The Language (Non-)Barrier – Part VI of Our Complaints Series

capital corp merchant banking complaints language barrier When we conduct a due diligence for a project where the native language of the associated company(-ies) or country(-ies) is not English, it is required that any and all documentation be professionally translated by a certified translator, duly stamped and signed.

Now some people may not like this. Why? Because generally if they have written their documents in their native language, it is because they either do not speak English or their English is too poor to render a good enough translation.  So they know what they must do: pay to have a professional translate their documents. Some people wonder why we simply can’t get it done ourselves.  Well, would you trust a perfect stranger to describe a Picasso to an art collector on your behalf?  The point is, investors and merchant banking groups are not in the business of putting words in your mouth.

So yes, it comes down to paying again (but only if you cannot get it done in-house).  Some people don’t want to pay for a professional translation. But if they can’t submit a solid English translation of all their documents, we can’t fully understand the beauty of the project and there may be some important points that will be missed or misunderstood.  Not good.

Two reasons that we recommend for clients to get their documents professionally translated, aside from the first big reason we just mention, are as follows:

1.)    The Professional Translator is an outside independent party that has no connection to the project and can thus be considered to be non-biased; and

2.)    Consistency in record-keeping procedures, which means that the entire file from start to finish is in English and readable to all.

Professional translations play an important role in confirming the accuracy of the representations from our clients because many languages have different or varying words or expressions that do not necessarily translate word-for-word in the English language.

A professional translator is trained to recognize such obstacles and adjust accordingly while remaining completely impartial and disinterested in the content of the text.   So a complete Due Diligence verification is understandably impossible without the foreign language translations of the necessary documentation.

We have worked on projects around the world and have learned about many foreign and interesting languages, and this is one of the exciting parts of our industry.  Nevertheless, English has effectively become ‘the business language’.  For a vast majority of countries around the world, English is the second language or being taught so widely that it could be considered such.  That’s why we require, as most other businesses, that documents be in English; because as soon as we understand exactly what you (our clients) want, as soon as we understand exactly what your project is, then the moment after we can start putting our efforts into providing you with the financing structure that you need in order to get your project off the ground.

Always make sure that you make an informed decision in all cases,

All the Best,

The Capital Corp Team

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