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pour servir et valoir ce que de droit

English translation: To whom it may concern

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23:03 Oct 8, 2009
French to English translations [PRO]
Law/Patents - Law (general) / formal declaration
French term or phrase: pour servir et valoir ce que de droit
Sorry it's so long, but it's the standard translation of this stock phrase that I need.
Margaret Portal
English translation:To whom it may concern
Explanation:
This certificate has been produced upon the demand of Asker to attest to the fact that "To whom it may concern" is, in many instances, an English equivalent of the French expression pour servir et valoir ce que de droit, except that while in French they put this at the end of a semi-official document, before the signature, we put it at the head of the document, where the French will probably have attestation.
So to mix my metaphors, as it were, I'll sign off with

Fait en Normandie ce jour le 9 octobre 2009, pour servir et valoir ce que de droit
Bourth

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Note added at 9 hrs (2009-10-09 08:36:16 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Yes, Michael, but A qui de droit is used only as (in)frequently as "issued for all legal intents ..." is in English, i.e. IMO when it is a translation. Yes, there may be cases in very legal documents when such an expression is required, but in most cases "To whom it may concern" and "pour servir ..." are used on pseudo-legal certificates and such, such as for instance when you write a reference for your cleaning lady, to "posh it up" a little. Neither makes the document any more official or binding. As you say, same difference. In similar vein, imagine you had a French legal document translated into English. If it were to be binding (it wouldn't), would there be any point in translating "Le signataire fera précéder sa signature de la mention manuscrite "Lu et approuvé" ", given that this is not a requirement under English practice and signature sous-entend reading and understanding (which, interestingly, the French do not insist on!) and approving.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 hrs (2009-10-09 08:42:09 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

This too started as a comment to Michael's comment below but I ran out of space ...
Just having fun, as is my wont, really, and as you say, we don't have context, but I do feel it is a very real issue, one of cultural (same) difference that all too often results in poor translation (pour autant qu'une traduction doive, selon les circonstances, respecter les pratiques culturelles de la langue d'arrivée).

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 hrs (2009-10-09 08:45:14 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Another reason for posting an answer here rather than simply point to the Glossary/Term Search is to draw attention to this (my) interpretation of the expression since Asker might bow to the weight of all the "for legal intense and porpoises" in the glossary without giving it a moment's thought. But that very thinking betrays my foolish optimism, I'm sure.
Selected response from:

xxxBourth
Local time: 20:51
Grading comment
Thanks very much, Bourth, for your very informative answer and comments.
(I fail to understand why some people feel the need to waste their time in making abusive comments. I didn't ask for their opinions. If I have half an hour to do a proofreading very late at night, I really appreciate the contributions of people who work in the relevant specialisation.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +4http://www.proz.com/search/Jean-Louis S.
4To whom it may concernxxxBourth
4To be used for whatever purpose it be deemed necessary
ACOZ


Discussion entries: 5





  

Answers


21 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Pour servir et valoir ce que de droit.
http://www.proz.com/search/


Explanation:
!

Jean-Louis S.
United States
Local time: 14:51
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 88

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  writeaway: absolutely!!!! No fewer than 24 entries of the exact phrase, over 40 entries all told. Asker will have to look and pick the translation best suited to her context.
23 mins
  -> Merci, Writeaway!

agree  Tony M
37 mins
  -> Merci, Tony!

agree  Michael GREEN
7 hrs
  -> Merci, Michael!

agree  Michael Lotz
10 hrs
  -> Merci, Michael!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Pour servir et valoir ce que de droit.
To be used for whatever purpose it be deemed necessary


Explanation:
Yes, it's been on the Board before but this will save you looking for it. It's the phrase I used for 20 years as a "traducteur assermenté" in France.

ACOZ
Australia
Local time: 04:21
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 102

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Michael GREEN: Perhaps, but "issued for all legal intents and purposes" is more usual - and why shouldn't Asker take the trouble to look for herself ? Which will also give her a choice.
2 hrs
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
To whom it may concern


Explanation:
This certificate has been produced upon the demand of Asker to attest to the fact that "To whom it may concern" is, in many instances, an English equivalent of the French expression pour servir et valoir ce que de droit, except that while in French they put this at the end of a semi-official document, before the signature, we put it at the head of the document, where the French will probably have attestation.
So to mix my metaphors, as it were, I'll sign off with

Fait en Normandie ce jour le 9 octobre 2009, pour servir et valoir ce que de droit
Bourth

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 hrs (2009-10-09 08:36:16 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Yes, Michael, but A qui de droit is used only as (in)frequently as "issued for all legal intents ..." is in English, i.e. IMO when it is a translation. Yes, there may be cases in very legal documents when such an expression is required, but in most cases "To whom it may concern" and "pour servir ..." are used on pseudo-legal certificates and such, such as for instance when you write a reference for your cleaning lady, to "posh it up" a little. Neither makes the document any more official or binding. As you say, same difference. In similar vein, imagine you had a French legal document translated into English. If it were to be binding (it wouldn't), would there be any point in translating "Le signataire fera précéder sa signature de la mention manuscrite "Lu et approuvé" ", given that this is not a requirement under English practice and signature sous-entend reading and understanding (which, interestingly, the French do not insist on!) and approving.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 hrs (2009-10-09 08:42:09 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

This too started as a comment to Michael's comment below but I ran out of space ...
Just having fun, as is my wont, really, and as you say, we don't have context, but I do feel it is a very real issue, one of cultural (same) difference that all too often results in poor translation (pour autant qu'une traduction doive, selon les circonstances, respecter les pratiques culturelles de la langue d'arrivée).

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 hrs (2009-10-09 08:45:14 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Another reason for posting an answer here rather than simply point to the Glossary/Term Search is to draw attention to this (my) interpretation of the expression since Asker might bow to the weight of all the "for legal intense and porpoises" in the glossary without giving it a moment's thought. But that very thinking betrays my foolish optimism, I'm sure.

xxxBourth
Local time: 20:51
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 254
Grading comment
Thanks very much, Bourth, for your very informative answer and comments.
(I fail to understand why some people feel the need to waste their time in making abusive comments. I didn't ask for their opinions. If I have half an hour to do a proofreading very late at night, I really appreciate the contributions of people who work in the relevant specialisation.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Michael GREEN: I hesitate to cross swords - as it were - with such a learned contributor, but Asker gives no context whatever, and surely "to whom it may concern" is, strictly speaking, the equivalent of "à qui de droit"? Same difference, you may say ...
53 mins
  -> See above (no room here).
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Changes made by editors
Oct 9, 2009 - Changes made by Yolanda Broad:
LevelNon-PRO » PRO
Oct 9, 2009 - Changes made by Stéphanie Soudais:
Term askedPour servir et valoir ce que de droit. » pour servir et valoir ce que de droit
FieldBus/Financial » Law/Patents
Field (specific)Accounting » Law (general)


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