Translation, Love and Law

In the past months, love-related translation projects have been arriving in my inbox, ranging from a desperate love letter from a boyfriend addressing his ex-girlfriend’s mum, to a Pre-Marital Agreement and a Divorce Decree.

Did you include in your wedding preparations a legal agreement to cover the eventuality of a breakdown of the marriage, annulment, judicial separation, divorce or dissolution? Perhaps to you, it is sensible to retain your property separately from your partner’s, while not acquiring beneficial interest in your partner’s property.

However, the question arises: what if you contribute to the repair of your partner’s property? Will you be able to claim your money back? What if you provide support, or take responsibility for the household while your partner is at work?

I had never thought about these questions, and to be honest, I do not want to think about them. If this type of agreement is deemed necessary, it may well be that the relationship is already in difficulty, and it would be advisable to consider ending it, rather than risking the possibility of losing much more.

I prefer to consider questions such as, “Does this person belong to my life?” or, “Does this person share my values?” Even if the answer to these questions is yes, conflicts and arguments are still likely to arise; I call these confrontations.

During such a confrontation, the focus should be on achieving a better relationship, and a win-win outcome for both sides.

Being in a relationship is like training to achieve an Olympic rowing gold. By training daily together to synchronise our rowing action, the Olympic medal becomes an achievable goal. This can only bring happiness, in a way that a pre-marital agreement cannot guarantee, a desperate love letter cannot achieve and a divorce decree cannot restore.

I find translating legal documents enjoyable, but it would be better not to see the pain, fear, frustration or pride that lies behind some of them.

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