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If You Don’t Understand the FCPA in English, Read This
By David Stout | December 7, 2021 1:41 pm

The full text of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act can now be read in 14 languages in addition to English, thanks to a brand new addition to the Department of Justice Website.

The idea is to “increase the general awareness and understanding of the FCPA by both U.S. companies engaging in international business and their foreign counterparts,” the DOJ says.

The languages include French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and both Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese. For those not fluent in any of those tongues, Arabic, Korean and Urdu translations are among the others available. But the DOJ cautions that the English version of the FCPA is still the official one.

Writing about the DOJ offering on his FCPA Blog, Dick Cassin estimates that some 2.8 billion people covering something like 2.8 billion people (“give or take a few hundred million”) will now be able to read the FCPA in their mother tongue. Whether they will be able to understand it without the aid of special counsel is another question.

“The languages were apparently chosen to reach people in large emerging economies, and others in high-risk compliance environments,” Cassin says. “Will translating the FCPA into so many languages help other countries understand the law and nudge them to adopt something similar of their own? Let’s hope so.”


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