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English word "herefrom" in business agreements
Thread poster: José Henrique Lamensdorf

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:17
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Jan 28, 2016

I thought about raising this issue on Kudoz, however I know what it means, and all of you - readers - too! I chose the Legal forum, because that's where it occurs.

Cutting to the chase...

There are several English words that pervade business agreements and make them significantly more compact than equivalent instruments in Latin-based languages. Most are composed using adverbs of place.

A few examples:
... the services provided hereunder...
... consent by the parties hereto...
... enforcement of the clauses herein...
... the parties hereby agree...
... shall determine the termination hereof.

My point is that, for instance in Portuguese, "here" in a business agreement gets replaced by something varying from "este contrato" to "o presente instrumento", never anything shorter.

My question concerns herefrom.

Example: "The court XXX has been mutually elected to resolve any dispute arising herefrom."

I hope it is as crystal-clear to everyone, as it is for me, disputes arsing from the very document where that's written on.

However no spellchecker accepts "herefrom", and I only found Collins dictionary endorsing it, though as archaic (perhaps in the sense of "from now on").

Linguee, though not a reliable source for translation, is a good tool to detect word usage, and it found "herefrom" being used in English relatively often, always in business agreements, nowhere else. URLs shown are both English-speaking and likely translations into English done in other countries.

I'd like your opinion on whether it is valid/acceptable to use "herefrom" to refer, in an agreement, to anything arising/resulting "from that very same document".


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:17
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
My Chambers dictionary of English ... Jan 28, 2016

... gives "herefrom" among the numerous words combined with "here" as meaning: "from here, from this place".
I'm constantly translating legal agreements and I haven't seen "herefrom" in use myself. I'm not sure it would be quite right in your context. Perhaps it would be clearer to say something like: "... any disputes arising from the present document/ agreement/ contract".


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Richard Henshell  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:17
French to English
+ ...
Clarity over economy Jan 28, 2016

I have seen herefrom used in contracts before but I agree with Jenny's recommendation. Though it may save ink herefrom smacks of legalese. Shouldn't contracts be as explicit as possible?

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:17
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That was my point Jan 28, 2016

Jenny Forbes wrote:

Perhaps it would be clearer to say something like: "... any disputes arising from the present document/ agreement/ contract".


Thanks, Jenny!

Your suggestion above is exactly how we say it in Portuguese (and possibly how it is said in Spanish, Italian, French...), there being no other option.

I hoped that someone would give me a reason why words like...
herein, hereunder, hereto, hereby, hereof...
are used so freely, and "herefrom" is not, though I've seen it in many business agreements drawn in the USA.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:17
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I agree, but... Jan 28, 2016

Richard Henshell wrote:

I have seen herefrom used in contracts before but I agree with Jenny's recommendation. Though it may save ink herefrom smacks of legalese. Shouldn't contracts be as explicit as possible?


I cut through legalese as much as I can while translating such documents.

I'll never forget my (Brazilian) sworn translation exam. One of the tests involved translating two paragraphs from an agreement apparently drawn in Florida, USA. One of these paragraphs contained the word "aforementioned" five or six times. It took more detective work to identify each aforementoned WHAT? and relate it properly than to translate the words in there.

Of course, if I meet something bizarre like "hithertofore", I'll replace it with "so far", "until now", "to the present date", something clearer.

However "herefrom" seems crystal-clear, once we have seen "payments hereunder", "parties hereto", "clauses herein"...

English has some nifty ways of making these pieces shorter yet straightforward.

Portuguese HAS a word equivalent to "herefrom": DAQUI = de (from) + aqui (here), however it wouldn't make sense in this agreement context.
We do say "Daqui posso ver as montanhas." (= From here, I can see the mountains.)
However "disputas decorrentes daqui" (= disputes arising herefrom) on a business agreement would sound just as weird as saying "Herefrom I can see the mountains".


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Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 00:17
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
Surprised Jan 28, 2016

José, I am somewhat surprised about such doubt coming from you.
Any language, while it's living, is an organizsm in a constant development.
OEDis updated, to general knowledge, on a quarterly basis with hundreds of new entries.
Thus, I assume, that even though "herefrom" is not yet formalized it is becomeing generally accepted. Moreover, that English is not American or British either anymore but has become International English in most of the cases in the business life.
So I would accept and use this term, notwithsanding the doublechecking when the translation is supposed to be for the UK or the USA.


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:17
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Just for talking Jan 28, 2016

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:


Portuguese HAS a word equivalent to "herefrom": DAQUI = de (from) + aqui (here), however it wouldn't make sense in this agreement context.
We do say "Daqui posso ver as montanhas." (= From here, I can see the mountains.)
However "disputas decorrentes daqui" (= disputes arising herefrom) on a business agreement would sound just as weird as saying "Herefrom I can see the mountains".


You know, Jose, in Italian it is possible to say DA QUI= FROM HERE, in a legal context, like herefrom, it can be used in both ways, "da qui posso vedere le montagne" and also "le dispute da qui derivanti"

Just a curious information

PS. of course "dal presente" is better.

[Edited at 2016-01-28 15:10 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:17
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It's about popularity Jan 28, 2016

Inga Petkelyte wrote:

José, I am somewhat surprised about such doubt coming from you.
Any language, while it's living, is an organizsm in a constant development.
OEDis updated, to general knowledge, on a quarterly basis with hundreds of new entries.
Thus, I assume, that even though "herefrom" is not yet formalized it is becomeing generally accepted. Moreover, that English is not American or British either anymore but has become International English in most of the cases in the business life.
So I would accept and use this term, notwithsanding the doublechecking when the translation is supposed to be for the UK or the USA.


In most of the agreements I receive in English, I see "herefrom" all the time. What surprised me is that all those "here*" words except "herefrom" are widely endorsed. I wondered if there was any reason to avoid using it.

Of course, I know that I'm free to "build" some words within certain rules, as long as they make obvious* sense, but I didn't want to go overboard with that.

*What do I mean by "obvious"?
"Herefrom" is clearly obvious.
"Hereunto", "hereupon", "hereout", albeit simple, cause a reader slow down just a little bit to think and mentally assemble the picture, the relationships.


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Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
De ahí/por esto Jan 28, 2016

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Jenny Forbes wrote:

Perhaps it would be clearer to say something like: "... any disputes arising from the present document/ agreement/ contract".


Thanks, Jenny!

Your suggestion above is exactly how we say it in Portuguese (and possibly how it is said in Spanish, Italian, French...), there being no other option.

I hoped that someone would give me a reason why words like...
herein, hereunder, hereto, hereby, hereof...
are used so freely, and "herefrom" is not, though I've seen it in many business agreements drawn in the USA.



Perhaps because "herefrom", besides it's compound meaning (from here) also means "thus/hence/because of that". In Spanish we would use "de ahí/por esto". It is, however, a general meaning of the word, not the one legal documents use. And they do use it (alongside with "therefrom). Just one excerpt from EU document:

"...whereas customs debts incurred through the placing of goods under the temporary importation procedure with partial relief from import duties should be exempted herefrom, because no financial advantage is acquired..."

The official Spanish translation is as follows:

"...que debe excluirse de esta norma el nacimiento de deudas aduaneras resultantes de la inclusión de mercancías en el régimen de importación temporal con exención parcial de los derechos de importación, por no obtenerse en este caso ninguna ventaja financier..."

As you see, the translator rendered "herefrom" as "de esta norma" (they also added "en este caso", which is nowhere to be found in the source text, but "esto va por otros conductos").

Portuguese translation (not Brazilian):

"...que a constituição de dívidas aduaneiras resultante da sujeição das mercadorias ao regime de importação temporária com isenção parcial dos direitos de importação deve ser isenta desta regra, visto dela não decorrer nenhuma vantagem financeira..."

As you see "desta regra" has been used.


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The Misha
Local time: 19:17
Russian to English
+ ...
[arising] out of or in connection therewith Jan 28, 2016

That's a more commonly used formula in your specific case. Personally, I have never seen herefrom used but that doesn't mean it isn't or cannot be at all. That one dictionary or another fails to list it, or that any given spellchecker doesn't recognize it is definitely no indication, one way or another.

Similarly, I have my own favorite from the same series, therebetween. MS spellchecker spits it out, and usage examples may be scant, yet sometimes there's just no better or more concise way to put things, especially in heavy legalese with its mile-long sentences aggravated by multiple clauses. You do what you can.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:17
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Oh dear Jan 28, 2016

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

.....I hope it is as crystal-clear to everyone, as it is for me, disputes arsing from the very document where that's written on.


Arsing? Really?

Joking aside, the legal terminology of which you give a few examples is designed to eliminate all possible misinterpretation. It is not used in normal speech or correspondence.

I am often surprised that so many people seem to think that dictionaries are infallible.

Just because you cannot find the word "herefrom" in a dictionary does not mean that it does not exist. In the context in which it is used, I imagine it has a very precise meaning.


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Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 00:17
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
The same as "under" and "out of"? Jan 28, 2016

Can it be that this new term is deemed to replace "under" and "out of"?
Some linguists see a difference between them so maybe this new word is seen as a problem solution?
Ihave never used herefrom but now I feel tempted to warning: (popularity will increase )


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:17
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Not true Jan 28, 2016

Inga Petkelyte wrote:

.... English is not American or British either anymore but has become International English...


You may want to think that because it makes life easier for you, but it's not true.



I hereby confirm the aforesaid.

[Edited at 2016-01-28 15:17 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:17
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Problem Jan 28, 2016

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

I cut through legalese as much as I can while translating such documents.


That could be a problem. Every language has its own version of legalese.

Legalese is not frivolous. On the contrary, it is the most serious form of language. It is not to be toyed with or just eliminated because you find it difficult to understand. If anything, it calls for the most intense concentration.

Having had occasion to translate numerous Italian legal documents, contracts, correspondence written by lawyers, etc., as well as the texts of laws themselves, I would worry about trying to eliminate the legalese, particularly if a translation of a legal document has to be sworn as true and faithful to the original.

[Edited at 2016-01-28 15:15 GMT]


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:17
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
I don't Jan 28, 2016

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

I cut through legalese as much as I can while translating such documents.



Never..


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