This is not in English

It is not used very often, but every once in a while you might encounter it: a boilerplate on the contract language. Such miscellaneous provision should foresee what might likely happen…

If a contract is translated into another language (e.g., because the local law requires that contracts are drawn up in an officially recognised language in order for the contract to be valid and enforceable), it is important to recognise this and to determine which version will prevail in case of inconsistencies or contradictions between the two. The following provision on the prevailing version in case of a translation of the contract:

Language. This Agreement has been drawn up in the English language. In case of discrepancies between the English text version of this Agreement and any translation, the English version shall prevail.

The first sentence may sound superfluous, but realise yourself: a translator should not translate the word English into (the characters saying) “Chinese”. In that case, the reader of the Chinese version must be alert that another text version might be slightly different. Rather, supposedly, a translator will translate English into its translated equivalent and the meaning stays the same (ceci n’est pas en français).

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