Legal Translation for Procurement in Local Languages

Legal Translation Services for Procurement Departments

Professional foreign language translation services for corporate purchasing and procurement departments of multinational companies on a daily basis. At its core, procurement is about good value for money and obtaining quality products or services while maintaining good governance and best practices.

Procurement procedures can sometimes be complicated, a fact that is only exacerbated by the language used throughout the process. To further complicate the process, procurement has its own terminology, and sometimes words are used differently from their traditional English meaning.

Complicated language and the need to obtain the best possible value can work against each other, and it is for this reason that agreements should be created both in English and the local language of the country where the process is conducted.

There are already many procurement rules, and they exist for a reason: to ensure the best value in return for expenditure. There are basic elements that exist in all procurement processes, and special rules and instances for specific local programs. For example, many countries have laws or regulations governing public procurement, all based on a standard model. These rules cover things like:

Domestic sourcing
Exempted industries
Market access
Bidding modes

Language – A Fundamental Element of Any Contract

Language is a fundamental element of any contract or agreement, yet many countries do not have laws outlining in which language a contract must be written. Brazil and China, for instance, do have these laws, giving them an advantage and ability to thoroughly review agreements. For example, Brazil’s Procurement Law & Policy states: “When participating in international bidding, foreign companies that do not operate in the country must comply, as much as possible, with the provisions of Article 32 of Law No. 8,666 through similar documents, authenticated by the respective consulates and translated by an official translator, and must have legal representation in Brazil expressly authorized to receive service and respond administratively or judicially.”

This is smart on Brazil’s end. Requiring that all documents be translated ensures that there is no risk of miscommunication, and that the procurement process runs smoothly for both parties. Signing an English-only version could result in confusion down the road, or disappointment and anger if an element of the agreement was misunderstood. Having an official agreement in both languages puts both parties on an even playing field.

Fair and Unbiased

Procurement is meant to be a fair and unbiased procedure, but with documents in only one language this becomes impossible. While it can take more effort, time, and money to wait for a foreign language translation of documents, it is well worth it for the potential money saved and peace of mind. Having a record of technical and legal documents in both languages, where all technical and legal terms are translated appropriately, prevents complications down the road and results in a stronger procurement process and finding the best possible value – which, after all, is the goal of procurement in the first place.

Contact All Language Alliance, Inc. for legal document translation services for multinational corporations in any foreign language.

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