Foreign Language Translation in Context of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Legal Document Translation Services to Comply with FCPA

As the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is aimed primarily at international transactions, the issue of accurate foreign language translation becomes essential to avoiding legal trouble. According to the FCPA, it is a crime to, among other things, to bribe a foreign official.

According to the statute’s anti-bribery provision, it is prohibited to give an i) act in furtherance of ii) a payment, offer or promise of, iii) anything of value, iv) to a foreign official or any other person while knowing that such a person will provide all or part of the thing of value to a foreign official, v) with corrupt intent to receive favorable treatment of some sort. The act holds that a person’s state of mind is knowing with respect to conduct if they have a “firm belief that a person is engaging in such conduct”.

Clearly, without a proper foreign language translation – by a professional foreign language translator who understands the foreign party’s language and culture – it may be difficult for you or your client to know whether a FCPA violation is occurring. More so, it will be unlikely that a court will allow one to hide behind ignorance of a foreign language as it is generally understood that it is the attorney’s responsibility to secure a proper foreign language translation.





Up Next: Deposition Interpreters, and Preparing for a Foreign Language Legal Deposition