KudoZ home » Spanish to English » Law/Patents

en un plazo de quince días antes de ...

English translation: Maintain the ambiguity in English

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
20:05 Oct 23, 2002
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
Law/Patents / Legal Documents
Spanish term or phrase: en un plazo de quince días antes de ...
A company applying for a permit to operate a certain utility service has to submit specified documents.

"LaCompañía S.A. de C.V. deberá presentar ante esta Comisión Reguladora el Documento Tal, en un plazo de quince días antes del inicio de operaciones."

Does it mean no more than 15 days before the start of operations, or no less than 15 days before the start of operations?
GoodWords
Mexico
Local time: 21:28
English translation:Maintain the ambiguity in English
Explanation:
The sentence is poorly written in Spanish (obviously). To me, it means no more than 15 days, but logically, this doesn't make sense. The safest course of action, in my opinion, is to maintain the same ambiguity in the translation. The end user will probably understand the meaning if you are ambiguous because they will be familiar with this type of requirement. I would suggest something like "Company S.A. must present Document X to the Regulatory Committee within 15 days prior to the start of operations."

Another solution - If you have time, and it is economically realistic, call Company S.A. and ask them what they mean.
Selected response from:

Buffalo
Local time: 14:28
Grading comment
Peter, Refugio, andy37 and Paul, as well as Buffalo supported my instincts that this sentence was ambiguously worded, and not entirely logical. I chose the solution of making it equally ambiguous in English, as suggested by Buffalo. The wording I used was "in a period of 15 days before start of construction". Note, however, that the idea of asking LaCompañía to clarify wouldn't be workable for a couple of reasons 1) They didn't write the document; it's not they who are setting the conditions, 2) nor are they the client.
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
5 +3at least 15 days before....Peter Bagney
5 +2...15 days before starting operations
Guillermina Canale
5within the fifteeen days preceding startHerman Vilella
5within a fifteen-day period before...Sery
4Maintain the ambiguity in EnglishBuffalo
4 -1within a period of fifteen days prior to starting operations
Nitza Ramos


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
...15 days before starting operations


Explanation:
No more than fifteen days before operations start

Native speaker

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-25 12:17:43 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Although there are logical reasons to interpret it as \"no less than\", I always saw these terms meaning \"no more than\" or \"within the term of 15 days prior to\".
But the fact is that in Spanish it is an ambiguous phrase, if you cannot contact your client and ask him I would leave the phrase with the same ambiguity in English.

Guillermina Canale
Local time: 23:28
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 28

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  eliyahug: OR "by a term of fifteen days before starting operations." Plazo = term
1 hr
  -> thanks,

agree  Rosa Garcia: mrsrag1981
1 day3 hrs
  -> thanks
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
within a fifteen-day period before...


Explanation:
No more than 15 days.


Hope it helps, Sery!



Sery
Local time: 21:28
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 1136
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
within the fifteeen days preceding start


Explanation:
of operations, or initiation of activities (or initiation of operations).

Herman Vilella
Local time: 04:28
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 344
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
within a period of fifteen days prior to starting operations


Explanation:
It means, 15 days before they start operations.

Nitza Ramos
United States
Local time: 22:28
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 176

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  María Eugenia García: Nitza: No es lo mismo "within a period of 15 days prior to" que "15 days before they start operations". Cuidado!
6 mins
  -> Yo estoy clara.... en un plazo de 15 días es "within 15 days"

disagree  eliyahug: Caras amigas, plazo = term or deadline. Thus if it is not done at least 15 days before starting then the start is cancelled or must be postponed
1 hr
  -> María Eugenia and eliyahug - This is Buffalo's suggested and accepted answer, which as you can see is also what I suggested.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
at least 15 days before....


Explanation:
I cannot even imagine a utility contest in which the documents are requested precisely as close as possibel to commencing operations. It makes no sense whatsoever. They obviously want them at least 15 days before... and if they are submitted 30 days before, so much the better.

Peter Bagney
Spain
Local time: 04:28
PRO pts in pair: 1017

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Refugio: Peter is absolutely right. Logic must prevail when deciphering ambiguous writing. We are talking about a bureaucracy here, and I have never known bureaucracies to demand a shorter time to process their paperwork, when they could demand a longer time.
1 hr

agree  andy37: They are right, a utility service requires time to provide a given service and so they mean at least 15 days before.
5 hrs

agree  Paul Stevens: It has to be "at least". Nothing else would be at all logical.
10 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Maintain the ambiguity in English


Explanation:
The sentence is poorly written in Spanish (obviously). To me, it means no more than 15 days, but logically, this doesn't make sense. The safest course of action, in my opinion, is to maintain the same ambiguity in the translation. The end user will probably understand the meaning if you are ambiguous because they will be familiar with this type of requirement. I would suggest something like "Company S.A. must present Document X to the Regulatory Committee within 15 days prior to the start of operations."

Another solution - If you have time, and it is economically realistic, call Company S.A. and ask them what they mean.

Buffalo
Local time: 14:28
PRO pts in pair: 15
Grading comment
Peter, Refugio, andy37 and Paul, as well as Buffalo supported my instincts that this sentence was ambiguously worded, and not entirely logical. I chose the solution of making it equally ambiguous in English, as suggested by Buffalo. The wording I used was "in a period of 15 days before start of construction". Note, however, that the idea of asking LaCompañía to clarify wouldn't be workable for a couple of reasons 1) They didn't write the document; it's not they who are setting the conditions, 2) nor are they the client.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search