Legal translation services provided by international language interpreters and international language translators come in handy in the context of foreign direct investments (FDI), which many democratic countries strive to attract. However, in view of the transnational culture attached to FDI, language barriers could pose serious problems. The U.S. companies pursuing investments in non-English speaking countries need to have English translations of the following legal documents and laws: commercial law, foreign trade, labor and taxation laws, civil and criminal codes, city or municipal ordinances and licensing, zoning rules and regulations, lease contracts, etc.
Because of the eminent ease or difficulty brought by language-use, the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) has observed that “language” is a factor that encourages or discourages the flow of foreign direct investments between two countries. Not only are the transaction costs related to hiring foreign language interpreters and translators, translating contracts, and learning a second language minimized, but also the risk of litigation arising from conflicting legal interpretations are reduced when two countries speak the same language (as in the case of UK and US).
Thus, for non-English speaking countries seeking to attract foreign direct investments from English-speaking countries, the key to effective FDI implementation is in the provision of competent translation of local laws, regulations, contracts and vital documents from that particular country’s foreign language into English. And although English language translation could be available and even provided for free by a particular non-English speaking country, an early consultation with professional foreign language translators is nonetheless advisable. It prepares the American entrepreneur with foreknowledge, which is critical not only to foreign language translation but also for the future meeting face to face with foreign counterparts and government authorities.