Translation peculiarities of business style
English official style: socially related sublanguages, types of business correspondence, business correspondence style. English official style and ways of its rendering into Kazakh: conventional Symbols. Style rendering on the word and structure level.
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The given work is devoted to peculiarities of official style rendering on the basis of Weather Ford company documents. There are many choices that determine the style. Word choices, sentence composition and sentence structure choices, and other stylistic choices such as format help determine the style of a document. The individual style of the author is something that cannot be dismissed. Writers of each document make the document unique by the way they utilize their own personal writing style and method. Style and purpose affect how the audience views the document.
The style of documents that are intended for an audience that you do not know or that you are not familiar with in a business sense are usually formal in nature. The document may be a response to a customer's complaint. It may be a request for payment that is overdue. It may be a legal document, a business report, or many other types of correspondence that are conducted for business. It is better to use the style of a formal document when trying to convey factual or objective information. A formal document can be strong and dynamic. When conveying negative or unpleasant information, it is best to use a formal document.
The relevance of the study stems from the fact that the theoretical issues of translation of official documents into Kazakh have not been studied properly yet.
Nowadays more and more agreements are made in English, for English is the nearest thing we have to a universal business language. Joint ventures, bank loans, and trademark licenses frequently are spelt out in this language even though it is not native to at least one of the contracting parties. In connection with the increasing rate of translation and its difficulties, which technical translators working in different foreign companies have to deal with, the problem of business correspondence translation is of current interest. That is why it is extremely important to study the stylistic peculiarities of a source text since without it an appropriate translation cannot be achieved.
The object of the research is texts of business correspondence. At the current stage of development of linguistics a business correspondence represents a great interest, owing to the fact that it serves as one of the most important spheres of human life such as economic, industrial and commercial relations.
The subject of the research is an official style rendering from English into Kazakh on the basis of Weather Ford documents.
The goal of the work is to study stylistic features which are characteristic of official style in the source language and peculiarities of their rendering into the target language.
To achieve the goal of the work the following tasks have been set:
- to study linguistic peculiarities of official style;
- to specify general characteristics of business style;
- to consider types of business correspondence;
- to investigate the peculiarities of business document translation;
- to reveal the ways of official style rendering from English into Kazakh on the word level;
- to reveal the ways of official style rendering from English into Kazakh on the word level.
The methods of the research used to solve the tasks are as follows:
- descriptive - to systematize and describe the material and to elucidate some notions.
- comparative - to compare original texts and their translation and revealing ways of style rendering.
Weather Ford company original business correspondence texts and their translation variants serve as the material of the investigation. Thus, the documents under study are various types of business letters, memorandums, contracts, etc.
The theoretical basis of our research is presented by works of such prominent linguists and translators as V.N. Komissarov, I.P. Galperin, E.E. Izraelevich, M.V. Koltunova, Y.M. Skrebnev and others.
The theoretical value of the investigation is that its findings shall be of certain interest for lexicologists and translators and can be used as a starting point in the research of stylistic peculiarities of a business correspondence text and their rendering from English into Kazakh.
The practical value of the work is that the findings of the investigation can be used in writing research papers and thesis projects on the theme of rendering different styles in the translation process from English into Kazakh. In addition, the findings of the research may be applied to other lexical systems of social and humanitarian spheres, which serve contiguous to business activity professional branches (for instance, to the vocabulary of legal relations, diplomatic communication, political practice, etc.).
Scientific newness of the work lies in a specific methodological approach to the study of new practical material and in the analysis of the translation process of business correspondence.
The research work consists of an introduction, two chapters, a conclusion and references.
The introduction presents the problem under research and explains the method of its handling. It also emphasizes the relevance of the research, the goal to be solved, the newness of the work and description of the material used.
The first chapter reveals the stylistic peculiarities of official documents in English in general, to be exact, official style features, types and style of business correspondence documents. Like other styles of language, this style has a definite communicative aim and the main aim of this type of communication is to state the conditions binding two parties in an undertaking. Here, such characteristic features of official style documents as high degree of the named lexicon, the nominal character of speech expressed in high rate of verbal nouns which often designate appointed action, high rate of denominative pretexts and prepositional combinations, development of actually writing values connected with transition of participles in a class of adjectives and pronouns, standardization of lexical compatability, standardization of syntactic units are considered.
The second chapter includes the ways of official style renderings into Kazakh and translation analysis of the peculiar features common to all stylistic varieties of official documents such as abbreviations, conventional symbols and contractions, words in their logical dictionary meaning, that is official style rendering on word. The last paragraph reveals the ways of rendering official style on structure level.
In the concluding part the findings of the research are summed up.
At the end of the paper a complete list of references is presented.
1. English Official Style
1.1 Socially Related Sublanguages
The use of the sublanguages fettered by formality is as wide as any other, since it is up to us what we regard as formal. There certainly are degrees of formality. Both the Charter of the United Nations and a business letter signed by a low-ranking official are formal, i.e. as the meaning of the adjective formal necessarily implies devoid of any indication of private emotions (except when the subject is directly connected with emotions - say, in congratulations and condolences) and - what is perhaps of greater importance, or at least, quite indispensible - devoid of any trace of familiarity. [1; 183] It must be noted here that the word familiar is used here not in the sense of `acquainted with' or `known to', but as The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines it, `unceremonious', `ever-free', `treating inferiors or superiors as equals'. [2; 437]
Another remark is that of essence. The word officialese usually applies to over-refined, very elaborate, archaically stereotyped sets of linguistic units which are at least slightly ridiculous due to their excessive refinement. The term is employed here as a conventional denomination of any type or degree of officialism, i.e. the way of speaking and writing used by people who work in government and other offices, especially when ordinary people cannot understand it. [3; 982]
A very rough and approximate gradation of sub-spheres and their respective sublanguages is as follows:
a) private correspondence with a stranger;
b) business correspondence between representatives of a commercial or other establishments;
c) diplomatic correspondence, international treaties, other documents;
d) legal documents (civil law - testaments, settlements, etc.; criminal law - verdicts, sentences, etc.);
e) personal documents (certificates, diplomas, etc.).
Common to the genres enumerated are:
- `superneutral' features of this whole group of sublanguages;
- socially established character, which, as alluded to before, may be collectively referred to as archaic, i.e. either obsolete or obsolescent;
- predetermined lingual form in all genres mentioned, though the degree is, of necessity, different);
- clichйs (different genres have stereotyped expressions of their own);
- long polysyllabic word of Latin or Greek origin, often euphemistic as compared with their counterparts;
- periphrastic expressions where a single word might have done just as well;
- complex syntax as compared to that of commonly bookish texts;
- established forms of composition that cannot be deviated from. [1; 184]
The main area in which business operates officially is the administrative and legal activities. This style serves the needs of society as a documentation of various acts of public, social, political, economic and business relations between the government and organizations, as well as between members of society in the official sphere of communication. Texts of this style are a huge variety of genres: the statute, law, order, contract, instruction, the complaint, the recipe, different kinds of statements, as well as many business genres (for example, the explanatory memorandum, biography, profile, statistical report, etc.). The expression of faith in a business document defines the properties, the main features of the business language and socio-organizing the use of language. Therefore, the basic form of the implementation of this style is written. In the field of science, business and law, the media and in politics, the language is used in different ways. For each of these spheres of social life its subtype literary language, with a number of distinctive features at all linguistic levels - lexical, morphological, syntactical, - is embodied. Such a subtype of the literary language is called a functional style (register). [4; 54] Official style is embodied in the sphere of social and legal relations realized in legislation, economy, management and diplomatic activities.
Business style includes informative advertising, trademark style and everyday-business speech (statements, explanatory notes, receipts, etc.).
Organizational-administrative documentation (OAD) is the kind of business writing that best represents its specificity. OAD is a center of business writing, the most important part of an official style. For detailed treatment of business (the commercial sphere, diplomacy and statesmanship, as well as a number of other particular spheres and types of speech) you can be advised to consult comprehensive monographs by I.R. Galperin and other well-known specialists: I.V. Arnold, V.A. Kukharenko, F.N. Morokhovsky, and others. Most linguists rely on the classification by I.R. Galperin, because it is considered to be the most detailed. And profound. Of course, this classification, one way or another, is supplemented, modified by various researchers, but it remains fundamental. Analysis of any style and genre begins with the proper classification of language styles. This is because each style of speech serves a particular sphere of human activity, because it is diverse in its species, then therefore, subgenres that reflect the specificity of language, it is inherent in this type of activity. According to the traditional classification the functional style (art, publicist, news, and science fiction) includes the style of business documents with substyles: diplomatic, business, legal and military documents. I.R. Galperin notes that `a style of language can be defined as a system of coordinated, interrelated and interconditioned language means intended to fulfil a specific function of communication and aiming at a definite effect'. [5; 253] As any other style the style of official documents is used in such speech genres as legislative and regulatory documents, correspondence, informational documents and final documents.
The importance of selection of genres in this style is so great that they are always marked in the title and subtitle text (application, certificate, order, etc.). The study of the peciliarities of the original text is essential because without it a proper translation is quite impossible. Translations and interpretations done by different translators are quite diverse in the subject matter, language, genre affiliation, and there are, of course, different requirements for accuracy and completeness of translation. V.N. Komissarov offers two main classifications of the translation: the nature of translated texts and the nature of speech acts of an interpreter in the translation process. The first classification is linked to the genre and stylistic features of the original document, the second to psycholinguistic features of speech action in writing and oral speech. Genre and stylistic classification of transfers results in the allocation of two functional types of translation: literary translation and informative (special) translation. [6; 95]
The language of business correspondence represented earlier periphery of official style. Today, along with the regulated letters, all widely used independent business letters, along with official - semiofficial (congratulatory, advertising) ones in which the expression and standard parity varies, enter into practice of business dialogue [7; 10]. Undoubtedly, official style, as well as a whole Kazakh language, has undergone essential changes. Its formation is closely connected with formation and development of the Republic of Kazakhstan; the sphere of regulation of legal and economic relations has created requirement for allocation of a special functional version of a literary language. The regulation of relations between people, establishments, and countries have raised the necessity of written certificates and documents, which make up the identified line of the official style. The absence of emotionality, narrow range of a speech expression, the maximum degree of the etiquette requirements, expressed in an abundance of etiquette signs, etiquette texts expressing congratulation, condolence, gratitude, etc. - all of these refer to defining peculiarities of the language of official style documents. Thus, it should be noted that characteristic features of official style documents are as follows:
- high degree of the named lexicon, for example:
a. Legal terms (the proprietor, the law, registration, the property, acceptance of objects, transfer of objects, the certificate, privatization, falling, rent, the repayment, the private affair etc.)
b. Economic terms (the grant, expenses, purchase and sale, the budget, the expense, the income, payment, the estimate, budget articles, an account part of the budget etc.)
c. Economic-legal terms (credit repayment, the property rights, term of sale of goods, the quality certificate, etc.)
- the nominal character of speech expressed in high rate of verbal nouns which often designate appointed action, for example:
credit repayment - to extinguish the credit
credit use - to use the credit
the question decision - to solve a question
goods shipment - to ship the goods
the payment delay - to delay payment
- high rate of denominative pretexts and prepositional combinations, for example:
in the address, in the relation to, in force, in communication, in conformity, in the account, in a course, with a view of, on a measure, on a line, to the address, after the expiration, for the reason, at presence, etc.
- development of actually writing values connected with transition of participles in a class of adjectives and pronouns, for example:
The present rules
The present contract
The appropriate reference
With inadequate quality
When due hereunder
- standardization of lexical compatability: word meaning narrowing explains restriction of their lexical compatibility, occurrence so-called regulated combinations, for example:
The control is usually assigned
The transaction - consists
Payment - is made
The account - is exposed (or is paid)
The price - is established
The right - is given.
Positions happen constructive / not constructive; activity - successful; necessity - insistent; discounts - considerable; disagreements - essential / insignificant etc;
- standardization of syntactic units (offers, word-combinations) which are not made as the formula and are reproduced in the text of the document fixing an appropriate situation in socially-legal relations, for example:
When due hereunder; according to the accepted arrangement;
As rendering of the technical help;
In case of default of promissory notes;
The contract comes into force from the date of signing;
Complaints move in the order established by the law;
Delivery is made by motor transport;
- there is formal-logic principle of the text organization expressed in crushing of the basic theme on subthemes, considered in points and subparagraphs for which the text is graphically split up and which are designated by the Arabian figures, for example:
1. A contract subject.
1.1. The executor incurs duties on supply of the customer by a central heating and water supply.
1.2. The customer in due time pays the rendered services;
Thus, the style of official documents is represented by the following substyles or variants:
- the language of business documents;
- the language of legal documents;
- the language of diplomacy;
- the language of military documents. [8; 297]
Like other styles of language, this style has a definite communicative aim and, accordingly has its own system of interrelated language and stylistic means. The main aim of this type of communication is to state the conditions binding two parties in an undertaking and to reach agreement between two contracting parties.
1.2 Types of Business Correspondence
english official style rendering
Business ties are inconceivable without an exchange of the business correspondence. Developing for centuries written business etiquette wins the positions despite of the fact that it had such gaining in strength contenders as a phone, telex, fax, satellite computer communication, video telephone, etc. Nevertheless, despite advantages of oral negotiations, say, efficiency of information interchange on the phone, it has some disadvantages like elementary misunderstanding. What is the business correspondence itself? It is the integral communication facility of the enterprise with the external organizations as letters connect the organization-author to other establishments. Through letters information interchange is carried out, offers become, trunk-call dialogue is conducted, etc. Sometimes the directory documentation simply confirms the facts, events which need to be taken only into consideration. Thus, the office letter is the generalized name of various documents under the maintenance, issued according to the State Volume, sent by mail, by fax or other way [9; 43]. Without exaggeration it is possible to say that it is one of the most widespread types of office documents, and therefore, the success of the decision of concrete questions as well as the competitive ability of the whole enterprise depends on the accuracy of the message.
M.V. Koltunova divides business correspondence into three types according to its main genres of written business language:
1. Business letters;
2. Organizational-administrative documentation (OAD);
3. Agreements (Contracts). [10; 21]
1. Business letters. The business letter is a special type of document, the less tightly regulated than the contract or order, but without legal significance. Business correspondence is recorded and stored in both organizations, as the incoming and outgoing documentation. This is important because business letters serve as a tool for regulatory, legal and social relations between the correspondents (contractors, partners and participants in social relations). There are several types of classification of business letters, based not on their different approaches, but on different qualifying signs. Business letters can be distinguished in business correspondence by their thematic characteristics. Business letters precede the conclusion of a contract (agreement), and are the documents that govern the progress of its implementation. Business letters have the status of the document. Letters can precede the arbitral tribunal, may constitute grounds for bringing lawsuit (letter of complaint, letter of agreement). More business letters, sometimes called office memos, solve organizational issues, economic and legal relations between the correspondents, and also refer to the document. On the basis of functional characteristics business letters are divided into:
a) demanding an obligatory letter of revert: proactive business letters (letter of request, letter of offer, letter of complaint, letter of advertisement);
b) not requiring a response: confirmation letter, letter of notice, reminder letters, invitation letter, warning letter, letter of statement; letter of surrender, letter of denial, cover letter, letter of guarantee; newsletter.
According to the receipt of letters business letters are divided into ordinary and circular.
Circular letters are sent from one source to multiple addresses, usually subordinate bodies (organizations).
Ordinary letters are sent to single address.
The form of administration can be identified along with the traditional postal mail, facsimile transmission, the teletype and telegraphic connections. And electronic and facsimile connections are used to solve operational issues.
On the basis of structural characteristics business letters are divided into regulated and unregulated types.
Regulated letters shall be governed by a particular model (which refers not only to standard aspects of content, but the paper size, composition of bank details, etc.). Regulated letters address typical issues of regular and legal situations, and are written as a standard text drawn from the standard syntax.
Unregulated letters represent the author's text working in formal and logical or etiquette texts. It typically includes elements of the story (background), etiquette frame and a speech act, which is a mandatory element of the business letter. In contrast to the regulated letters, unregulated business letters do not have a rigid structure of the text, they rarely use standard phrases. The peculiarity of the language of this type of correspondence is combination of official and journalistic styles: the standard language, the pattern, expression.
2. Organizational and administrative documentation (OAD). The center of business writing is an organizational and administrative documentation. It just shows all the brighter features of the official style. Fulfilling a social role, head managers in the banks use in their work such types of documents as order, memorandum, office memos, statements, orders, job descriptions, enforcement notes, etc. The peculiarity of these instruments is that they are written in a strict form. The form of the document, as has been already mentioned, is a combination and sequence of location bank details and significant parts of the text. Among these kinds of documents order is commonly used. With the help of orders issues concerning work management in the enterprise, financing, planning, reporting, sales and other production issues can be figured out. Textual execution of the order is largely similar to that of regulated letters.
3. Agreements (contracts). Agreement is the document that establishes legal relations between legal persons (contractors) or between the individuals and legal persons. The nature of the transaction, conditions, terms, rights and obligations of the parties are definitely reflected in the relevant paragraphs of the treaty as well as aggregate information which guarantees legal force for the document. From the viewpoint of the text formation these items represent modules - text fragments with standard page headers provided by a set of standard phrases. Contracts shall be made in writing in the prescribed form and are used without changing the form of the text, or with little editing. Sending of document can be implemented through postal, telegraph, telex, faxes and other communications. All applications to the contract or agreement form its integral part: specifications, calculations, orders, statements, protocols, questionnaires, etc. Applications are the commercial documents, which often made in the form of tables or examples and include the specific terms of the transaction. In the module text of the agreement, the contract includes the following information:
1. Submission of the parties entering into contractual relationships provides the full name of organizations and individuals to sign documents. In addition, in the first module the basis on which these individuals and conditional designations act is mentioned.
2. Subject of the contract. Here the subject-matter of the agreement such as: trade, purchase and sales, contractors, rental, applying information, etc is stated. In the absence of a separate module «cost» indicates the cost of the contract.
3. The obligations of the parties clearly formulate what obligations the contracting parties assume. In terms of communicative appropriateness, this module should be particularly carefully considered, because any miscalculation or voice negligence can lead to serious unintended consequences.
Sometimes the rights of the parties (rights and obligations of the parties) can be prescribed in the same module.
4. Conditions and procedures for the calculations. Here the conditions of payments to consolidated services, received goods, etc. and the order of calculation are recorded. Often, the financial relationship is disclosed in the estimates contained in the annex to the treaty, which is an integral part of it.
5. Parties' Responsibilities. It formulates the sanctions to be applied to the party who transgressed its obligations. If the contract does not require detailing, the record can be made in the generalized form.
6. The validity of the contract. It indicates the beginning and the end of the contract, the order of extension or early annulment.
7. Legal addresses and signatures of the parties. Here the precise postal address and bank details of organizations, and signatures of the persons named in the first module as well as stamps of organizations signing the contract should be indicated.
1.3 Business Correspondence Style
Each of the subdivisions of business correspondence style has its own peculiar terms, phrases and expressions of other variants of this style.
The peculiar features common to all stylistic varieties of official documents, including business correspondence, are the following:
- use of abbreviations, conventional symbols and contractions;
- the use of words in their logical dictionary meaning;
- absence of emotiveness;
- definite compositional pattern and design.
It should be noted that the syntactical pattern of this style is as important as the vocabulary.
Letter writing - is an essential part of communication, an intimate part of experience. Each letter-writer has a characteristic way of writing, his style of writing, his way of expressing thoughts, facts, etc. but it must be emphasized that the routine of the official or semi-official business letters requires certain accepted idioms, phrases, patterns, and grammar which are found in general use today. Therefore certain skills must be acquired by practice, and details of writing must be carefully and thoroughly learnt.
A cheque, a contract or any other business paper sent by mail should always be accompanied by a letter. The letter says what is being sent so that the recipient should know exactly what you intended to send. It is a typical business letter which some people call «routine». The letter may be short or long, it may contain some very important and much less important information - every letter requires careful planning and thoughtful writing. [7; 34]
In recent years English has become a universal business language. As such, it is potentially an instrument of order and clarity. But words and phrases have unexpected ways of creating binding commitments.
Letter-writing, certainly, is not the same as casual conversation, it bears only the same power of thoughts, reflections, and observations as in a conversational talk, but the form may be quite different. What makes the letter so attractive and pleasing is not always the message of the letter, it is often the manner and style in which the message is written.
For example: «I want to express to you my sincere appreciation for your note of congratulation.»
«I am sincerely happy that you were elected President of Biological Society.»
As you see such formulations show the attitude of the writer, his respect and sincerity.
The language of business, professional and semi-official letters is formal, courteous, tactful, concise, expressive, and to the point. A neatly arranged letter will certainly make a better impression on the reader, thus good letters make good business partners.
In the case of «scientific correspondence» the majority of letters bear mostly a semi-official character and are concerned with different situations associated with scientific activities concentrated around the organisation of scientific meetings (congresses, symposia, workshops, etc.), the arrangement of visit, invitation, publication, the exchange of scientific literature, information, etc. [11; 78] Letters of this kind have a tone of friendliness, naturalism. Modern English letters should not be exaggerated, overburdened, outmoded with time-worn expressions. The key note is simplicity. Modern letters tend towards using the language of conversational style.
Writing is not only a means of communication and contact, but also a record of affairs, information, events, etc. So it is necessary to feel the spirit and trend of the style in order to write a perfect letter.
Business-letter or contract law is a complex and vastly documented subject, only a lawyer can deal with it on a serious level. A number of basic principles, however, can be outlined sufficiently to mark of encounters that require the use of specialized English.
Doing business means working out agreements with other people, sometimes through elaborate contracts and sometimes through nothing but little standard forms, through exchanges of letters and conversations at lunch.
Nowadays more and more agreements are made in English, for English is the nearest thing we have to a universal business language. Joint ventures, bank loans, and trademark licenses frequently are spelt out in this language even though it is not native to at least one of the contracting parties.
Contract is a business document presenting an agreement for the delivery of goods, services, etc., approved and signed by both the Buyer (exporter) and the Seller (importer) [12; 31]. By law contracts are made in writing. When striking a deal, standard contracts are widely used. Standard contracts are not a must. Some articles can be altered and supplemented [13; 12].
The principles of purpose, style and tone transfer from one area or specialty of writing to another, yet each document written varies depending on the purpose of the document, on the style chosen for the document, and on the tone the document conveys. In every area of writing, the purpose of the document must be determined. The style of the document needs to achieve the intended purpose of the document. Through style, the tone of the document is conveyed. When the document is edited and revised it is necessary to remember the purpose, style, and tone of the document. No matter the area or specialty, each document has a purpose. The style of each document differs from other documents depending on the purpose of the document, the format of the document, and the area or the specialty for which the document is written. The principle of rewriting and editing a document before production is consistent with all documents. The method of revision varies depending on the importance of the document, the time frame allotted to create and produce the document, and the media used to produce the document. The completed document conveys a unique emotion or tone to the audience as a result of the purpose, style, media used, and area or specialty.
Businesses produce and utilize documents for numerous purposes. The purpose of a document you may write in the traditional business environment may be as follows:
* Providing factual information to the board of directors to give them insight into a particular product and its production problems.
* Persuading your supervisor or fellow workers to believe in your point of view.
* Sharing your thoughts or opinions concerning the effectiveness of a program.
* Expressing concern for a specific problem in your work environment that may be hazardous to yourself and others.
Usually pressure in a business environment produces the purpose that we need to write about. A faulty product that needs internal attention may produce a purpose. A product that is just coming out on the market and needs consumer awareness may produce purpose. Internal planning, communicating and production processes also produce purposes for writing.
As in all areas of writing, the audience needs to be considered. To be a successful writer it is important to assess how familiar your audience is with the topic. What is their level of understanding and familiarity with the topic? Does your audience contain specialists or non-specialists? Write down the characteristics of your audience. Do a survey or profile to see how your audience will use the document. Knowing your audience and the purpose the document has for your audience will help you in»… Circumstances that exist for us to communicate with others. Understanding exigency is essential because without it we cannot effectively determine purpose». [13; 37]
«Ultimately, style is the writer. We can't prescribe a universally preferable style because the decisions writers make depend on the context: on the subject or content, the purpose of the document, the readers, previous or related documents, and the situation or climate in which the document is produced»
There are many choices that determine style. Word choices, sentence composition and sentence structure choices, and other stylistic choices such as format help determine the style of a document. The individual style of the author is something that cannot be dismissed. Writers of each document make the document unique by they way they utilize their own personal writing style and method. Style and purpose affect how the audience views the document.
The style of documents that are intended for an audience that you do not know or that you are not familiar with in a business sense are usually formal in nature. The document may be a response to a customer complaint. It may be a request for payment that is overdue. It may be a legal document, a business report, or many other types of correspondence that are conducted for business. It is better to use the style of a formal document when trying to convey factual or objective information. A formal document can be strong and dynamic. When conveying negative or unpleasant information, it is best to use a formal document. We should not use humor in formal documents as a general rule.
Informal documents are usually intended for an audience that knows the writer. The audience may be someone we know personally or someone we are familiar with in a business sense. Some good document styles to use for informal documents may be memos, personal letters, articles for a newsletter, and e-mails. We can use a more relaxed and friendly tone in your writing style, yet still be informative. Humor in good taste is acceptable.
A client recently asked about using humor in business writing. Humor is extremely subjective, so it should be used cautiously in business correspondence. What is funny to us might not be to someone else.
If we use humor, we risk offending the reader or creating a misunderstanding. However, if we know your reader especially well, a dash of humor can be refreshing. Just be certain that the humor is obvious as well as appropriate for the reader and the topic.
«Tone is the impression readers receive from your writing and the attitude conveyed in your treatment of the subject».
Style and purpose help to achieve tone. Tone is the emotion, feeling, or impression that you convey through your writing. Tone can be described by many different words, positive and negative. The tone of your document reflects whether you are positive or negative about the subject or your audience. Style, purpose and tone work together to produce the overall desired effect of your document for its audience.
It is important as we word your business documents to consider the type of tone we want to convey to our readers. The typical situations we will come across when conveying information include:
1. Conveying routine information and making direct requests,
2. Communicating good news,
3. Communicating bad news and
4. Attempting to persuade which is the tone of choice for a proposal.
Five possible tones include:
* Being forceful - this is helpful when we want to add emphasis to our messages
* Being passive - this is helpful for conveying information up the corporate ladder or when we have negative information to convey.
* Being personal - this style is really helpful when we want to convey good news or to persuade our reader to action.
* Being impersonal - helpful when conveying bad news
* Being persuasive - helpful to persuade readers to action
Positive wording rather than negative wording should be used to present the focus of our writing if we want your business writing to be successful. People respond more constructively to positive ideas. A positive emphasis will persuade readers and create friendliness among coworkers. Some key elements that help to establish a positive tone in writing are:
* Always stress what something is rather than what something is not
* Emphasize what the firm can and will do rather than what it cannot do,
* Open with action rather than an apology, and avoid unpleasant facts.
If a person must present any negative information in their business writing, connecting it to a positive picture will soften the effects. Positioning of information is also important in business writing. Good news deserves high emphasis by placing it at the beginning and ending of paragraphs. Bad news should be located in secondary positions such as the center of a paragraph. Always give more space to Good News and less to Bad News.
Another important aspect of business correspondence is to choose words that are neutral in terms of gender. The pronoun «he» used to be the default pronoun to use when gender was undeterminable. If you were uncertain which gender we were writing to us would simply write «Dr. Sir» It may have been acceptable in the past to inadvertently ignore women. However that is not the case today. Today, more than ever before people may be offended by sexist words and images. Simply put avoid the pronoun «he». Here are some examples of how to avoid sexual stereotyping.
* Try to use language that is similar when stating the names of men and woman together to show equality.
* Always ensure parallel treatment of couples.
* Avoid familiar clichйs.
Rewriting and editing is an important process in writing. It is the final process for any type of document you may produce. Editing can be time-consuming. Deadlines and time constraints may limit the amount of time you are able to edit a document. It is important to give yourself enough time to review a document before rewriting and production. While proofreading and editing a document, be aware of the purpose of the document, make sure the style is consistent, and make sure the document reflects the tone that you intended. A wise person knows when a document has reached an acceptable or appropriate state and ends the rewriting and editing process.
Style, purpose, and tone are universal tools and components in all documents. Rewriting and editing are necessary tools whether a document is created as a traditional business document or created as an online document.
Purpose, style and tone are essential in developing a document from start to finish in business correspondence. Editing and rewriting are also important elements to use in business correspondence as well. But, in editing and rewriting, purpose, style and tone must be kept in mind throughout the process no matter which type of document is being developed.
The term, «style,» in this chapter refers to the shape, voice, and force of sentences.
Business readers do not want to know what is going on inside a writer's mind. Instead, they want writers to propose plans or recommend actions that will benefit the company, and to do so as concisely as possible.
When someone mentions «business correspondence» around us what is the first thing that comes to our mind? Probably we would immediately picture business letters. In spite of the fact that business email nowadays is used much more than letters. But business letters have been the only type of business correspondence for much longer than any of us can remember, so «business correspondence» is still associated with them more than with its any other type. And as anything that «has been there» for a long time business letters just have to have very well established rules and regulations.
The letter is now used primarily for formal correspondence with clients, customers, and others outside the company, particularly people you have not met.
From the linguistic point of view, a contract is a type of a document, because any agreement is a completed document fixing some information. As a type of text, contract has its own specific characteristics. Stylistic peculiarities of all document texts are concreteness, conciseness, clearness of the stated idea, high capacity of information, strict logic, clear rhythm of sentences, accenting on the main idea with the help of word repetitions, absence of connotational information, a special system of clichйs and stamps, usage of abbreviations, conventional symbols and marks, usage of terms in their direct semantic meaning, preferential usage of monosemantic words, division of a text into chapters, paragraphs, points, often numbered (clear compositional structure of a document), usage of definite syntactic models, graphic decoration of a document: quality of paper, quantity and quality of illustrations, size and kind of print.
The main features of the style of contract are steady system of linguistic means in the text of contract, lack of emotional colouring, decoding character of language, usage of a special symbolic system, definite syntactic structure. (above-enumerated items).
The style of contract defines some peculiarities and techniques of its writing. Making contracts is different in some points from writing business letters, such as an offer, an inquiry, a complaint, etc. Some considerations important for business letters are not important for contracts, and v.v. The main difference is that any contract is made up by two contracting parties and contains information about many subjects. So, all points are to be approved by both parties. There are certain clearly definable requirements for how to write contracts.
Generally, contracts should be formal, complete, clear, concrete, correct and concise. In contracts all possible informational details are not suitable. So, while writing contracts we must observe all peculiarities of standard English grammar, vocabulary use and stylistic appropriation. A formal contract or agreement requires considerations of neatness and attractive arrangement. Completeness of any contract suggests the scope of all significant facts that have reference to the issue of the agreement. Actually, you are expected to explain what, how, and when you are going to deal with your partner.
The next element, - clearness, - is one of the most important, because much depends on it. Clearness could be reached by the use of simple short words, phrases and paragraphs where the both parties of a contract explain their intentions and issues. Clearness of any arguments actually defines your striking a deal or not.
The component which is closely connected with the previous one is concreteness. Concreteness of a contract or an agreement is a part and a parcel of any legal document. Besides that, the longer the document is, the more attractive and vivid its contents should be.
The next two components are also significant. They are correctness and conciseness. Correctness involves proper grammar use, vocabulary use, punctuation and formal style.
Conciseness is usually achieved by the use of minimum words to express maximum of information.
As it has been noted above, any contract should be simple and clear, concise and brief. Commercial correspondence often suffers from an old-fashioned, pompous style of English which complicates the message and gives the reader the feeling that he is reading a language he does not understand. Though the language of contract is perhaps the most formal among all kinds of business correspondence, and the vocabulary of such correspondence is very specific, which is connected with its character and a great number of legal terms, it should not be archaic. It should be clear enough in its meaning.
The style, however, should not be too simple as it may become discourteous and sound rude. Linguists recommend the following stylistic devices that might make agreements and contracts more polite: complex sentences joined with conjunctions are preferable, rather than short sentences; passive constructions rather than active; full forms rather than abbreviated forms, where necessary.
The right tone should be neutral, devoid of a pompous language on one hand, and an informal or colloquial language on the other hand. Therefore, inappropriate vocabulary, idioms, phrasal verbs are not allowed at all.
The both contracting parties should not experience any difficulties in obtaining information, they should be able to understand what is written. Misunderstandings are caused by a lack of thought and care.
2. English Official Style and Ways of its Rendering into Kazakh
As we have already mentioned official style has a definite communicative aim and, accordingly has its own system of interrelated language and stylistic means. The main aim of this type of communication is to state the conditions binding two parties in an undertaking and to reach agreement between two contracting parties.
Each of the subdivisions of this style has its own peculiar terms, phrases and expressions of other variants of this style.
The peculiar features common to all stylistic varieties of official documents are the following:
- use of abbreviations, conventional symbols and contractions;
- the use of words in their logical dictionary meaning;
- absence of emotiveness;
- definite compositional pattern and design.
So let us consider some of these peculiar features and ways of their rendering into Kazakh in the translation process.
2.1 Abbreviations, Conventional Symbols and Contractions Rendering
Besides the special nomenclature characteristic of the business style, there is a feature common to all styles - the use of abbreviations, conventional symbols and contractions. Some of them are well-known, for example:
This Contract is made (or entered into) by and between … Ltd. represented by its Executive Director Mr. N., acting in accordance with the Articles of Association, and … Inc. represented by its Sales Agent Mr. A, acting pursuant to a power of attorney dated…
Here two abbreviations are used Ltd and Inc which are familiar to businessmen and those dealing with contract concluding. They are usually added to the names of companies and are the legal forms of entities:
Ltd. - limited - Лимитед (жауапкершілігі шектеулі)
Inc. - incorporated (formed into a corporation) - Инк. (за?ды ???ы?ы бар болып тіркелген (бірлестік, ода?) or (инкорпорациялан?ан) [14; 218]
Next example comprises not only abbreviations but conventional symbols as well:
Total price CIF $ ________
Discount $ ________
Total Contract Value $ _______
CIF means Cost (??н), Insurance (са?тандыру) and Fright (тасымал) i.e. the seller has to procure marine insurance against the risk of loss or damage to the goods during the carriage. The symbol $ is a well known symbol of American currency dollar which is rendered with the help of the same symbol.
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