So, if it's either such an esoteric language that only the signatories speak it (say, a new variant of Esperanto, or an idioticon between twins)? Or if it were an archaic language- say, the two foremost professors of classical language in the world sign a contract written in a language which people technically know about, and can become experts in, but which essentially no one else has devoted the time and energy necessary to become expert in?

(I ask because it is Friday in Iceland.)

  • It's not enforceable if a judge can't know what it says. Feb 5 '16 at 17:09
  • @ratchetfreak That covers an idioticon, then. But what about an archaic language? A language which, technically, the judge could understand what it said, but it would take years of intense study? I suppose this indirectly gets at matters of technical / technological law. Feb 5 '16 at 17:11
  • Valid? Probably. Useful? Probably not. Make any sense? Definitely none.
    – jcaron
    Feb 5 '16 at 23:48

The parties can be required under oath to explain what they understand the plain meaning of the words to be.

Where they disagree about the plain meaning of the words, they can use expert witnesses to give weight to their interpretation.

Once the judge determines the plain meaning of the words (either by agreement between the parties or by reference to expert witnesses or other evidence), it is a matter of standard contract interpretation.

Even in the case of an idioticon, where no expert witnesses are available, if the disagreement between the parties surrounds only a few words, the judge could find that there is no actual ambiguity because the context. Also, the judge could refer to parole evidence if needed.

The purpose of the written contract is to provide evidence of your agreement. It is a bad idea to create evidence that you both may want to rely upon at some point if nobody else can understand it.


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