Legal Translation Services
for Entertainment Lawyers

Chinese to English Translation Services for Entertainment Law Attorneys

Recently, Hunan Group announced a large financing deal with Lions Gate, a move that became the largest Chinese investment in Hollywood in history. This is likely just the first step in this direction by Chinese companies. More and more companies are hoping to expand worldwide and create a global reach through partnerships, and each of these announcements will come after months of deliberation with lawyers, which will inevitably involve English into Chinese and Chinese into English translation and interpretation services.

The attorney who represented Hunan Group shared some of his experiences with Forbes, noting cultural observations that he thinks will be important for translators and interpreters working with lawyers in similar international deals in the future.

Miscommunication was, not surprisingly, near the top of his list. “Miscommunication can kill deals,” he says, “Particularly if there is an unintended slight.” This is why having a skilled translator is so important. An experienced professional translator will understand nuances and word usage beyond strict translation, and ensure these miscommunications come through in all correspondence and documents and thus not harm any possible deal.

Aside from Chinese-English translation, the attorney points out that Hollywood has its own unique vocabulary and industry jargon. Lawyers working in entertainment industry need a translator that can convey these terms and phrases in the best possible way, understanding that there is no direct translation for many Hollywood terms but conveying their meaning in an effective way. “First look” and “budget”, for example, can mean either an initial estimate of production costs, or the actual final cost, depending on the word usage.

Another issue the attorney brings up is that of patience. He says that Chinese have a longer time perspective than Americans, and are usually not in a rush. This can be frustrating for American lawyers who are used to tight deadlines and moving quickly. Do not let your frustration show in your language. Your translator should convey that you are interested in moving forward, but should never be pushy. Because of their much longer history, the Chinese also adhere to a long-term perspective, meaning issues can come up again and again, and coming to a final solution often takes much longer than expected. In these situations, it is good to have a foreign language translator who can convey interest without conveying frustration.

In Asia, lawyers are often brought in only at the end of a business transaction, while in the U.S. legal issues and business issues are much more intertwined, and lawyers are often involved from the beginning of a potential deal. ll legal documents will need to be translated into Mandarin.

As more and more Chinese companies invest in Hollywood and other U.S. markets, the need for experienced legal translators will grow. Contact All Language Alliance, Inc. regarding all your Mandarin to English legal translation needs.

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