon as possible
● Seek common ground where everybody wins
● Don’t be too focused on closing a deal quickly, let it develop at a slow pace
Keep these tips in mind to enjoy profitable and peaceful negotiations with Italian businesses.
There are a few things that translators must keep in mind when translating between English and Italian.
● Localize the language: there are many dialects in Italy and legal language should be adapted to target the specific area where the contract will be used
● Legal system adaptation: the basic legal system in Italy works differently than in the US and other English-speaking countries and must be accounted for
● Legal text expansion: it takes approximately 10-15% more words to say the same thing in Italian as in English. Legal texts must be properly expanded to reflect this nuance
● Legal text elimination: the opposite occurs when going from Italian to English and the text must be appropriately shortened to accommodate
When foreign businesses begin operating in Italy, they will find there are various types of legal documents and contracts that become necessary. The following are some of the most common types we translate:
● Terms of Services
● Privacy Policies
● Online Agreements
● Vendor Contracts
● Customer Contracts
● Master Service Agreements
Contracts in foreign countries don’t always follow the same rules as one might expect. There are some things that are simply known or assumed about contracts based on the culture of the people who are writing them.
For example, we mentioned earlier that Italians emphasize a personal relationship. The cutthroat negotiations and tactics that are sometimes seen in the US are usually not necessary and would seem very harsh in this culture.
To be considered a valid contract in Italy, the following conditions should be present:
● A contract is an agreement between two or more parties
● The contract seeks to establish, regulate, or terminate a relationship that has been legally formed
● The parties are free to agree on whichever terms they would like, within the boundaries of the law
● Once the contract proposer learns of the other parties acceptance, the contract is finalized
Many legal terms don’t translate word-for-word between Italian and English. Instead, phrases are used that carry the same meaning. Here are a few examples of Italian and English contract terms. Note also how the Italian version is often longer, contributing to the need for text expansion.
There are two broad legal systems on which most of the countries around the world base their legal systems. They are called the common law code and the civil law code.
Which is better when comparing common law vs civil law? There really isn’t a way to say that one is better than the other. They work slightly differently and offer pros and cons like anything else.
The main thing to be aware of is that the majority of the US uses a law system based on English common law whereas Italy is one of many countries in the EU whose system is based on Germanic civil code. This code was originally established in 1865 and revamped in 1942.
Other countries whose systems are based on this same law code include:
● And various others
The important thing is that a translator be aware of the differences between these two codes of law and how they will affect the document being translated.
Looking for top-notch contract translation services for your global contracts? Don’t trust this important paperwork to machine translation or subpar services. Contact us today for all your legal translation needs and rest assured that your translated legal documents end upas air-tight as the original writing.
When it’s time for businesses to work indifferent countries, proper legal contract translation is essential to their business. Reach out to us today for legal contract translation services you can count on.