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A major challenge of translating Polish legal acts

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published on 15 October 2021 | reading time approx. 2 minutes

by Elżbieta Suchocka

    
An idea to translate Polish legal acts on taxes into German emerged in Warsaw over 20 years ago. Our Warsaw office started a partnership with C.H. Beck in Poland - a well-known and reputable publishing house. The Personal and Corporate Income Tax Acts were the first on our workbench. After that we kept going and translated the VAT Act. 

  

  

Our first translations were published in hard copy as bilingual Polish-German texts. Every translation piece was preceded with an introduction signed by the responsible partner and a concise Rödl & Partner profile. Somewhat later the translated texts of the legal acts were also published in electronic form.
 
Never resting on our laurels, we took up the challenge to translate some other Polish legal acts, such as the Accounting Act, the Inheritance and Donation Tax Act, the Civil Law Transactions Tax Act, the Local Taxes and Charges Act, and the Excise Duty Act. Moreover, we also translated the Polish Administrative Procedure Code into German.

 

Target group of our Polish translations 

Our translations of legal acts, which have been published as bilingual texts, are intended for businessmen from German-speaking countries who have operations in Poland. Our translations of fundamental Polish tax laws enable foreign investors to keep track of the recent legislative changes and their implications and thus to make informed business decisions about their Polish operations.
 
In the subsequent years we were updating our translations of the tax acts as necessary.
 
This year we updated the VAT Act. There have been lots of amendments but we have introduced them all in our German translations and hoped for the publication of the updated version till end of this year. However, the publishers have recently notified us that still more changes are expected to take effect on 1 January 2022 and some of them are still in the pipeline in the Polish Senate. So it will most probably not be possible for us to complete the project (that is, to get the translation of the amended VAT act published) by the end of this year.
 
Work to translate any legal act is a major translation challenge since the subject matter itself is rather complex and the legal language is complicated.
 
It has become somewhat easier since the newest amendments often stem from the EU laws and regulations. Luckily, we have access to the relevant EU directives and regulations finding application across the European Community and thus we can look up the German counterparts of Polish terms easier (by comparing the parallel texts in Polish and German and going through the relevant regulations). This way we make sure that the correct Community terminology appears in our translations as well as expand our own knowledge of the subject matter.
 
Still, many changes to regulations are purely local in nature. Here we have the comfort of having our tax colleagues at hand in case of any doubts regarding some challenging content or its correct interpretation, which expert support is also of great assistance for us.
   

Links to our translations (Polish)

Contact

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Ewa Zawadzka

Head of Central Translation Service German-English

+48 12 213 2570

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Thomas Steinke

Head of Translation Services

Associate Partner

+7 495 9335 120

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