Contest

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Partnership agreement

English Russian

About this contest
Dear Translators,

We are grateful to all of our contestants who submitted translations. Unfortunately, discussion of the translations was meager, and some of the feedback was controversial and/or somewhat lacking in substance. As a result, the Administrator saw fit to select the finalists independently, based on input from our reviewers and additional considerations. General comments regarding the translations are provided below.

Notations:
Administrator (А)
Legal reviewer: Attorney practicing in the US, J.D., Moscow State University graduate (1)
Linguistic reviewer: Research scholar, Russian Language Institute of RAS (2)

General Comments (А)
1) Unlike most agencies, we offer samples for translation which require that the translator understand a text in its entirety. Although all aspects of translation are of interest to us, our primary concerns are (1) exact correspondence with the MEANING of the source document, (2) precise terminology, (3) readability. While the translator should avoid minor writing errors, we overlook the length of a dash, type of quotation marks, double spaces and other minutiae when evaluating the quality of a given translation.
2) Many translators rightly feel that the selection of winning samples is not unlike a crapshoot in most cases. We believe that this thinking explains why so many of the contest submissions read like machine translations. We take quality very seriously, we respect our contestants, and it is our hope to receive no thrown together translations in future contests.

Typical errors (in order of descending gravity):

I. Misunderstanding of the text; translation confuses the reader.
1. Translation of key terms distorts the meaning of the document.
a. In the vast majority of submissions, Article 8 of the Contract “Allocations and Distributions” was translated using a word-for-word approach, with little to no effort made to clarify content for the reader.
Nearly all translators mistranslated the term “Minimum Gain.” In most cases, this occurred for one of the following reasons: (i) the translator failed to realize that the document was prepared by an attorney from the US in accordance with US legislation, (ii) the translator failed to recognize contradictions created within the text as a result of a literal translation of this term, (iii) the translator used incorrect translations provided by the ProZ.com website or another translation resource (iv) we suspect that some translators arrived at the correct meaning of the term but failed to spell it out for fear of being penalized for adding text to the source document. One possible correct translation might be: “превышение обязательств без права регресса на заемщика над стоимостью обеспечивающих эти обязательства активов.” For additional detail, see “Language notes.”
The term “Minimum Gain Chargeback” was mistranslated by nearly all contest participants. This is rooted in misunderstanding of the terms “minimum gain” and “chargeback,” and failure to recognize the metonymic nature of “minimum gain” within the term (mistranslation examples include “претензионный платеж” and “возврат минимальной прибыли,” among others). In the given context, “minimum gain” actually means “компенсация [в размере уменьшения] минимальной прибыли” (for additional detail, see “Language notes”). Moreover, the word “прибыль” does not refer to a partnership’s real profit. “Minimum gain” is used for taxation purposes and does not exert a “substantial economic effect” (a US taxation term). It is in no way related to a partnership’s real profit. Example of an incorrect translation: «Минимальное отчисление дохода». (1)
b. Nearly all translators translated the term “Special Partnership” incorrectly. Although it can mean “коммандитное товарищество” in the law of some English speaking countries, it is not used this way in US law. The translator should have realized that an American attorney was attempting to convey a Kazakh term by means of a non-legal term. It was very likely "хозяйственное товарищество," but the translation “товарищество” is acceptable. The translation “простое товарищество” is a gross error given that such a partnership is merely joint venture contract (written or even oral) without the formation of a legal entity; this type of partnership cannot be party to a contract. (1)
c. Verbatim translation of “Qualified Income Offset.” Example: «Квалифицированное возмещение дохода». For additional detail, see “Language notes.” Not realizing that the document was prepared by an American attorney, some translators tried to adapt the text that followed to accommodate their understanding of it. The end result was distortion of the text’s meaning and unnecessary additions. (1)
2. Syntactical or style errors which produce intractable ambiguity in the text.
a. Inability to determine to which element a subordinate clause relates: “за исключением случаев, когда законом определено иное, если имеется чистое уменьшение минимальной прибыли товарищества за любой финансовый год” — it is unclear here whether the conditional if clause relates to the word “случаев” or to the situation when “законом может быть определено иное.” Another example: “при условии, что распределение согласно данному положению осуществляется только в тех случаях, когда на счете движение капитала такого Партнера имеется скорректированный дефицит счета движения капитала после того, как …были осуществлены все остальные распределения” — in this case, it is unclear whether a deficit or distribution occurs “после того как были осуществлены все остальные распределения.” Such mistakes can be eliminated by changing the order of simple clauses, breaking up complex sentences and/or using various punctuation options. (2)

II. Errors which call into question the translator’s qualifications or mastery of his/her native language.
1. Use of expressions not used in legal language or in a specific instance.
a. Use of the word “товарищ” or “партнер” rather than the term “участник,” i.e., the term used in Kazakh law. (1)
b. The title of the article “Formation” (creation of a partnership with the signing of a founders agreement by the partners) was inaccurately translated by many translators as “формирование,” “учреждение,” “заключение договора,” “основание,” “ассоциация” and “общие положения.” The term “partnership agreement” was mistranslated as “соглашение о партнерстве” and “договор товарищества,” and even “договор о сотрудничестве.” All translations of the word “Formation” (создание, заключение, формирование, основание), including inadequate translations, require specification of an object, i.e., use of a modifying word in the genitive case (“Создание Товарищества”). A similar error is evident in the translation of “если один из партнеров сталкивается с дефицитом (of what?)” (1, 2)
c. Many translations are inconsistent with respect to the term “partners” and the term “стороны договора.” Once the “стороны” have signed a founders agreement, they become “участники” of the partnership. However, many translations continue to refer to the “участники” as “стороны” and/or “партнеры.” Another gross error: the designation of partners as “совладельцы” of the partnership: once a legal entity is established, its partners lose the right to ownership of assets contributed to the capital of partnership, and possess only contractual rights with respect to any claim in this regard. (1)
d. The preamble of the Contract states that Hathorne & Corwin acquired a 50% in Techkeremeti from Surkhayil and Partners. Although in common law one can say that someone owns 50% of a company, this is a gross error in our case because (as pointed out above) partners retain only contractual rights with respect to these assets. Thus, “приобретение 50-ти % акций” (partnerships leave no room for shares),“50-ти процентную долю в праве собственности,” “долевое право собственности” and similar renderings must be considered errors. (1)
e. The phrases “оплата которых вменяется” (“вменяется” only “ответственность” or “вина”), “списать с такого счета движения капитала, указанные статьи,” “стороны входят в договор товарищества,” “каждому из облагаемых совладельцев,” “в предпосылке отсутствия данного положения” and so on suggest judicial illiteracy. (1)
2. Spelling, punctuation and other slips.
a. Gross spelling error: “в течении” (the noun “течение” in prepositional case) as opposed to “в течение” (a preposition). (Розенталь Д.Э. Справочник по правописанию и стилистике русского языка (Section 60)). (2)
b. Translation of the phrase “about April 31” presented a challenge. Many translators opted to convey approximation using the phrases “примерно в эту дату” or “в ближайшую к этому/указанному дню дату.” Each of these renderings is technically correct although unclear from the point of view of their correlation with reality (what does “примерно 31 апреля” mean or which date is to be considered closer to April 31 — the 30th or 32nd of April – or May 31 is also OK?). Some translators used the stylistically inappropriate colloquial expression “около того.” (1, 2)
c. Superfluous punctuation marks. (i) carry-over of punctuation from the English text: after conjunctions (“ПОСКОЛЬКУ, компания ‘ТЕЧКЕРЕМЕТИ’является […];”), within a simple sentence (“Настоящим договором, стороны заключают соглашение о партнерстве”), (ii) with the use of complex conjunctions (“В случае, если любой Партнер…”). (2)
d. Missing punctuation marks. (i) participial construction is not closed with a comma (“Распределение, выполненное в соответствии с предыдущим предложением производится…”). (ii) Missing dash (“TECHKEREMETI это коммандитное товарищество”). (2)
e. Unacceptable collocations. (i) The adverb “вместе” (“90 000 долларов вместе со всеми необходимыми лицензиями”) is used here in an unconventional sense (use of this adverb to convey the notion of “совместное участие в ситуации” is possible only when referring to people). (ii) The preposition “невзирая на” (“невзирая на предыдущие положения настоящей Статьи 8”) means “вопреки” and has a slightly negative tone. (iii) “Изложена сумма” (“Каждый из партнеров вносит капитал в товарищество в сумме, изложенной напротив его имени”) (“сумма” cannot be “изложена”); cf also “в сумме, установленной напротив его имени ниже” (“установить сумму” means to determine an amount; here that amount is specified). (iv) “в случае неожиданного уточнения счета” is problematic: “уточнение” cannot be “неожиданным,” as it is directly dependent on the agent. (v) The translation of “NOW, THEREFORE” as “сейчас следовательно” or “теперь таким образом” combine the concept of a logical implication with the idea of the present (translations incorporating phrases which convey logical implication only are more effective). (1, 2)
f. Incorrect word order. In most of the translations, the adverb “внизу” (“ниже”), which occurs in the phrase “Каждый партнер должен внести указанную сумму […] напротив своего имени внизу,” is placed at the end of the construction. However, because it refers to the word “указанный,” it must be placed after this participle (М.В. Филиппенко Семантика наречий и адвербиальных выражений. М., 2003, С.9-14). (2)
g. Incorrect government. (i) “действующий согласно принятых условий” (“согласно” requires dative case). (ii) “Пропорционально соответствующих сумм” (“пропорционально” requires dative case); (iii) «о чём стороны подтвердили» (the verb “подтвердить” requires accusative case); (iv) Nominative case rather than genitive where negation requires the latter: “как будто это положение не было в настоящем Соглашении.” (v) Nominative case rather than genitive when the phrase in question is syntactically distant from the governing preposition: “прибыли товарищества для такого финансового года (и, при необходимости, последующие финансовые годы)”. The errors specified in points (iv) and (v) may be the result of an “expansion of the nominative case” characteristic of colloquial speech (О.А. Лаптева Русский разговорный синтаксис. М.,1976). (2)
h. Abuse of uppercase letters (Коммандитное Товарищество, Пункт, Особые Отчисления, and so on). Although some names in official documents, reports and contracts appear in uppercase letters, excessive capitalization shall be avoided. For additional detail, see “Правила русской орфографии и пунктуации (полный академический справочник под редакцией Лопатина),” particularly Section 201. (2)

III. Stylistic errors which make readability difficult.
1. Tautologies. While it is sometimes impossible to avoid repetitions in a legal text, this type of mistake generally reflects carelessness on the part of the translator (Д.Э. Розенталь. Справочник по правописанию и стилистике, Section 141). Examples: “дефицита баланса движения капитала на счете движения капитала,” “осуществляемые в соответствии с изложенным в предыдущем предложении, будут осуществляться.” In the last instance, the translator repeats the verb “осуществлять.” Use of this verb and the verb “являться” rather than a verb appropriate for the specific context is evidence of the translator’s limited vocabulary. (2)
2. “Нанизывание” (“stringing”) of the genitive case (Д.Э. Розенталь. Справочник по правописанию и стилистике, Section 204): “для устранения любого дефицита скорректированного счёта движения капитала.” In many cases, this stylistic error results in very serious errors belonging to category I.2. (2)
3. Use of words recognized as antiquated in modern lexicography (“таковой,” “кои”).

IV. Minor errors (we disregard such errors in contest submissions, but they should be avoided in real projects).
a. Use of clear and correct, but unofficial terms such as “фискальный год.” (1)
b. Absence of quotation marks for Russian names of companies/partnerships. (2)
c. Incorrect quotation marks. (2)


THE BOTTOM LINE
Paul.844 (Pavel) is awarded $250 for the translation and $50 for his peer reviews. His account is activated.

Vlad.451 - his translation does not meet our standards of quality, but we liked his rendering of "minimum gain" concept, so we award him $100.

Ekaterina.716 is awarded $50 for her peer reviews. Her account is activated.

Julie.197 is deleted from our database and banned forever, because we have serious reasons to believe that she is a fake personality [her last name is B. (sic!)]. She has to contact us if she believes that we made a mistake.
Source Text (English)
WHEREAS, TECHKEREMETI is a Special Partnership formed under the laws of Kazakhstan on February 30, 2022; and
WHEREAS, on or about April 31, 2022, HATHORNE & CORWIN HOLDINGS, LLC, a limited liability company formed under the laws of the State of Massachusetts (“Hathorne Corwin”), acquired, for $10 and other good and valuable consideration, a 50% ownership interest in TECHKEREMETI from Surkhayil and Partners (“Surkhayil”); […]

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants set forth herein and other valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which hereby are acknowledged, the Partners agree as follows:

1. Formation

The parties hereby enter into a partnership agreement, for the purposes and the period and upon the terms and conditions hereinafter set forth. […]

6. Capital Contributions
Each of the Partners shall contribute to the capital of the Partnership the amount set forth opposite its name below:
Surkhayil and Partners -- $90,000, together with all necessary licenses, permits and approvals in Kazakhstan, the cost and expense of which to obtain the same to be incurred and paid by Surkhayil [...]

8. Allocations and Distributions

[...]
Special Allocations -- Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this Article 8, the following special allocations shall be made in the following order:

(1) Minimum Gain Chargeback -- Except as otherwise provided by the law, if there is a net decrease in partnership minimum gain during any fiscal year, each Partner shall be allocated items of the Partnership's income and gain for such fiscal year (and, if necessary, subsequent fiscal years) in an amount equal to such Partner's share of the net decrease in partnership minimum gain. Allocations made pursuant to the preceding sentence shall be made in proportion to the respective amounts required to be allocated to each Partner pursuant thereto. […]

(3) Qualified Income Offset -- In the event any Partner unexpectedly receives any adjustments, allocations or distributions, items of the Partnership's income and gain shall be allocated to such Partner in an amount and manner sufficient to eliminate any adjusted capital account deficit in such Partner's capital account, as quickly as possible, provided that an allocation pursuant to this provision shall be made only if and to the extent that such Partner would have an adjusted capital account deficit in such Partner's capital account after all other allocations provided for in this Article 8 have been tentatively made as if this provision were not in this Agreement. As used herein, "adjusted capital account deficit" shall mean the deficit balance, if any, in a Partner's capital account at the end of the relevant fiscal year after the following adjustments: (i) credit to such capital account the minimum gain chargeback which the Partner is obligated to restore pursuant to the law; and (ii) debit to such capital account the items described. [...]

Language Notes

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