English translation: you need to take the whole sentence in hand!
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.
14:06 Dec 8, 2016
English to English translations [PRO] Bus/Financial - Law: Taxation & Customs / word order in specialised text
English term or phrase:can the word order be inverted this way?
This is a peace from an update on new legislation:
- ZZZ will not have to report their accounts closed by 31 December 2014 to the tax authorities, ..., as the statutory three-year period _will expire_ for keeping records of such accounts and transactions on them.
Grammatically, is it legit to put "will expire" where I put it (which I did for better readability), or not?
Explanation: ZZZ will not have to report to the tax authorities any accounts closed on or before 31 December 2014, since the statutory three-year period for keeping the relevant records will have expired by that date.
Note: not happy with "by 31 Dec", and prefer "on or before" and "by then" has a colloquial air, so for once I've gone more formal.
It's not really a question of our making irrelevant comments about other parts of your proposed translation — it is much more about seeking clarification of the intended meaning. When your draught translation contains what appear to be 'errors' which seem to cast doubt on the way you are understanding the source text, it is only natural that this should be mentioned, so that we are able to ensure that even before starting to translate, you have correctly intepreted the source text. After all, without the source text in front of us, the way you have approached it can give us valuable clues as to the context as a whole — as long, of course, as your interpretation is accurate! Hence why all these issues that may seem irrelevant to you are in fact vital to our understanding of the wider context as you are understanding it. The isssue of 'closed' is a very pertinent example of that — since we don't know what KIND of accounts these are, the choice of 'closed' gives a strong hint (rightly or wrongly) in a certain direction...
I am always asking for a bigger picture myself, when I am on the other side of KudoZ - but you will certainly appreciate the confidentiality limitations etc.
Also, please note that my original query was about syntax; I am thankful for the comments on sequence of tenses, though.
While I realise that the phrase "to close accounts" might have multiple meanings, I am afraid this polysemicity is not that relevant for my question.
Thanks to everyone!
but I suspect it may mean accounts finalised at the end of the financial year, but we don't generally say "closed" in English
If this is a translation from Spanish asker, I think you ought to post it as as a SP->EN question
Oh no, that's much worse — not at all natural, nor appopriate for this more formal register. The trouble is, as we don't have the whole of your context, we're all trying to guess what it all really says and means.
So does this mean 'bank accounts (that were / had been) closed no later than / prior to 31/12/2014'? You see how we are struggling because we don't have enough CONTEXT?!
BUT... is this document pre-2014, or POST? As usual, in the absence of proper context, I was imagining a scenario in which reporting of accounts prior to the deadline of 31/12/2014 would have timed-out because of the 3-year limit — i.e. at some future date in 2017?
This entire sequence of events and dates is crucial here in order to get the verbs and tenses correct!
ZZZ will not have to report to the tax authorities any accounts closed on or before 31 December 2014, since the statutory three-year period for keeping the relevant records will have expired by that date. [That places "to the tax authorities" in a slightly odd place, but it's next to "report" and is clearer.]
You say you put it there for better readability. I'm wondering where else you considered putting it. Personally, I'm finding the entire sentence difficult to read. "To the tax authorities" is certainly oddly placed. Finishing the sentence with "on them" is best avoided too.
This is a peace [piece?] from an update on new legislation ...
Automatic update in 00:
6 mins confidence: peer agreement (net): +4
Explanation: The trouble is, changing the wprd order in this way leads, at first reading, to a isinterpretation — as if the expiry date only applied to '[what follows]' — but perhaps not something else...
I really can't see anything wrong with writing it in the natural word order:
"as the statutory three-year period for keeping records of such accounts and transactions on them will expire"
I'm actually a lot more concerned about the sequence of tenses here! Surely, if this is referring to some future moment, it ought in any case to be 'will have expired' — unless, of course, you text goes on to specify some future expiry date.
-------------------------------------------------- Note added at 9 minutes (2016-12-08 14:15:21 GMT) --------------------------------------------------
It's important to realize that what you are seeking to do is not to invert the word order, but to move a subordinate clause away from its subject, which is where the danger lies...
-------------------------------------------------- Note added at 16 minutes (2016-12-08 14:22:32 GMT) --------------------------------------------------
Yes, but by changing the word order in this way, you make it sound as if we expect "will expire for ... but NOT for..."
Tony M France Local time: 20:49 Native speaker of: English
Notes to answerer
Asker: Hi Tony and thanks for your answer! The expiry date does apply to the period of keeping the records, i.e. to "what follows" in the sentence. I guess "will have expired" is a better option.
Asker: oh now I see... it was all well-meant, but looks like I overdone it