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Old 09-04-2016, 11:38 AM   #1
Pandora3
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Default Contract in Chinese language only

We are a smaller Singapore firm.
Is it legal to have a contract with a US partner in California and to have the contract be only in the Chinese language, Mandarin?

Is that ok in CA? Does that violate any US law?
We hope and assume not but just want to check.
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Old 09-04-2016, 03:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Contract in Chinese language only

Dear Pandora:

It is normally not a violation of US or state law to put the contract in any foreign language.
It is completely legal.

I trust all sides have a person that speaks the language and counsel fluent in the contract language.

Often times parties put the contract in both languages but one is fine. (and 2 languages can raise its own issues sometimes)
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Old 09-05-2016, 01:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Contract in Chinese language only

Enforcement of a contract in the US, written in a foreign language can sometimes become ambiguous, when translated to English, for judicial purposes. In such cases, the contract is normally determined in a light negative to the writer of the contract, on the basis they allowed the ambiguity.
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Contract in Chinese language only

The issue with two language versions of the contract is that they are not always exactly the same as no translation is 100% perfect.
That can raise issues as well when a dispute arises.
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Old 09-05-2016, 11:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Contract in Chinese language only

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandora3 View Post
We are a smaller Singapore firm.
Is it legal to have a contract with a US partner in California and to have the contract be only in the Chinese language, Mandarin?

Is that ok in CA? Does that violate any US law?
We hope and assume not but just want to check.
If you are getting a US business partner so that your company can conduct business in the US then you'd better darned well have the contract in English because it's going to be a US court that will interpret and enforce the contract and you won't be happy with the result.

My advice: If you want to do business in the US, do it in English, or don't do it.
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Old 09-06-2016, 02:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: Contract in Chinese language only

Well I wont comment on all the business eg done in Florida with South America, that is all in Spanish.
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: Contract in Chinese language only

If the focus of the contract is all in the US then English would be best. If it is in Mandarin and you go to court in the US, it will be the court-appointed translator's version that basically governs.
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Contract in Chinese language only

Quote:
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Well I wont comment on all the business eg done in Florida with South America, that is all in Spanish.
And I won't comment on who you can thank for that.
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:12 PM   #9
Pandora3
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Default Re: Contract in Chinese language only

These many comments were all very helpful, and we will consider and adopt them,
We thank you deeply!
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Contract in Chinese language only

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandora3 View Post
We are a smaller Singapore firm.
Is it legal to have a contract with a US partner in California and to have the contract be only in the Chinese language, Mandarin?

Is that ok in CA? Does that violate any US law?
We hope and assume not but just want to check.
There is NO requirement that contracts in the US be in English, though I am sure Trump would like to make it so if he could!
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