24 May 2013

There are some words that cannot be translated…

There are some words that cannot be translated. And what if you MUST translate them? The only thing you can do is to ask a professional


Thanks to our experience in the marine industry, we deal with highly specific and sectorial requests that are sometimes difficult to explain to those who are not involved in the process.


This happens with marine charter party agreements. Several times during the year, our customers ask us to translate agreements and relevant enclosures. These documents are normally written in English. No matter who the concerned parties are or where the agreements are entered into because English is the language used for charter party agreements.


But what happens when disputes arise between the parties in connection with these types of agreements? Generally speaking the concerned parties are one shipowner at least, typically a Greek person or entity, one charterer, maybe from USA, and a ship broker, who is usually Italian.


At this stage, if an Italian court is summoned, an into-Italian translation of documents is required. Judges are not brokers. Not everyone can know what ship lightening is for example. In this case, only real “sea dogs” can help!


This is exactly the field in which we have chosen to cultivate and increase our experience and qualifications. Our translators know ships and how they are built. They perfectly know that an oil tanker is not exactly the same as a gas tanker despite the fact that they are both afloat. Every time we deal with a charter party agreement, at some point we always find ourselves wondering “Wait, this cannot be translated! This is the word which is commonly used, how can you say it in Italian?” But then we put ourselves in the judge’s shoes and find the term that can exactly translate the original word into Italian, explaining the original concept and finding the right context in which the word is used.


Are you dying to know what a ship lightening is? Well, here it is:
The unloading of an oil tanker or a bulk carrier, by means of a lighter, within a port’s waters, in order to reduce the ship draught so that the ship can dock.