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合同英语的词汇特点及翻译要点

作者: 发布时间:2011-01-05 09:37:43点击:999

信息摘要: 商务合同属于庄重文体,用词极其考究,具有特定性和严肃的风格。总体上看,合同的词汇特点体现在以下两大方面: 一、用词专业,具有法律意味(professional or legal) 二、用词正式、
商务合同属于庄重文体,用词极其考究,具有特定性和严肃的风格。总体上看,合同的词汇特点体现在以下两大方面:
    一、用词专业,具有法律意味(professional or legal)
    二、用词正式、准确(formal and accurate)
(1)使用正式的法律用词
    The Appendix hereto shall, through the contract period, be deemed (被认为) to be construed (理解)as part of this Contract. 整个合同期间,本合同的附件应被视为合同的一部分予以解释。
    The headings and marginal notes in these conditions shall not be deemed part thereof or be taken into consideration in the interpretation or construction thereof or of the Contract. 本合同条件中的标题和旁注不应视为合同文本的一部分,在合同条件或合同本身的理解或解释中也不应考虑这些标题和旁注。
    Construction 比 explanation 要正式。
    The Employer hereby covenants to pay the Contractor in consideration of the execution and completion of the Works and the remedying of defects therein the Contract Price. 业主特此立约保证向承包人支付合同总价,以作为本工程施工、竣工及修补工程中缺陷的报酬。
    Covenants是法律用词,意为签订有法律约束力的正式合同。
(2)同义词连用
    对一些关键性的词采用同义词连用以克服由于英语词一词多意可能产生的语意不明、避免合同双方按各自的意图来理解合同条文。
    This agreement is made and entered into by and between Party A and Party B. 本协议由甲方和乙方签订。
    The Contractor shall, without limiting his or the Employee’s obligations and responsibilities under Clause 20, insure the Works, together with materials and plant for incorporation therein, to the full replacement cost. 在不限制第20条中规定的承包人和业主的义务和责任的条件下,承包人应该以全部重置成本对工程、用于工程中的材料和工程配套设备进行保险。
(3)外语与相关的专业知识和国际法知识相结合
    The Engineer shall have authority to issue to the Contractor, from time to time, such supplementary Drawings and instructions as shall be necessary for the purpose of the proper and adequate execution and completion of the works and the remedying of any defects therein. 工程师有权随时向承包人发出为合理和恰当施工,竣工及修补工程中的缺陷所必须的补充图纸和指示。
     “施工,竣工及修补工程中的缺陷”用了两个and (execution and completion of the works and the remedying of any defects )。
    根据一般国际承包工程的做法以及国际工程承包法规(FIDIC合同条款)的规定,工程分为两个阶段完成:#p#分页标题#e#
    第一个阶段为:设计、施工和竣工。完成后承包人获得业主签发的移交证书(Taking-over Certificate)。
    第二个阶段为修补工程中的缺陷。完成后承包人获得业主签发的缺陷责任证书(Defects Liability Certificate)。届时,承包人和业主双方的合同义务都已解除。
    若用execution,completion of the works and the remedying of any defects ,则意味着两个阶段合并为一个阶段,使承包人该移交的工程不能交出去。

一、用词专业,具有法律意味(professional or legal)
(一)根据不同的专业来确定词义。比如:
   1)The premium rates vary with differed interests insured.
   2)If the buyer fails to pay any account when due, the buyer shall be liable to pay the seller overdue interest on such unpaid amount from the due date until the actual date of payment at the rate of five percent per annum, such overdue interest shall be paid upon demand of the seller.
   3)The articles of our immediate interest are your  “CHON-HOI” brand Agricultural Washing Machines.
    以上三句均含有“interest”一词,但是由于行业背景的不同,其意义也大相径庭。第一句出自保险业,意思是“被保险的货物”;第二句源于国际贸易,意思是“一方由于未能支付到期的应付款项而向另一方支付的利息”;而第三句属于营销业,此时的interest则应译成“对什么产品、品牌感兴趣”。由此可见,在合同翻译过程中,要特别注意专业性的问题。
(二)注意合同本身的术语
   合同自身也有大量具有法律特性的合同术语。比如,“权利和义务”(rights and obligations)、“仲裁”( arbitration)、“终止”(termination)、“不可抗力”(force majeure)、“管辖”(jurisdiction)等。这些专业或法律术语的语义相对固定单一,通常无法用其他词语代替,任何人在任何情况下都必须对它们作同一解释。所以在翻译的过程中,译者要对这些词语在一般文体中和法律文体中的意义进行区分。例如:
 
请再看以下几例:
   4)Contractor shall assure full responsibility for the entire project work until its acceptance. (初始译文:在项目接收之前,承包方应对工程承担全部责任。)
   5)Full set clean on board marine Bill of Lading issued to the order of the shipper and blank endorsed. (初始译文:承运人签发的全套整洁、已装船的海运提单,空白背书。)
   6)The payment shall be made by confirmed. irrevocable and documentary L/C. (初始译文:付款方式为经确认的、不可撤销的、书面信用证。)
   在以上三句中,acceptance、clean、to the order of、confirmed和documentary的翻译均未能完全真实表示合同意思,这些词的中文完整意思分别是“验收”、“清洁”、“以……为抬头”、“保兑的”和“跟单”。由以上各例可见,由于对商务合同中专业词汇的错误理解和翻译,从而传达了一种错误信息从而可能引发法律纠纷。#p#分页标题#e#
 
(三)注意一些以here、there或where等作前缀的副词。
  这些虚词的使用使得句子简练、严谨,从而显示出该类语言正规、严肃、权威等文体特征。下表中的词语均是约定俗成的特殊用语。一个简单的理解方法是:here代表this,there代表that,where代表what/which。比如:
   7) We hereby certify to the best of our knowledge that the foregoing statement is true and correct and all available information and data has been supplies herein, and that we agree to show you documentary proof upon your request.
   从语法的角度分析,本句中hereby的语法功能为副词,在这句中是强调所说明、证明的内容,因此可译为“特此”。
    除了语法分析法之外,还可以运用奈达的动态等值理论,将前后语篇综合起来考虑,并寻求合适的、最对等的词意,用旧体词来保持商务合同的庄重、严肃的文体风格,比如:
   8) The undersigned hereby certify that the goods to be supplied are made in USA.(下列签署人兹保证所供应之货物系在美国国内制造。)
   9) The titles to the articles are for convenience of reference only, not part of this contract and shall not in any way effect the interpretation thereof.
   在前一句中,“hereby”一词翻译成了“兹”,这是一个经常在中文商务合同中使用的词,符合法律文书的文体特征。另外两个旧体词“之”和“系”显示合同翻译风格正式而紧凑的典型特点;在后一个例子中,根据上下文来看,“thereof”一词的意思是“of the said contract”,译为“本合同的”。此句中的“thereof”相当于“of that”,然而,奈达的动态等值理论的原则是用最合适的对等词来表达源出语的意义,所以“that”可以用“the said contract”来代替。如将“the said contract”综合全句来看,则其最对等的译文为“上述内容”。
    进行对外经济合同文件写作时,在用词上不但要求准确,而且要求简洁。
    英语中某些副词如“here”和 “where”在法律文件中往往当作前缀,与另外一个词构成一个正式法律词汇中的副词,在法律文件中用这些词,可以避免重复,使行文准确、简洁。
    对外经济合同文件是法律文件,为了维护法律的权威性,在进行此类文件的英文写作时,常常使用那些我们平时不常用的、法律文件中专用的正式词汇。
——hereby
Hereby: by means of ; by reason of this. 特此,因此,兹。
    The Employer hereby covenants to pay the Contractor in consideration of the execution and completion of the Works and the remedying of defects therein the Contract Price or such other sum as may become payable under the provisions of the Contract at the time and in the manner prescribed by the Contract. 业主特立此约保证在合同规定的期限内,按合同规定的方式向承包人支付合同价,或合同规定的其它应支付的款项,以作为本工程施工、竣工及修补工程中缺陷的报酬。#p#分页标题#e#
    We hereby certify to the best of our knowledge that the foregoing statement is true and correct and all available information and data have been supplied herein(在声明中), and that we agree to provide documentary proof upon your request. 特此证明,据我们所知,上述声明内容真实,正确无误,并提供了全部现有的资料和数据,我们同意,应贵方要求出具证明文件。
    This contract is hereby made and concluded by and between×××Co. (hereinafter referred to as Party A) and ×××Co. (hereinafter referred to as Party B) on×××(data), in×××(Place), China, on the principle of equality and mutual benefit and through amicable consultation. 本合同双方,×××公司 (以下称甲方) 与×××公司(以下称乙方) 于×××(日期)在中国×××(地点), 本着平等互利和友好协商的原则特签订本合同。
——hereof
Hereof: of this, 关于此点,在本文中。
    The terms, conditions and provisions hereof:本合同的条件和条款。
    Foreign trade dealers as mentioned in this Law shall, in accordance with the provisions hereof (本法所称), cover such legal entities and other organizations as are engaged in foreign trade dealings. 本法所称的对外贸易经营者是指依照本法规定从事对外贸易经营活动的法人和其他组织。
    This decision shall apply to the crimes committed against Article 9, Article 10 and Article 11 hereof by the staff and workers of enterprises other than limited liability companies and companies limited by shares. 有限责任公司和股份有限公司以外的企业职工有本决定第九条、第十条和第十一条规定的犯罪行为的,适用本决定。
——hereto
Hereto: to this, 至此,在此上。在表示上文已提及的“本合同的本文件的”时,使用该词。
    The parties hereto: 本合同双方
    Appendix 4 hereto: 本协议附件4
    All disputes arising from the performance of this Contract shall, through amicable negotiations, be settled by the Parties hereto. Should, through negotiation, no settlement be reached, the case in question shall then be submitted for arbitration to the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, Beijing and the arbitration rules of this Commission shall be applied. The award of this arbitration shall be final and binding upon the Parties hereto. The Arbitration fee shall be borne by the losing party unless otherwise awarded by the Arbitration Commission. 对于因履行本合同所发生的一切争议,本合同双方应通过友好协商解决,如协商无法解决争议,则应将争议提交中国国际经济贸易仲裁委员会(北京),依据其仲裁规则进行仲裁。仲裁裁决是终局性的,对双方都有约束力。仲裁费用应由败诉方承担,但仲裁委员会另有裁定的除外。#p#分页标题#e#
     “Patented Technology” means such patent, and such applications for the patent as are presently owned or will hereafter be acquired in the future by Party B, or as Party B has or may have the right to control, or as are permitted to be transferred during the effective period of this Contract in any or all countries of the world, and as are applicable to or may be used in the manufacture of Contract Products specified by the Parties hereto. “专利技术”系指乙方目前拥有的或未来获得的,或乙方有权或可能有控制权的,或在本合同有效期在世界任何国家许可转让的,适用于或可能适用制造本合同双方规定的本合同产品的专利和专利申请。
——herein
Herein: in this. 此中,于此。在表示上文已提及的“本合同(中)的本文件(中)的”时,使用该词。
    The term “company” mentioned herein refers to such a limited liability company or such a company limited by shares as are established within the territory of China in accordance with this Law. 本法所称公司是指依照本法在中国境内设立的有限责任公司和股份有限公司。
    The term “FOB”, “CFR” or “CIF” shall be subject to the “International Rules for the Interpretation of Trade Terms” (INCOTERMS, 2000) provided by International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) unless otherwise specified herein (in this Contract). 除非本合同另有规定, “FOB”, “CFR” 或 “CIF” 均应依照国际商会制定的《国际贸易术语解释通则(INCOTERMS)2000》办理。
“FOB” (free on board) (Named port of shipment) 船上交货(<指定装运港>)
“CFR” (cost and freight): 成本加运费
“CIF” (cost, insurance and fright): 成本、保险加运费
——hereinafter
Hereinafter: later in the same Contract. 以下,在下文。一般与to be referred to as, referred to as, called 等词组连用,以避免重复。
    When existing Chinese-foreign equity joint ventures, Chinese-foreign cooperative joint ventures and wholly foreign-owned enterprises (hereinafter referred to as “enterprise with foreign investment”) apply to reorganize themselves into a company, the enterprises with foreign investment shall have a record of making profits for the recent three consecutive years. 已设立的中外合资企业、中外合作企业和外商独自企业(以下简称外商投资企业),如申请转变为公司的,应有最近连续3年的盈利记录。
——therein
therein: in that, in that particular context, in that respect. 在那里,在那点上,在那方面。在表示上文已提及的“合同中的,工程中的”等时,可以使用该词。
    The contractor shall not, without the prior consent of the Employer, assign the Contract or any part thereof, or any benefit or interest therein or thereunder, otherwise than by: 没有业主的事先同意,承包人不得将合同或合同的任何部分,或合同中或合同名下的任何利益或好处进行转让,但下列情况除外:#p#分页标题#e#
    Therein: in the contract
    Thereunder: under the contract
——thereof
thereof: of that, of it. 由此,其。在表示已提及的“人或事的”时,可以使用该词。
     “Tests on Completion” means such tests specified in the Contract or otherwise agreed by and between the Engineer and the Contractor as shall be made by the Contractor before the Employer takes over the Works or any section or part thereof. 竣工检验指合同规定的或由工程师与承包人另行商定的检验。这些检验是由承包人在业主接收工程或工程的任何部分之前进行的。
    If this Agreement is terminated for any reason whatsoever, all such drawings, transparencies, specifications, and any other manufacturing or engineering information as are supplied by Party A, including all the copies thereof, shall be returned to Party A, and Party B shall cease to manufacture the said Licensed Products or Components, or parts of the Licensed Products. 如本协议因任何理由而终止,所有甲方提供的图纸、图片、规格以及其他全部生产和操作资料,包括全部复制品,均返还甲方,同时,乙方应停止生产上述许可证产品或部件或零件。
——thereafter, thereto, therewith, therefor, thereunder
Thereafter: after that, 此后,之后
Thereto:to that, 随附,附之
Therewith: with that, 与此,与之
Therefor,: for that, 因之,为此
Thereunder: under that, 在其下,依照
     “Contract Products” means the products specified in Appendix 2 to this Contract, together with all improvements and modifications thereof or developments with respect thereto. “合同产品”指本合同附件2中规定的产品及其改进和开发的产品。
    The Borrower fails to pay any amount payable thereunder as and when such amount shall become payable. 借款人未能支付根据该协议规定到期应付的款项。
    The decision and award of the arbitration tribunal shall be final, and judgment on the decision and award in question may, under the request of either party to the Contract, be made by any court having jurisdiction. The parties thereto shall, in good faith, comply with the decision and award of the arbitration tribunal. 仲裁庭的仲裁决定或裁决是终局性的,任何一方可以要求任何有管辖权的法院对此做出司法判决。双方须以良好的诚信态度遵守仲裁庭的决定。
——whereas
Whareas: considering that, 鉴于,就而论。常用于合同协议书的开头段落以引出合同双方订立合同的理由或依据。
    Whereas Party B has the right and agrees to grant Party A the rights to use, manufacture and sell the Contract Products of Patented Technology;
    Whereas Party A desires to use the Patented Technology of Party B to manufacture and sell the Contract Products;#p#分页标题#e#
    The Representatives authorized by the Parties to this Contract have, through friendly negotiation, agreed to enter into this Contract under the terms, conditions and provisions specified as follows:
    鉴于乙方有权并同意将专利技术的合同产品使用权、制造权和销售权授予甲方;
    鉴于甲方希望利用乙方的专利技术制造并销售合同产品;
    双方授权代表经友好协商,同意就以下条款签订本合同:
——whereby
Whareby: by the agreement, by the following terms and conditions, 凭此协议,凭此条款。常用于合同协议书中以引出合同当事人应承担的主要合同义务。
    A sales contract refers to a contract whereby the seller transfers the ownership of an object to the buyer and the buyer pays the price for the object. 买卖合同是出卖人转让标的物的所有权于买受人,买受人支付价款的合同。
    A contract for supply and use of electricity refers to a contract whereby the supplier of electricity supplies electricity to the user of electricity, and the user of electricity pays the electric fee. 供用电合同是供电人向用电人供电,用电人支付电费的合同。

(四)注意may、shall、should、will、may not、shall not等词语的法律内涵
   May、shall、should、will、may not、shall not等词的确很常见,但是在合同中这些词具有特殊的意义,所以翻译起来要极其谨慎,避免引起纠纷。
   a. May:在表示合同上的权利(Right)、权限(Power)或特权(Privilege)的场合中使用。若表示某种权利在法律上具有强制性的时候,更多的是“be entitled”。
   b. Shall:在合同中并不是单纯的将来时,一般用它来表示法律上可以强制执行的义务(Obligation)。如未履行,即视为违约,并构成某种赔偿责任。所以,shall在译文里,通常表示“应该”或“必须”,当然,也有不翻译的时候。例如:
   10) The parties hereto shall, first of all, settle any dispute arising from or in connection with the contract by friendly negotiations. Should such negotiations fail, such dispute may be referred to the People's Court having jurisdiction on such dispute for settlement in the absence of any arbitration clause in the disputed contract or in default of agreement reached after such dispute occurs. (双方首先应通过友好协商,解决因合同而发生的或与合同有关的争议。如果协商未果,合同中又无仲裁条款约定或争议发生后未就仲裁达成协议的,可将争议提交有管辖权的人民法院解决。)
   上句中的shall 和may表达准确。出现争议后应当先行协商,所以采用了义务性“约定”(shall),如果协商解决不了,作为当事人的权利,则用选择性“约定”(may)。 #p#分页标题#e#
   11)The quality and prices of the commodities to be exchanged between the ex-importers in the two countries shall be acceptable to both sides. (货物的质量和价格必须使进出口双方都能接受。)
   12)The formation of this contract, its validity, interpretation, execution and settlement of the disputes shall be governed by related laws of the People’s Republic of China.(本合同的订立、效力、解释、履行和争议的解决均受中华人民共和国法律的管辖。shall没有译出。)
   c. Should:在合同中通常只用来表示语气较弱的假设,多翻译成“万一”或“如果”,极少译成“应该”。
   13)The board meeting shall be convened and presided over by the Chairman. Should the chairman be absent, the vice-Chairman shall, in principle, convene and preside over the board meeting. (董事会会议应由董事长召集、主持;若董事长缺席,原则上应由副董事长召集、主持。)
   d. Will:一般使用在没有法律强制的情况下,也用做表示承担义务的声明,但语气和强制力比Shall弱。
   e. May not(或shall not):用于禁止性义务,即“不得做什么”。
——shall
在合同等法律文件中,表示强制性承担法律或合同义务,如表示“应该”或“必须”做某事时,应用“shall”,而决不能用“must”或“ should”。
    在表示“应该”或“必须” 时,有时也可以用will,但力度要比shall弱。
    Should在法律文件中往往用作if, 只表示“如果”之意。
    The board meeting shall be called and presided over by the Chairman. Should the Chairman be absent, the vice-Chairmen shall, in principle, call and preside over the board meeting. 董事会应由董事长召集并主持,若董事长缺席,原则上应由副董事长召集主持。
——notwithstanding
notwithstanding: prep. In spit of  尽管;adv. Nevertheless 仍然。比although正式。
    The Works shall be measured net, notwithstanding any general or local custom, except where otherwise provided for in the contract. 无论通常的和当地的习惯如何,工程计量应该计算净值,但合同另有规定的除外。
    Notwithstanding the provisions of this Clause or any other Clause of the Contract, no payment certificates shall be issued by the Engineer until the performance security is submitted by the Contractor under the Contract and approved by the Employer. 尽管有本条款或任何其它合同条款的规定,在承包人提交履约保证并经业主批准之前,工程师不对任何支付款开具证书。

 
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