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Thread: legal couplets

  1. #1
    ian2 is offline Member
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    legal couplets

    What I am interested in is legal couplets. When we say "rent or lease", what's the motivation to use two instead of one. You may say the definition of "rent" is different from "lease", which I am aware of. But when this couplet is used nowadays, I doubt the user really thinks about the definitional difference. People use it without thinking. It's automatically used as a formula. So the first user, when using this couplet, must have thought of some reasons for not using one, for example, widening the coverage. There are so many legal couplets in which the first part seems to mean the second part. Another example is "terms and conditions". To me, terms means conditions and conditions means terms. Why two instead of one? Of course there are couplets in which the first part is different from the second part. In other words, there are different types of legal couplets. I would like to know the type like "rent and lease" and "terms and conditions".

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    Buddhaheart is offline Member
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    Re: legal couplets

    How about ‘cease and disease’?

  3. #3
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: legal couplets

    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhaheart View Post
    How about ‘cease and disease’?
    I think perhaps you mean "cease and desist"?

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    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: legal couplets

    These couplets contain terms which are very specific:

    rent = to pay or receive a fixed amount of money for the use of a room, house, car, television, etc

    lease = to make a legal agreement by which money is paid in order to use land, a building, a vehicle or a piece of equipment for an agreed period of time

    You can rent a property without a lease.


    terms = the controls over an agreement, arrangement or activity
    The terms will include length of contract and territory/ies in which it is legal

    conditions = a statement of what is required as part of an agreement
    the conditions are contractual stipulations about the work to be done.

    Another couplet:

    Cooperation and collaboration.

  5. #5
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    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Re: legal couplets

    These couplets exist as a way to cover one's...posterior. Especially if you live in a particularly litigious area, such as the U.S., where people tend to look for any tiny loophole in a contract or document.

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    Buddhaheart is offline Member
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    Re: legal couplets

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    I think perhaps you mean "cease and desist"?
    Absolutely. Thank you, anglika! Sorry for the carelessness.

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    ian2 is offline Member
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    Re: legal couplets

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    These couplets contain terms which are very specific:

    rent = to pay or receive a fixed amount of money for the use of a room, house, car, television, etc

    lease = to make a legal agreement by which money is paid in order to use land, a building, a vehicle or a piece of equipment for an agreed period of time

    You can rent a property without a lease.


    terms = the controls over an agreement, arrangement or activity
    The terms will include length of contract and territory/ies in which it is legal

    conditions = a statement of what is required as part of an agreement
    the conditions are contractual stipulations about the work to be done.

    Another couplet:

    Cooperation and collaboration.
    Thank you Anglika. But I am fully aware of the semantic differences between the words in the couplets and I am sure the first users when using them had those differences in mind. What I am trying to say is today after so many years (100 or 200 or 300 years, I don't know. Someone said it started when English was translated into or from French), users use them so automatically that they probably don't even think about the differences, but take them as a unit with a peace of mind that they throw in two instead of one so that loophole finders will have less chance to succeed. I asked this because when it comes to translation, sometimes people use two foreign language words to replace the English, but those two foreign words are not different in the same way. From the surface, it seems you are faithful to the original text, but because of the differences between the economic system, you sometimes fail to find two words different exactly in the same way as the two words in the source text. So my final question is CAN WE JUST USE ONE INSTEAD OF TWO to translate the couplets? Like cooperation and collaboration are sometimes translated into one word, even though I find a detailed explanation on-line about the differences of the two words. Anglika, thank you again.

    Ian2

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    Re: legal couplets

    [CAUTION: I am not a teacher:take the advice and or corrections offered in this post at your own risk.
    If you doubt the information, please get a qualified opinion from one of the teachers on these forums.]


    This question was addressed to Anglika and I do not at all intend to answer in her(?) place or step on her toes (note the disclaimer). I seem to understand your argument -ian2-, I think Anglika pointed out with some accuracy the considerably different legal implications of some of those word pairs. If there was a language which somehow managed to encompass the entirety of these different meanings then I imagine you certainly could translate them as one word.

    However I would find it extremely intriguing if a particular language did not find the need to distinguish between the technical differences in renting and leasing, for example.

    If I were doing a bit of legal translating, I would go for accuracy above all but more, not less I would certainly not try to approximate.

  9. #9
    ian2 is offline Member
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    Re: legal couplets

    Quote Originally Posted by weiming View Post
    [CAUTION: I am not a teacher:take the advice and or corrections offered in this post at your own risk.
    If you doubt the information, please get a qualified opinion from one of the teachers on these forums.]


    This question was addressed to Anglika and I do not at all intend to answer in her(?) place or step on her toes (note the disclaimer). I seem to understand your argument -ian2-, I think Anglika pointed out with some accuracy the considerably different legal implications of some of those word pairs. If there was a language which somehow managed to encompass the entirety of these different meanings then I imagine you certainly could translate them as one word.

    However I would find it extremely intriguing if a particular language did not find the need to distinguish between the technical differences in renting and leasing, for example.

    If I were doing a bit of legal translating, I would go for accuracy above all but more, not less I would certainly not try to approximate.
    Say, there are two accounting systems in two different societies, in which "rent" or "lease" are not distinguished in the same way. Also some idea suddenly occurred to me. In some languages, for example, Chinese, there seem to have two different words for the couplet. But were these two words already in the Chinese language system before the couplet was first translated, or were they actually made up just for the purpose of translating the couplet? In other words, some new words are created in the process of communicating with a foreign culture. Accuracy is of course paramount. But well, sometimes when you created two different words thinking they are as different as the English original ones, these two words are not the same in details. But it is an interesting question. My question stemmed from my observation of some legal translations in which two words are combined. Don't get me wrong. I am not really for combination, but would like to know more about this issue to decide. Ian2

  10. #10
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    Re: legal couplets

    [CAUTION: I am not a teacher:take the advice and or corrections offered in this post at your own risk.
    If you doubt the information, please get a qualified opinion from one of the teachers on these forums.]

    Yes, naturally its possible that you may be translating into a language or, more specifically, culture that could care less about the difference between renting and leasing but bear in mind, if you're translating, that probably means that two organisations from separate cultures are involved and the "host" culture will almost certainly want that difference outlined in the event of a disagreement with the target organisation, even though they would be likely subject to their law. But this is very hypothetical ground.

    I wouldn't say new words will be "made up" or borrowed but sometimes they are in favour of more lengthy native terms. As an aside: Chinese is only a nationality, but not a language. Mandarin is the main dialect to which you may be referring (of course Cantonese is the main topolect in the south).

    Another thing to remember is that the word you are seeing may not have the meaning you think it does. Like "stress" for example, which has a special meaning in linguistics, a legal term may carry a special legal significance which should be noted.

    Then again I think -Buddaheart- made a great point when he(?) mentioned "cease and desist" I would fall flat on my face trying to find a distinction in translating this pair, and would probably say something like "stop completely".

    On another tangent, these word pairs may exist for the sheer "legal soundingness" they give to a document. If that is the case, this too should be duplicated in the target document, even though they may not need two terms to do it. Tone is a part of translation.

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