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商务信函的英文书写规则(上)
2010年11月15日  作者:  成都译网-成都翻译网-成都翻译公司  浏览选项:    本文已被浏览 1315 次
商务信函的英文书写规则[1]

   写信的原则(Writing Principles)已从原来的3个"C"(Conciseness, Clearness, Courtesy)发展到目前的7个"C":Completeness, Clearness, Concreteness, Conciseness, Correctness, Courtesy, Consideration。

四川翻译公司

  实例

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  Dear Sirs,

  Copper Wire

  With reference to your letter of April 9, we are pleased to accept your offer of 100 tons of Copper Wire as per your Offer Sheet No.8/070/02B. Please go ahead and apply for your Export Licence. As soon as we are informed of the number of the Export Licence we will open the L/C by cable.

  关于你们四月九日涵,我们高兴地接受你们第8/070/02B号报盘单所报100吨紫色铜丝。请着手办理申请出口许可证。的一经接到出口许可证号码的通知,当即电开信用证。

四川翻译公司

  要求书信“完整”的理由有三:

  1、一封完整的书信比一封不完整的书信,有更大的可能性带来预期的效果;

  2、一封完整的书信,有助于建立和表达友善关系;

  3、一封完整的书信,可以避免由于遗漏重要情况(情报)所导致的诉讼(Lawsuit);

  4、有时,某些不显眼的书信或文件,由于所提供的情况完整而又生动有力(Complete and Effective)而成为极为重要的文件。 一封信写得是否完整,建议用五个"W"来检验,既: Who, What, Where, When,Why(包括How)。

四川翻译公司

  例如:在定货的信中,必须明确说明:

  需要什么商品(What you want)

  何时需要(When you need the goods)

  货物发到何地何人收(to Whom and Where the goods to be sent)

  如何付款(How payment will be mande) 如对对方的要求作出否定的答复时(如不能报盘,不能理赔等)应说明理由--为什么(Why)

实例解说:

  "Cellulose Tape 1/2"x 3yds, with plastic dispenser 700 doz./-ditto-but 1/2" x 5 yds, 1,000doz."

四川翻译公司

  这是出口商接到的一份定单中有关商品品名,规格和数量的内容。中文意思是:纤维素带(幅)宽半英寸,长3码,带塑料包装容器,700打;同上,但(幅)宽宽半英寸,长5码,1000打。主要问题是后半句不清楚。"ditto"在这里表示前面提到的商品名称纤维素带,但不能包括"带塑料包装容器",因此,幅宽半英寸长5码的纤维素带是否有塑料包装容器没有说清楚,不完整。所以最好改成:

  "Cellulose Tape 1/2"x 3yds, with plastic dispenser 700 doz.

  Cellulose Tape 1/2" x 5yds,with plastic dispenser 1000 doz."

  这样即完整,又清楚明确,不会引起误解。

一)避免使用可能产生不同理解或意义不明确的词汇

四川翻译

〈例一〉

  As to the steamers sailing from Hongkong to San Francisco, we have bimonthly direct services.
  (从香港到旧金山有直达船)

  但是bimonthly 究竟是一个月两次,还是两个月一次呢?不明确。因此,最好清楚明白地说明“一个月两次”还是“两个月一次”:

(a)We have two direct sailings every month from Hongkong to San Francisco.
  (每月两次直达船)

(b)We have semimonthly direct sailing from Hongkong to San Francisco.
  (每半月一次直达船)

(c)We have a direct sailing from Hongkong to San Francisco every two month.
  (每两个月一次直达船)

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(二)注意修饰词的位置,有时修饰词的位置不同,会导致不同的含意如:

(a)Please let us know what you wish us to do about this matter as soon as possible:

(b)Please let us know as soon as possible what you wish us to do about this matter.

以上两句中修饰的内容不同:

(a) 你们要求我们尽快做些什么。
(b) 请尽快告诉我们。

所以 (a) 可译成“请告诉你们要求我们为此尽快做些什么”;
   (b) 可译为“请尽快告知,你们要我们为此事做些什么”。

四川翻译

(三) 注意代名词,关系代词和先行词的关系

  按照英语习惯,句子中的代名词和关系代词一般是指离得最近的名词,因此要特别注意,以免引起误解或不清楚。

例句:

不好: They informed Messrs.John & Smith that they would receive an answer in a few days.

较好: They informed Messrs. John & Smith that latter would receive an answer in a few days.


(四)注意前后一致和紧凑,连贯

不一致:Being a certified public accountant, I am sure you can help us.

一致: Being a certified public accountant, you can surely help us.
    or; As you are a certified public accountant, I am sure you can help us.


(五)仔细和恰当地分段落(Paragraphing)

四川翻译

  商业书信要写得使人一读就明白,因此必须按照内容仔细和恰当的分段落,一般的分段落原则是一个段落一个意思(A paragraph for each point is a good general rule.)。现举例说明:

Dear Sirs,

  It is reported in a domestic newspaper that the Iranian Central Bank has instructed the commercial banks to suspend their business of opening a new letter of credit as from the 3rd May for financial reason of foreign currency. Although it is said that this arrangement would be a temporary one and with establishment of new import policy this emergency arrangement would be lifted, we are much concerned about the outcome of this movement toward restriction of import to Iran and shall be obliged if you will kindly keep us well advised of development of this new arrangement especially in connection with import from France.

Yours faithfully,

  以上这封信只有一段,供两句。第一句39字,第二句66字。 读后虽然能基本了解其内容,但读起来很舒服。信的内容大体有三点:

1、伊朗中央银行因外汇原因,通知各商业银行从五月三日起停止开立信用证;
2、这临时措施,新的进口政策一订,这个措施就可能取消;
3、希望对方随时告之有关情况。

  按照这三点,适当地分分段落,把信重新改写一下,可能读起来比原来的清楚易懂:

Dear Sirs,

  It is reported in a vernacular newspaper that the Iranian Central Bank has instructed the commercial banks to suspend their issuing new Letters of Credit as from the 3rd May because of its decreasing foreign currency funds. Furthermore it is said that the suspension seems a temporary one and will be released with establishment if a new import policy.
  We are much concerned, however, about the outcome of this movement toward restriction of import to Iran. We, therefore, shall be obliged if you will keep us well informed of development of this new state of affairs, especially in connection with imports from France.

Yours faithfully

四川翻译

商业书信必须写得正确,因为它涉及到买卖双方的权利、义务和厉害关系,是各种商业单据的依据。广义的说,商业书信的正确性表现在:

(一)运用正确的语言水平
(二)叙述得正确
(三)数字要正确
(四)正确理解和运用商业术语
(五)合适的写作技巧或方法,以及正确运用其他的六个"C"。

(一)正确的语言水平

  (1)、正式的和非正式的语言水平所用词汇比较: 

formal informal
terminate
domicile
deem
transpire
conflagration
edifice
endeavor
obtain; procure
peruse
remunerate
utilize
subsequent
ascertain
contingent upon
anticipate
interrogate end
home
think(or: believe)
happen
fire
building
try
get
read or study
pay
use
next or following
find out
depending on
expect
ask

 (2)、正式的和非正式的语言比较

formal informal
Will attain the age of 18 years. Will be 18 years old
Render us more detail
We will institute a mail search Send us more information
We will ask the post office to send out a tracer.
We thank you in anticipation of this courtesy and assure you that it will be a pleasure to serve you in a similar manner We shall appreciate your helping us. Let us know when we can return the favor.
Inform me of your intentions as to the liquidation of this balance Let me know when you can settle this account.
Give consideration to a plan. Consider a plan
This plan will effect a saving of $10,000. This plan will save $10,000.
To effect certain modifications in a procedure contingent upon the concurrence of management To make certain changes if management agrees.
The conclusions ascertaind from a perusal of the pertinent data is that a lucrative market exists for the product in this vicinity.

The data studied show that the product is in good demand in this area.

 (3)、避免使用不标准的语言

不要说  应该说
ain''t
hadn''t ought
irregardless
nohow
in regard to
can''t hardly
between you and I
where ….at isn''t, aren''t
shoudn''t
regardless
anyway
regarding
can hardly
between you and me
where

下面的内容是用三种不同语言水平的比较参考:

四川翻译

Formal: Although Item 12 is enumerated in the report, the writer has ascertained that it is currently not in the organization''s inventory or in the writer''s possession.

Informal: Although Item 12 is listed in the report, it''s not in our stock now and I don''t have it either.

Standard: Irregardless of the report that item ain''t on our shelves now, and I haven''t got it either.


(二)叙述得正确

四川翻译

  商业书信的内容要叙述得正确,既不能说得不够(Understatement),更不能说得过头(Overstatement)。

例一: This stove is absolutely the best (or: the very best) on the market.
 (这种炉子是市场上绝对最好的炉子。)

  这句话是用来介绍商品的,但没有具体介绍商品的性能,而是抽象地断定这种炉子是“市场上最好的”。这样介绍商品,不但不能达到推销的目的,反而使人对写信人有“卖狗皮膏药”的感觉。

改写:
  Our model A195 is designed on modern lines and gives, without any increase in fuel consumption, 25% more heat than the older models. So you will agree that it is the outstanding stove for economy of fuel.

  (我们的A195型炉子是按近代样式设计的,在不增加燃料消耗的情况下,比其他各种旧式炉子温度高25%。所以,你会同意,这是个优良的节约燃料的炉子。)


(三)字要正确

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  做对外贸易离不开数字。对商业书信中的数字的正确性要特别加以注意,有时“失之毫厘,差之千里”。甚至引起不同的理解。

四川翻译

(a)“以上”,“以下”,“以前”,“以后”,“从……到……”等的表达法。

$2 or (and) above(over)            二美元和二美元以上
60dozen or (and) up (upward, upwards)    60打和60打以上
2% or (and) more             2%和2%以上
an order for 50 gross or upward       50罗或50罗以上的定单
an order for not less than 50 gross         不少于50罗的定单
5% up to 10% inclusive             5%到10%
over 5% up to 10% inclusive      

 
 
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