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    合同英語特色介紹

    作者:不詳 [加入]

    看了之后明白了很多英文“之乎者也”所對應的現代文,對合同英語的結構和特色也有了大概的了解。值得一看。

    Contract 與 Agreement的有無區別
    在英語中,合同一般稱為Contract,協議一般稱為Agreement。

    何謂“contract”?

    1999年中國《合同法》第二條對contract定義為: A contact in this Law refers to an agreement establishing, modifying and terminating the civil rights and obligations between subjects of equal footing, that is, between natural persons, legal persons or other organizations”。根據這一定義,合同平等主體之間設立的確定民事權利和義務的協議。 ,

    Steven H. Gifts編著的“Law Dictionary”中將contract 定義為“contract is a promise, or a set of promises, for breach of which the law gives remedy, or the performance of the which the law in some way recognize as a duty.”根據這一定義,合同是一種承諾,違反承諾可以得到法律救助,某種意義上法律將履行該承諾看做是一種補償。

    L.B Curzon 在其編撰的字典“A Dictionary of Law”給contract的定義:“Contract is a legally binding agreement”根據這一定義,合同就是有法律約束力的協議。

    綜合起來,有一個相同點,就是“Contract is an agreement”,即可將合同說成是“An agreement which binds the parties concerned”或者說合同說成是“An agreement which is enforceable by law”, 也可以說:Contracts are promises that the law will enforce。

    何謂“Agreement”?

    L.B “A consensus of mind, or evidence of such consensus, in spoke or written form, relating to anything done or to be done.”

    根據這一定義,協議是對已經做或準備做的相關事宜,經過談判、協商后取得一致意見,以口頭或書面形式做出的約定。

    Black "Law Dictionary"有兩個定義。一個是:“A concord of understanding and intention between two or more parties with respect to the effect upon their relative rights and duties, of certain past or future facts or performance”根據這一定義,協議即雙方或多方京某些過去或將來某些事實的相關權利、義務或相關權利、義務的履行而達成的一致理解和愿望。

    另一個是:“The consent of two or more persons concurring respecting the transmission of some property, right or benefits, with the view of contacting an obligation, a mutual obligation.”根據這一定義,協議即兩個或多個當事人,為了約定單方責任或相互責任,就財產權利、利益的轉移取得的一致同意。

    Contract(合同)和Agreement(協議)是不是可以互換呢?

    合同的成立必須具備幾個主要因素。它們(要約和承諾構成的)協議、約因、設立法律關系的愿望和締約能力四大部分組成。

    L.B Curzon編著的“A Diction of Law”提到:“Contract generally involves”

    1. offer and absolute and unqualified acceptance (要約和絕對接受)
    2. consensus ad idem (意思表示一致, 也叫meeting of minds)
    3. intention to create legal relations (建立合同關系的意愿)
    4. genuineness of consent (同意的真實性)
    5. contractual capacity of the parties (合同當事人的締約能力)
    6. legality of object(標的物的合法性)
    7. possibility of performance (履行的可能性)
    8. certainty of terms(條款的確定性)
    9. valuable consideration(等價有償)

    Black 'Law Dictionary" 中解釋道:Although often used as synonyms with "contract", agreement is a broader term, e.g. an agreement might lack an essential element of a contact."

    即“協議”和“合同”經常用作同義詞,但“協議”這一術語含義更廣,例如協議可能缺乏合同的必備條款(essential clauses/provisions)。

    實際使用當中,協議可不受必備條款的限制,而稱為合同的文體肯定少不了必備條款,有的合同將其單列,稱為一般條款(General provisions)。 ,

    1999中國《合同法》第十二條規定了八項一般條款,分別是:
    1. title or name and domicile of the parities(當事人的名稱或姓名和住址)
    2. contract object(標的)
    3. quantity(數量)
    4. quality(質量)
    5. price or remuneration(價款或者報酬)
    6. time limit, place and method of performance (履行期限、地點和方式)
    7. liability for breach of contract(違約責任)
    8. methods to settle disputes (解決爭議的方法)

    上述解釋說明,contract(合同)和agreement(協議)的概念雖然接近,但使用范圍不同,不能互換使用。合同是協議的重要組成部分,所有合同一定是協議,而協議不見得都是合同。可以說具備合同成立要求的具有強制執行力的協議才是合同。

    結構特點

    合同類法律文件用以規定當事人的權利與義務,是預防與解決爭議的依據。合同英語行文慎密而準確,歷史悠久,深含法律文化底蘊。

    中文的合同開頭一般先羅列當事人的名稱、姓名、住所或營業場所,然后是合同正文,結尾是當事人印章、授權代表簽字、職務及簽字日期。而英語合同一般以下面這類句式為開頭:

    This agreement/contract is made and entered in to this ____ day of _____(month), _______ (year) by and between Party A (hereinafter called " Party A ")and Party B(hereinafter called " Party B ")

    然后是開始陳述:

    WHEREAS…THEREFORE

    … It is hereby agreed as follows:

    或以:

    WITNESSETH, WHEREAS…

    NOW THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the mutual covenants and agreements contained herein, the parties hereby covenant and agree as follows:

    接著是正文,最后是證明部分:

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF,the parties hereto have hereunto set their hands the day and years first above written.

    隨后還包括當事人和見證人的簽字。簽字日期一般在英文合同最搬弄是非是找不到的。

    下面列出新加坡、美國、香港和日本的合同格式。

    A. 新加坡

    Agreement

    THIS AGREEMENT is made the 9th day of August, 2001 between LUCKY INTERNATIONAL LTD, a company incorporated in Singapore and having its registered office at Telek Blongar Rise, Singapore 19569 (hereinfater called "The Company") of the part and JACK Wong (NRIC No._________ /A) of 108 Orchar Road, Singapore 01688 (hereinafter called "The Mangager") of the other part.

    WHEREAS:

    1. The company is engaged in IT business and requires a person with the necessary qualifications and experience to manage its business.

    2. ….

    NOW IT IS HEREBY AGREED as follows:

    1. The company shall employ the Manager and the Manager shall serve the Company as manager of the Company's IT business for a period of two years commencing on 1st day of September

    2. ….

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have set their hand the day and year first above written.

    THE SCHEDULE ABOVE REFERRED TO

    Duties of Manger

    1. To manage, maintain and promote the business of the Company.

    2.

    3.

    SIGNED by Roger Tan

    For and on behalf of LUCKY INTERANTIONAL LTD

    In the presence of

    SIGNED by TERESA WONG

    In the presence of

    新加坡的通用合同分五部分:

    第一部分:稱為parties, 主要介紹合同各方的姓名或名稱,注冊地國及地址、郵編及各自在合同的簡稱。開頭框架一般為:

    THIS AGREEMENT is made the ---------__________ day of _____ (month),____ (year) between A _______ (hereinafter called "The Company") of the part and B______, (hereinafter called "The Manager") of the other part.

    句子開頭THIS AGREEMENT

    或CONTRACT和當事人的姓名和名稱,都應大寫。當事人是自然人的,用“of”和其后的住址相連;是法人或非法人單位的,用“having its registered office at”和其后注冊地址相連。

    第二部分:稱為recital。以WHEREAS開頭,進入敘述部分,用陳述正式說明當事人訂立合同的原因。

    第三部分:稱為habendum,正文。具體約定當事人的權利和義務。正文部分的結束段為:

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have set their hand the day and year first above written.

    這段作用相當于中文合同的“雙方簽字蓋章,特此為證”。

    第四部分:稱為schedule或addendum,附錄。是對前述合同部分條款的必要補充。不是所有合同都有這一項。

    第五部分:稱為attestation,證明部分。當事人如果自然人,用“SIGNED by __” 英文寫作翻譯;連接后填寫見證姓名的表達部分“In the presence of ____”;當事人是法人或非法人單位時,授權代表后接的是“SIGNED for and on behalf _____ of____”,然后才是In the presence of _______。與中文合同的顯著不同是簽章處除當事人外,多了一個In the presence of _______供證人簽字之處。另一不同的是合同訂立日期沒有放在合同最后,而是出現在開頭段的當事人介紹部分。

    第五部分在新加坡還有另一種表達

    As Witness our Hands this _____day of _____,in the year of our Lord Tow Thousand and One.

    Signed, sealed, and delivered by the above named

    In the presence of

    Signature

    Address

    Occupation

    上述合同的格式很有代表性,其它英文格式與之相比大同大異,有的合同中不含附錄。


    B. 美國

    APPOINTMENT AS CONTRACT FULL-TIME SENIOR CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATOR

    AN AGREEMENT FOR SERVICES made the 1st day of September, 2000 between ______ of _____ (address)(hereinafter referred to as "the Company") as one part and Mr._______ of _______(address) (hereinafter referred to as the Contractor) of the other part.

    WHEREBY IT IS AGREED AND DECLARED AS FOLLOWS:

    1. THAT the Company shall …

    2. This agreement shall commence on ….

    3.

    4.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, both parties set their hands on the date herein mentioned

    SIGNED BY

    Name :

    Designation :

    For and on behalf of : (signature)

    Contractor :

    Designation :

    For and on behalf of : (signature)

    本合同分為四個大部分(缺附錄,schedule)。與上一合同基本相同,但第一段沒有謂語,不是個完整的句子。個別用詞與前一合同有差別。最后落款處還多了了“職務”,即designation(有的合同還慣用position).

    C. 香港

    CONTRACT

    CONTACT NO.

    SIGNING DATE/PLACE

    THE BUYER: Name

    Legal Address

    Contact

    THE SELLER: Name

    Legal Address

    Contact

    This contract is made by and between the Buyer and the Seller.

    Whereby the Buyer agrees o buy and the Seller agrees to sell the under-mentioned commodity according to the terms and conditions.

    1. NAME OF COMMODITY AND SCOPE OF THE CONTRACT
    2. PRICE
    3. PAYMENT譯
    4. PACKING
    5.

    IN WITHNESS WHEREOF, this contract has been executed effective as of the date first above written.

    THE BUYER THE SELLER

    ___________ ___________

    By:__________ By:__________

    Date:------------_________ Date:------------_________

    THE END USER

    ___________

    By: __________

    Date: --------____-_________

    比起前兩個合同,該買賣合同的不同之處于在于,合同開頭出現了合同編號和簽署日期,當事人名稱或姓名采用簡單列舉式。證明部分用完成時被動態,最后落款處SIGNED BY項目,但增加了最終用戶一項。


    D. 日本

    SERVICE AGREEMENT

    This agreement is made and entered into on March 1st ,2001, by and between______ LTD (hereinafter referred to as "PARTY A"), and ________CO., LTD. ((hereinafter referred to as "PARTY B")

    WITNESSTH:

    WHEREAS, PARTY B has requested by PARTY A to dispatch its personal for the purpose of _______ to PARTY b; and

    WHEREAS, (PARTY A is willing to dispatch its personnel t PARTY B in response to such PARTY B's request)

    NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual promises and covenants herein contained , the parties hereto agree as follows:

    1.
    2.
    3.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have caused this Agreement to be executed by their respective duly authorized officers as of the date first herinabove written.

    ______ Ltd. ________ Co., Ltd.

    (signature) (signature)

    MANAGING DIRECTOR MANAGING DIRECTOR

    該合同也由四大部分構成,與上述合同最大的不同在于,在敘述部分上端加了一個WITNESSETH(鑒于),最后落款處也沒有SIGNED BY 項目,但授權簽字代表的職位真接打出來,放在簽字的下一行。別外,當事人的簡稱部分用的都是大寫。

    相比之下,英文合同除個別地方外,整個合同的段落排列,句式和用詞大同小異。在草擬英文合同時,只要仿用上述任何一個,都算是地道的英文表達。

    用詞特點(formal term)

    合同英語的用詞極其考究,具有特定性。要求選詞專業化(professional)、正式(formal)、準確(accurate)。具體體現在下列方面:

    1. May, shall, must ,may not (或shall not) 的使用 ,May, shall , must ,may not (或shall not)對學過英語的人再熟悉不過,但在合同中用這些詞時要極其謹慎。權利義務的約見定部分構成了合同的主體。這幾個詞如選用不當,可能會引起糾紛。

    may 旨在約定當事人的權利(可以做什么),Shall約定當事人的義務(應當做什么時候), must 用于強制性義務(必須做什么),may not (或shall not)用于禁止性義務(不得做什么)。May do 不能說成can do, shall do, 不能說成should do 或ought to do, may not do 在美國一些法律文件可以用shall not,但絕不能用can not do或must not ) 例如,在約定解決爭議的途徑時的,可以說
    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.

    本句中的shall 和may表達準確。出現爭議后應當先行協商,所以采用了義務性“約定”,如果協商解決不了,作為當事人的權利,用選擇性約定may也很妥當。如果may和shall調換位置會怎么樣? 前半句的shall換用may后,意思變成了當事人可以通過協商解決,意思上說得過去,但后半句的may換用shall 后,變成了應當訴訟解決,好象一出事,就要先見官,這就有些不友好了。

    本句可譯:雙方首先應通過友好協商,解決因合同而發生的或與合同有關的爭議。如果協商未果,合同中又無仲裁條款約定或爭議發生后未就仲裁達成協方的,可將爭議提交有管轄權的人民法院解決。

    2. 正式用語(formal term)

    合同英語有著嚴肅的風格,與其它英語作品有很大不同。

    例如:

    “因為”的短語多用“by virtue of ",遠遠多于“due to”一般不用“because of ”;
    “財務年度末”一般用“at the close of the fiscal year”,而不用“in the end of the fiscal year”;
    “在……之前”一般用“prior to”,而不用“before”;

    “關于”常用“as regards”, “concerning”或“relating to”,而不會用“about”;

    “事實上”用“in effect”,而不用“in fact”;

    “開始”用“commencement”,而不用“start”或“begin”;

    “停止做”用“cease to do”,而不用“stop to do”;

    “何時開會并由某某主持”的表述為:The meeting shall be convened and presided by sb.

    其中“召開”不用“hold 或call”,而用“convene”; “主持”不用“chair”或“be in charge of ”,而用“preside”;

    “其他事項”用“miscellaneous”, 而不用“other matters/events”;

    “理解合同”用“construe a contract” 或“comprehend a contract”,而不用“understand a contract”;

    “認為”用“deem”,用“consider”少,不用“think”或“believe”;

    “愿意做”用“intend to do”或“desire to do”,而不用“want to do”, “wish to do”。

    三、用詞專業(technical terms)

    合同用詞不以大眾是否理解和接受為轉移,它是合同語言準確表達的保障。如合同出現的“瑕疵”、 “救濟”、 “不可抗力”、 “管轄”、“損毀”、 “滅失”等就可能讓非行業人士費解,在英語以上表達分別為defect、remedy、force majuere/Act of God、jurisdiction、damage and/or loss)。另外幾乎每個合同都少不了hereinafter referred to as , whereas, in witness whereof, for and on behalf of , hereby, thereof 等虛詞。這也是合同英語的一大特色。

    其它例子還有:

    “賠償”用“indemnities”,而不用“compensation”

    “不動產轉讓”用“conveyance”,而不用“transfer of real estate”

    “房屋出租”用“tenancy”,而“財產出租”用“lease of property”

    “停業”用“wind up a business”或“cease (名詞是cessation) a business”,而不用“end/stop a business”

    專利許可中的“特許權使用費”只用“royalities”

    還款或專利申請的“寬限期”英文“grace”,

    “當事人在破產中的和解”用“composition”

    以實物出資為“investment in kind”

    “依照合同相關規定”一般說“pursuant to provisions contained herein”或“as provided herein”等,不說“according to relevant terms and conditions in the contract”

    “合同任何一方當事人不得轉讓本合同”英文表述為“Neither party hereto may assign this contract”,其中“hereto”表示“to the contract”,選用“Neither party to the contract”較少。

    3. 同義詞、近義詞、相關詞的序列

    FOR value RECEIVED,the undersigned does hereby sell, transfer, assign and set over to ______ all his right, tile and interest in and to a certain contract dated ______, 19____ by and between the undersigned and ______,a copy of which is annexed hereto.

    在這里的同義詞和近義詞并列(如sell, transfer, assign and set over,right和 tile and interest),在英文合同里十分普遍。這是出于嚴謹和杜絕漏洞的考慮,有的也屬于合同用語的固定模式。如:

    This agreement is made and entered into by and between Party A and Party B.句中“made and entered into”和“by and between”兩組分別屬于同義詞和相關詞并列。

    For and in consideration of mutual covenants and agreements contained herein, the parties hereby covenant and agree as follows: 句中“for and in consideration of ”, “covenants and agreements”三組同義司和近義詞并列。

    The parties have agreed to vary the Management on the terms and subject to the conditions contained herein. 這里的“on the terms”和“subject to the conditions”是一個意思都表示“依照本協議的條款規定”。合同條款的固定模式是“terms and conditions”

    再例如:

    “Party A wishes to be released and discharged from agreement as from the effective date”,一句中的“release”和“discharge”意思幾乎相同。

    并列的詞還有:

    ships and vessels
    support and maintenance
    licenses and permits
    charges, fees, costs and expenses
    any and all
    any duties, obligations or liabilities
    the partners, their heirs, successors and assigns
    control and management of the partnership
    applicable laws, regulations, decrees, directives, and rules

    5. 拉丁詞

    在國外合同中,拉丁詞仍然是很常見:

    比例稅率:用pro rate tax rate要比proportional tax rate多

    從事慈善性服務的律師:pro bono lawyer,不怎么用lawyer engaged in charitable legal assistance

    委托代理人:多用agent ad litem。

     
     
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