Whether it is to protect your business, enhance customer satisfaction, or reassure prospects, translating your terms and conditions into English can be particularly useful if you are dealing with a multilingual clientele and are based in a non-native English speaking country.
General terms and conditions of sale are contractual documents produced by a supplier for a user. They provide a framework for the sale of products or services online: they clarify the future transaction and define the limits of liability in the event of a dispute.
The document lists all the information that the customer needs to be aware of before finalising a purchase. The terms and conditions appear on a dedicated page of the website, usually at the bottom of the page.
The clauses of the terms and conditions are drafted by the supplier, but must nevertheless meet certain specific standards. In particular, they must mention the conditions of sale, the delivery terms, the price lists, and the payment terms, etc.
The translation of the terms and conditions into English is essential if your company has an international clientele, as English is the most commonly used language in the business world.
It is not compulsory to translate your terms, but there are certain risks involved if you do not translate them. Terms must be communicated to consumers "in a clear and easy to understand way". Terms and conditions are essential to ensure the smooth running of a transaction. Translating the terms and conditions into English will protect the company and the consumer, inform and reassure the prospect, and avoid any ambiguity, which will increase customer satisfaction. Furthermore, in the event of a dispute, untranslated terms and conditions could encourage the customer to contest their consent to the sale.
As you can see, translating your terms and conditions into English presents a number of challenges. Moreover, given the legal value of this document and its technical nature, it is imperative to have it translated by a specialist legal translator, whose mother tongue is English and who is a native of the country targeted for translation. This last point is important because there are many lexical, grammatical, and spelling differences between British and American English.
Only a translator who specialises in the translation of legal documents, and who therefore has a sound knowledge of the law, will be able to guarantee you a clear, precise, quality translation of your company’s terms and conditions. Using a specialist translator is crucial to avoid the risk of litigation due to misinterpretation or misunderstanding by the client as a result of a flawed translation.
To translate your terms and conditions into English as accurately as possible, you will need a legal translator who is a native English speaker of the country targeted for translation.
English is a universally used language. Translating your terms and conditions into English therefore allows you to communicate them to a very wide audience. However, if you are addressing an international audience, it may also be worthwhile translating your terms and conditions into your customers' native languages.
Translating your terms and conditions into English is not compulsory in a non-native English speaking country, but it is strongly recommended to reassure customers and to protect your company in the event of any disputes.