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商务信函的英文书写规则(下)
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 1371 次
“简洁”是有客观标准的。虽然西方国家的作者之间在怎样用词才算“简洁”方面还是有争论的,不过他们的一些看法还是有一定参考价值的。
  现在把他们所做的某些词句的“不简洁”的比较列在下面做参考:

不简洁 简洁
enclosed herewith enclosed
enclosed you will find enclosed is
please be advised that (four wasted words)
please don''t hesitate to call upon us please write us
please feel free to write prior to please write before
this is to advise you (five wasted words)
under separate cover separately
a long period of time a long time
continuous and uninterrupted continuous (or uninterrupted)
during the year of 1971 during 1971
endorse on the back of this check endorse this check
for a price of $300 for $300
grateful and appreciative grateful(or: appreciative)
immediately and at once immediately (or: at once)
in(for) the moment of $400 For $400
in the city of Chicago in Chicago
according to our records we find
at this time now
due to the fact that because
during the time that while
for the purpose of for, to
for the reason that since(or; because)

下面是某些作者认为“应该用”和“不应该用”的:

不应该用 应该用
Averting to your favor Referring to your letter
Re (your letter) or
The writer wishes to acknowledge Thank you for your letter

We are in receipt of We have received
We beg to acknowledge We are writing to inform you
We have to acknowledge
We beg to inform you

We beg to thank you We thank you
Your letter to hand We have received your letter
Yours to hand

博雅翻译社


  怎样才能使商业书信“简洁”? 西方国家作者有很多建议,先介绍如下:

博雅翻译社

  (一)避免使用陈旧的商业术语

  陈旧的与传统的商业术语(Commercial jargon)对信的内容没有什么作用,应该避免使用。

例一:

Wordy: We wish to acknowledge receipt of your letter of November 14 with the check for Stg.10 enclosed and wish to thank you for same.

Concise: We appreciate your letter of November 14 and the check for Stg. 10 you sent with it.

例二:

Wordy: We take liberty to approach you with the request that you would be kind enough to introduce to us some exporters of cotton textiles in your cities.
Would you please introduce to us some exporters of cotton textiles in your city?

Concise: (a) Please introduce to us some exporters of cotton textiles in your city.
(b)Would you please introduce to us some exporters of cotton textiles in your city.


  (二)要长话短说,避免罗嗦

  通常商业人士每天需要阅读大量的书信,对开门见山,长话短说,直接切题的信特别欢迎。因此,写信要力求长话短说,例如:

不要写 应写作
Please see that an enquiry is conducted to determine the reason. Please find out the reason.
We express our regret at being unable to fulfil your order on this occasion. We are sorry we cannot meet your present order.

  要使用简洁的语言,有可能的话,尽量使用单词来代替某些娇柔做作的短语如:
Will you be good enough to-----------------------------Please
Come to a decision----------------------------------------decide
Express a preference for---------------------------------prefer
For the reason that----------------------------------------because

  删去不必要的形容词,如下列句子中的形容词或副词删去后并不影响句子的原意:
The proposal is under (active) consideration.
The answer is (definitely) correct.
I would (rather) think the fare is too high.
The (true) facts are as stated

  (三)要注意每句句子的长短
例如:
  "We would like to know whether you would allow us to extend the time of shipment for twenty days, and if you would be so kind as to allow us to do so, kindly give us your reply by cable without delay."

  这句话过分“客气”,使句子过长而不清楚。内容要求对方同意延期交货20天,一般情况下,应尽可能提出延期到那一天的具体日期。这句话可压缩为:

Please reply by telegram immediately if you will allow us to delay the shipment until April 21."(如同意我们把交货延期到四月二十一日,请电复。)

  有的作者为了使人们记住避免使用陈旧的商业术语,专门选择了一些他认为陈旧的商业术语搞成一首诗:

We beg to advise and wish to state
That yours has arrived of recent date.
We have it before us, its contents noted;
Herewith enclosed are the prices we quoted.
Attached please find, as per your request,
The data you wanted; and not let us suggest
Your order be sent, and not held unduly,
We beg to remain, yours most truly.
Courtesy译成“礼貌”。但是根据西方国家函电书籍作者普遍的看法,所谓Courtesy是“客气而又体谅人”的意思。有的人还把Courtesy和Politeness这两个同义词做了比较,认为:Politeness的客气只是表现在文章的语句上,而Courtesy则表现在对对方的“体谅”,例如:

博雅翻译社

Polite

a) We have received with many thanks your letter of Oct.7, and we take the pleasure of sending you latest catalog. We wish to draw your attention to a special offer, which we have made in it.

Courtesy
b) You will be particularly interested in a special offer on page 5 of the latest catalog enclosed, which you requested in your letter of Oct. 7.

  怎样通过各种语言形式来表达Courtesy呢?这样的形式很多,现在提供一些常见的供参考:

博雅翻译社

  (一) 把命令变成请求的常用形式:

Please, Will you…….., Will you please……..,如:
a) Will you give us more detailed information on your requirement?
b) Will you please (kindly) let us hear from you on these two points?

  (二) 虚拟式(Past Subjunctive From)如:

a) Would you compare our sample with the goods of other firms?
b) We would ask you to ship the goods by the first available vessel.
c) We wish you would let us have your reply soon.
d) This would seem to confirm our opinion.
e) We should be grateful if you would help us with your suggestion.
f) We think if advisable that you should accept this offer at this price.
g) We should(would) like you to let us know the exact amount.
h) Perhaps you might like to have a look at the actual goods.
i) We might be of some service to you in a similar case.

  以上的b, f, g, 也可用 will, shall, may, 但是用Past Subjunctive Form则表示更客气和婉转些。

博雅翻译社

  (三) 缓和用法(Mitigation)

  为了缓和过分强调或刺激对方,常用:We are afraid, we would say, we may(or, might) say, we(would) think, it seems(or would seem) to us, we(would) suggest, as you are (or: may be) aware, as we need hardly point out等等表达法来缓和语气,如:

a) It was unwise of you to have done that.
  We would say that it was unwise of you to have done that.
b) You ought to have done it.
  It seems to us that you ought to have done it.
c) We cannot comply with your request.
  We are afraid we cannot comply with your request.
d) Our products are the very best on the market.
  We might say that our products are the very best on the market.
e) You must keep the matter to yourselves.
  You must, we would add, keep the matter to yourselves.
f) You must cut off your order in half
  We would suggest that you cut your order in half.
g) We have not yet had your reply.
  It appears that we have not yet had your reply.

  (四) 运用被动语气

博雅翻译社

  有时,运用被动语气,比主动语气客气,如:

a)  You made a very careless mistake.
  A very careless mistake was made
b)  You did not enclose the check with your order.
  The check was not enclosed with your order.
c)  For the past two years, you did not give us any order.
  For the past two years, no order has been given us. Or:
  For the past two years, no business has been materialized between us.

  (五) 避免(或力争避免)使用语气强烈或容易引起不快的词汇

  a) we demand immediate payment from you

  demand的意思是ask for(sth) as if ordering, or as if one has a right to, 即带有命令意味的要求。应尽可能避免使用demand而改用request如:

  We request your immediate payment.

  b) We are disgusted with your manner of doing business.

  disguste意味hate而且有strong feeling of dislike or distasted, 既“厌恶”的意思, 因此,还是婉转或含蓄一些为宜,如:

  We are not completely satisfied with your manner of doing business.

  c) We must refuse your offer.

  Must………带有威胁性的意味(minatory tone),不如改为:

博雅翻译社

  We regret that we are unable to accept your offer.
  Or: We regret that we are not in a position to accept your offer.

  d) We want you to assist us

  带有傲慢或长者的口吻(superior tone),不如改为:

  Your assistance would be appreciated.

  (六) 使用高兴,遗憾,感谢等词汇及表达法

(1)、 We have pleasure of -ing…….
We have pleasure in -ing…….
It is with pleasure that we do so
It gives us(great, much) pleasure to do so
We are pleased for us to do so
It''s a pleasure for us to do so.
We are glad(or: delighted) that you do so
We shall gladly do so
We shall feel happy if you will do so
We are happy to do so

(2) 、表示感谢的表达法有:

博雅翻译社

We are (very, most) appreciative of your doing so
We are gratified to learn that you do so
We shall be (or: feel) obliged by your doing so
We shall be obliged if you will do so
You will oblige us by doing so
We shall be grateful to you if you will do so
We shall appreciate your doing so
We shall appreciate it if you will do so
We shall thank you to do so
It will be appreciated if…….
We are thankful that you do so

(3)、表示遗憾的表达法有:

四川英语翻译公司

It is a matter for regret that we cannot do so
It is with regret that we must do so
We express our regret at -ing…..
To our regret we cannot do so
It is regrettable that we must do so
We regret that we cannot do so
We regret to do so
It is to be regretted that you do so
We are regretful that we must do so
It is a pity that you cannot do so
We are sorry we cannot do so
We are sorry to do so

四川英语翻译公司

注:以上的表达法只是常用的一部分。
 
  写信要做到Courtesy,但要注意
(1)、不要使用已经过时的毫无意义的老套子,如:
our esteemed clients;
your esteemed letter;
your respectable house;
your good self(or good selves);
your valued order;
your esteemed reply等等

(2)、要分清“礼貌”与“卑恭”的界限,如:

(a) We are extremely and sincerely sorry for the error and ask that you accept our humble and sincere apology for the undue inconvenience suffered by you.

(b)We beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 11th December.

(c) We beg to enclose herewith our invoice.

  这三例不是“礼貌”,而是“卑恭”。写商业书信既不要盛气凌人,也没有必要低三下四,更应该注意在商业信中把we beg一类的表达法完全去掉。

  以上三例可考虑改为:

(a) We are concerned about the inconvenience you have suffered, and apologize sincerely.
(b) We have received your letter od Dec. 11.
(c) We enclose(herewith) our Invoice.
Or: We are pleased to enclose our Invoice.

四川英语翻译公司

Consideration(体谅),就是顾及他人的要求,愿望,感情等等。现在西方国家的商人强调“多为顾客着想”。不少西方国家的作者,非常重视写信的态度问题,他们认为“体谅”就是采取收信人的态度(YourAttitude),就是写信时要“目中有人”,要把收信人放在心上,考虑他的愿望,问题,背景,感情和对此信所可能作出的反应等等,然后从“他”的观点出发来处理事情。
  有人还这样说:“要记住b-u-s-i-n-e-s-s(业务,买卖)这个字里有u和i,但u(与You同音)在i之前。这是你要记住的次序。”

四川英语翻译公司

   "Remember that the word b-u-s-i-n-e-s-s contains both U and I, but the U comes beforethe I. This is a good sequence for you to remember.

  与“收信人的态度”We attitude)相反的是“写信人的态度”(you attitude),也就是一切事情都是从写信人或是他所代表的单位的立场出发看问题和处理问题。现举例比较如下:

"We attitude" "You attitude"
We allow 2 percent discount for cash payment You earn 2 percent discount when you pay cash
(如付现款,我们给九八折。) (您付现款时,可打九八折。)
We are pleased to announce that ………… You will be pleased to know that…………
(我们高兴地宣布。。。) (你们将愉快地得知。。。)
We want you to do it. You will no doubt do it
(我们要你们这样做。) (毫无疑问,你们将这样做。)
We follow this policy, because ……. You will benefit from this policy, because…..
(我们遵循这个政策,因为。。。) (你们将从这个政策中得益,因为。。。)
We sold 4,000doz. Handkerchiefs of this description last month. You and other importers like you bought 4,000 doz. Handkerchiefs of this description last month.
(上个月我们卖出4000打这种规格的手绢。) (上个月你们和其他同行进口商买进了4000打这种规格的手绢。)四川英语翻译公司

实例解说:

  1、The ABC Co. is one of our big buyers
  (ABC 公司是我们的大买主之一。)

四川英语翻译公司

  这句话如果是用来答复对ABC公司的资信的调查的,就不具体,因为“大买主之一”究竟大到什么程度,不明确,因此最好改为:

  The ABC Co. placed U.S.$150,000.00 worth of business with us last year.
  (ABC公司去年与我公司做了15万美元的业务。)

  2、These brakes stop a car within a short distance.
  (这些制动器在短距离内能把车刹住)

  这是介绍商品性能的,很不具体。如在“短距离”内是多大的距离,是什么样的制动器,能制动什么样的车,等等。最好介绍得具体,便于人们选购。该句可改为:

  These Type XYZOI power brakes stop a 2.5-ton car traveling 70 miles an hour, within 250 feet.

  3、We wish to confirm our telegram dispatched yesterday.
  (我们确认昨日打出电报)

四川英语翻译公司

  在商业信中确认发出的电报,信件等的时间,最好具体说名X月X日,尽量避免使用yesterday(昨日),today(今日)一类笼统的词汇,所以上述这句话最好改为:

  We confirm our telegram of January 16.
  (我们确认我们一月十六日电报)


四川英语翻译公司
 
 
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