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Korean Contract Takes Effect July 1 in California, USA

Posted May. 04, 2004 21:21,   


As of July 1, people in California, USA, can do business with a contract written in Korean.

In their May 3 issue, the Los Angeles Times reported that Asians who have difficulty communicating in English have the right to contracts written in their native tongue according to AB 309, which requires businesses to provide contracts in the same language used to negotiate with consumers, effective July 1.

Immigrants who speak Korean, Chinese, Tagalog and Vietnamese can now demand a contract written in their mother tongue when doing business. If it is written in English only, the business contract can be nullified.

Contracts covered by the law include car deals, auto loan services, apartment leases, retail credit extensions, and legal services. California has 1.8 million immigrants who speak these four languages.

The bill was passed following a series of incident reports by victims, including a case in 2002 wherein a Chinese immigrant was duped into signing an English contract with exorbitant interest rates by a car salesman who spoke Chinese.

A contract bill for Hispanic speakers was legislated in 1978.

Hye-Yoon Park parkhyey@donga.com