While no one was looking, the DOJ did something great.
It added more translated versions of the FCPA to its site. The full statute (15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1 et seq) now appears in 14 tongues, covering something like 2.8 billion people (give or take a few hundred million).
Arabic – عربي
Bengali – বাংলা
Cantonese – 廣東話
Chinese Mandarin –官話
French – Français
German – Deutsch
Javanese – Basa Jawa
Malay – Bahasa Malaysia
Portuguese – Português
Russian – Русский
Spanish – Español
Urdu – اردو
The DOJ cautions that the translations are unofficial. But, it says, the goal “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 move may be partly in response to the OECD’s critique that the government offer more help to small and medium-sized enterprises to comply with the FCPA. The ten new translations and original four are free, giving companies of any size a neat tool to educate and train their non-English-speaking workforces.
The languages were apparently chosen to reach people in large emerging economies, and others in high-risk compliance environments.
And how about this: 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.