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La Cour des Comptes

English translation: Cour des Comptes (Court of Accounts, public finance court)

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02:08 Jan 31, 2002
French to English translations [PRO]
/ for U.S. newpaper article
French term or phrase: La Cour des Comptes
En France, dans le cadre de la décentralisation, l'ensemble des actes et décisions des collectivités locales est contrôlé par l'Etat et des instances indépendantes comme la Cour des Comptes
Theodore Quester
United States
Local time: 19:05
English translation:Cour des Comptes (Court of Accounts, public finance court)
Explanation:
Whilst I take on board what Steven Geller says, the "official" translation (Court of Accounts) does not indicate that the role of the Cour des Comptes is to oversee the handling of public finance in France. This sort of translation quandrum is quite a personal thing, in my view. I generally like to leave the original and add a footnote.


1 - Dictionnaire d’Economie et de Sciences Sociales, Echaudemaison, C.-D., Nathan :

« cour des Comptes : jurisdiction administrative créée par la loi du 16. décembre 1807, chargée d’assurer un contrôle de gestion financière de l’Etat et des établissements publics. »

Its yearly report is published in the Official Journal and is largely quoted by the press!

2 - http://www.ccomptes.fr/glossaire/gloss.htm

Go through this page with a search on “cour des comptes” and you will see just how specific it is.


3 - http://www.ccomptes.fr/Cour-des-comptes/cdc.htm

http://www.ccomptes.fr/Cour-des-comptes/presentation/mission...

Depuis la Seconde Guerre mondiale, l'extension des compétences de l'Etat s'est accompagnée d'un élargissement des missions de la Cour.
Elle a désormais compétence pour contrôler :
Obligatoirement :

- l'Etat ;
- les établissements publics nationaux ;
- les entreprises publiques (depuis 1976) ;
- les organismes de sécurité sociale (depuis 1950).
Dans tous les cas, sa saisine résulte de la loi, elle est donc automatique.
Facultativement :
- les organismes de droit privé dont la majorité des voix ou du capital est détenue par des organismes soumis obligatoirement au contrôle de la Cour ou dans lesquels ces organismes ont un pouvoir prépondérant de décision ou de gestion ;
- les organismes de droit privé (les associations, notamment) bénéficiaires de concours financiers d'origine publique ;
- les organismes d'intérêt général faisant appel à la générosité publique (depuis 1991) ;
- les organismes bénéficiant de concours financiers de l'Union européenne (art. 45 de la loi n° 96-314 du 12 avril 1996).
- les organismes habilités à recevoir des taxes parafiscales, des impositions de toute nature, des cotisations légalement obligatoires (article 11 de la loi du 12 avril 2000)


4 - http://www.ccomptes.fr/anglais/anglais01.htm

THE PUBLIC FINANCE COURTS
Jurisdiction over the financial affairs of the French public sector is invested in the Cour des comptes (Court of Accounts) and the Chambres régionales des comptes (Regional Courts of Accounts) . Other bodies are also affiliated to the Cour des comptes .
The various laws concerning the public finance courts were compiled into a Code in 1995 (Acts of 2 and 27 December 1994, Act of 24 July 1995).

Also : http://www.ccomptes.fr/anglais/anglais01.htm





--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-01-31 11:27:32 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I decided to have a look at the Eurodicautom : lots of hits including :

- Supreme Audit Office (Slovakia)
- Audit Authority (Austria)
- Court of Auditors (7 hits, UC docs : eg treaty, OJEC, etc…)
- Audit Council (Galicia)
- Audit Office (Belgium)

Interestingly enough, one suggestion (Document 7) gives “Cour des Comptes” in inverted commas, left in V.O., with the following definition, with a suggested translation in brackets too, texto :

“Many functions of the French \"Cour des Comptes\"(Court of Auditors) are carried out by the House of Commons Select Committee on Expenditure in the United Kingdom.”

This is an example of the type of reason upon which I base a personal first preference to leaving in V.O., and then providing a footnote. Where a close parallel works, as the functions are similar, then I am happy to use a “foreign” equivalent. Otherwise, using the term adopted on the Cour des Comptes’ website can be justified a long way down the line. It is an accurate rendering of the original, but does not explain anything about function, but then neither does the French. Never the less, the range of suggestions – and the note for the UK – give perhaps a fair amount of freedom on this one. The UK is often out on a limb in this sort of situation. It’s also worth bearing in mind that although the CdC website exists in an English version, a translator somewhere made a decision to translate it thus, thereby attaching an official or quasi-official English title. This does not and cannot exclude other possibilities…

Theodore will decide, although I think it might have been helpful to have provided information on target reader!


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-01-31 11:28:59 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Just noted that for a US newspaper article - Dee\'s suggestion probably quite appropriate at least for a parallel in a footnote.
Selected response from:

Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 01:05
Grading comment
Thanks to everone. My problem was the one Nikki talked about, whether to translate the term, or not, an how to do it. I'll keep in untranslated with (French General Accounting Office) in parenthesis, since that is the equivalent body in the U.S.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +2Court of Accounts/Public Finance Court
Steven Geller
4 +2Government Accounting OfficeBernieM
4 +2National Audit Office
Patrick McKeown
4 +1Cour des Comptes (Court of Accounts, public finance court)
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
5Audit Court, The Supreme counsil of public accounts, The Bureau of the budget
1964
4The Cour des ComptesDPolice
5 -1Audit OfficeMeri Buettner
3 -1High Court of AccountsxxxNazim


  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): -1
Audit Office


Explanation:
DEF – Institution responsible for the auditing of Public Administration accounts. In democratic countries it is independent of the Government and presents its report directly to Parliament.

OBS – Audit Office: term and definition reproduced from the CAPITAL Business Dictionary

Termium

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Note added at 2002-01-31 02:17:16 (GMT)
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*you can add the \"The\" to \"Audit Office\"

also found : Tribunal of Accounts and court of the exchequer (probably Canadian terms)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-01-31 02:22:17 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

My Dictionnaire économique et juridique (Librairie Générale de Droit et de Jurisprudence) gives \"State Audit Office\"

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Note added at 2002-01-31 07:46:06 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

All depends who the end-user will be: European Court of Auditors, Romanian Court of Accounts, Belgium Court of Audit, Turkish Court of Accounts, UK National Audit Office, Tasmanian Audit Office, Northern Ireland Audit Office, and so on and so forth...

By the way Court of Accounts gets 1, 050,000 hits; Audit Office gets 1,200,000 - that\'s my contribution



Meri Buettner
France
Local time: 01:05
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 165

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Steven Geller: This is not hte OFFICIAL translation.
2 hrs
  -> Did I say it was ? I can only suggest what I have...always better than nothing
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6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): -1
High Court of Accounts


Explanation:
Cour is court
Comptes is accounts
I added high to imply that it was an institution of a certain importance.

xxxNazim

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Steven Geller: This is not the OFFICIAL translation.
2 hrs

neutral  Meri Buettner: yes but does a web site translation make it official ?
2 hrs
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Government Accounting Office


Explanation:
Collins Robert gives this as the US equivalent, with the general translation being given as 'revenue court'.

As your text will be published in the US but concerns the French body though, I would suggest that maybe you keep the French title, and add a note in brackets to explain that this is the equivalent of the Government Accounting Office.

BernieM
Hong Kong
Local time: 08:05
PRO pts in pair: 244

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Patrick McKeown: yes, good idea to leave the French original and add a note; wish I had thought of that!
2 mins

agree  ALI DJEBLI
23 mins

agree  Meri Buettner: good advice
2 hrs

disagree  Steven Geller: This is not the OFFICIAL translation
2 hrs
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
National Audit Office


Explanation:
This would be the term for the UK or Australia, but I don't know what the equivalent term would be for the USA.

Hope that helps


    Reference: http://www.anao.gov.au
Patrick McKeown
Italy
Local time: 01:05
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 21

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Steven Geller: This IS the term for Australia
2 hrs

agree  jfrot: found in the Oxford-Hachette Dict.
5 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Court of Accounts/Public Finance Court


Explanation:
These are the French Government's OFFICIAL translations.

Please refer to this link for further information:


    Reference: http://www.ccomptes.fr/anglais/anglais01.htm
Steven Geller
Local time: 01:05
PRO pts in pair: 1246

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Meri Buettner: Court of Accounts sounds good (close to Tribunal of Accounts)
4 mins
  -> ONCE MORE WITH FEELING, Ms. Buettner. This is the OFFICIAL translation. What was it that you were trying to contribute here?

agree  Nikki Scott-Despaigne: Absolutely fine, with a footnote, if judged necessary by the Asker.
6 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
The Cour des Comptes


Explanation:
Leave it in French (capitalized) then translate as The Audit Office.

DPolice
Local time: 01:05
PRO pts in pair: 454

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Meri Buettner: that's usually what I do (with the translation italicised in brackets) can't go wrong !
3 mins

disagree  Steven Geller: Except that the French Government saw translates it on its own website so foreigners can understand what it means.
13 mins
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Audit Court, The Supreme counsil of public accounts, The Bureau of the budget


Explanation:
It has several names in different countries.
A governmental unit which controls all the revenues and expenditures of the government

1964
Turkey
Local time: 03:05
Native speaker of: Native in TurkishTurkish
PRO pts in pair: 294

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Nikki Scott-Despaigne: CounCil
5 hrs
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Cour des Comptes (Court of Accounts, public finance court)


Explanation:
Whilst I take on board what Steven Geller says, the "official" translation (Court of Accounts) does not indicate that the role of the Cour des Comptes is to oversee the handling of public finance in France. This sort of translation quandrum is quite a personal thing, in my view. I generally like to leave the original and add a footnote.


1 - Dictionnaire d’Economie et de Sciences Sociales, Echaudemaison, C.-D., Nathan :

« cour des Comptes : jurisdiction administrative créée par la loi du 16. décembre 1807, chargée d’assurer un contrôle de gestion financière de l’Etat et des établissements publics. »

Its yearly report is published in the Official Journal and is largely quoted by the press!

2 - http://www.ccomptes.fr/glossaire/gloss.htm

Go through this page with a search on “cour des comptes” and you will see just how specific it is.


3 - http://www.ccomptes.fr/Cour-des-comptes/cdc.htm

http://www.ccomptes.fr/Cour-des-comptes/presentation/mission...

Depuis la Seconde Guerre mondiale, l'extension des compétences de l'Etat s'est accompagnée d'un élargissement des missions de la Cour.
Elle a désormais compétence pour contrôler :
Obligatoirement :

- l'Etat ;
- les établissements publics nationaux ;
- les entreprises publiques (depuis 1976) ;
- les organismes de sécurité sociale (depuis 1950).
Dans tous les cas, sa saisine résulte de la loi, elle est donc automatique.
Facultativement :
- les organismes de droit privé dont la majorité des voix ou du capital est détenue par des organismes soumis obligatoirement au contrôle de la Cour ou dans lesquels ces organismes ont un pouvoir prépondérant de décision ou de gestion ;
- les organismes de droit privé (les associations, notamment) bénéficiaires de concours financiers d'origine publique ;
- les organismes d'intérêt général faisant appel à la générosité publique (depuis 1991) ;
- les organismes bénéficiant de concours financiers de l'Union européenne (art. 45 de la loi n° 96-314 du 12 avril 1996).
- les organismes habilités à recevoir des taxes parafiscales, des impositions de toute nature, des cotisations légalement obligatoires (article 11 de la loi du 12 avril 2000)


4 - http://www.ccomptes.fr/anglais/anglais01.htm

THE PUBLIC FINANCE COURTS
Jurisdiction over the financial affairs of the French public sector is invested in the Cour des comptes (Court of Accounts) and the Chambres régionales des comptes (Regional Courts of Accounts) . Other bodies are also affiliated to the Cour des comptes .
The various laws concerning the public finance courts were compiled into a Code in 1995 (Acts of 2 and 27 December 1994, Act of 24 July 1995).

Also : http://www.ccomptes.fr/anglais/anglais01.htm





--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-01-31 11:27:32 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I decided to have a look at the Eurodicautom : lots of hits including :

- Supreme Audit Office (Slovakia)
- Audit Authority (Austria)
- Court of Auditors (7 hits, UC docs : eg treaty, OJEC, etc…)
- Audit Council (Galicia)
- Audit Office (Belgium)

Interestingly enough, one suggestion (Document 7) gives “Cour des Comptes” in inverted commas, left in V.O., with the following definition, with a suggested translation in brackets too, texto :

“Many functions of the French \"Cour des Comptes\"(Court of Auditors) are carried out by the House of Commons Select Committee on Expenditure in the United Kingdom.”

This is an example of the type of reason upon which I base a personal first preference to leaving in V.O., and then providing a footnote. Where a close parallel works, as the functions are similar, then I am happy to use a “foreign” equivalent. Otherwise, using the term adopted on the Cour des Comptes’ website can be justified a long way down the line. It is an accurate rendering of the original, but does not explain anything about function, but then neither does the French. Never the less, the range of suggestions – and the note for the UK – give perhaps a fair amount of freedom on this one. The UK is often out on a limb in this sort of situation. It’s also worth bearing in mind that although the CdC website exists in an English version, a translator somewhere made a decision to translate it thus, thereby attaching an official or quasi-official English title. This does not and cannot exclude other possibilities…

Theodore will decide, although I think it might have been helpful to have provided information on target reader!


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-01-31 11:28:59 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Just noted that for a US newspaper article - Dee\'s suggestion probably quite appropriate at least for a parallel in a footnote.


    Reference: http://www.ccomptes.fr/glossaire/gloss.htm
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 01:05
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 4431
Grading comment
Thanks to everone. My problem was the one Nikki talked about, whether to translate the term, or not, an how to do it. I'll keep in untranslated with (French General Accounting Office) in parenthesis, since that is the equivalent body in the U.S.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Hermeneutica: I will postulate that in the US this function is performed by the General Accounting Office, check out info on them on Google, if your xlat is meant for the US.
1 hr
  -> Good idea - depending on target reader local., it may be quite appropriate to draw a parallel between two bodies which perform the same/similar function(s).
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