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noscitur a sociis

English translation: it is known by its associates

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08:32 Sep 17, 2001
Latin to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial
Latin term or phrase: noscitur a sociis
the relationship of a motor boat to a canoe or rowboat as interpreted by the Canadian Income Tax Act based on this latin term
Shelley Dubois
English translation:it is known by its associates
Explanation:
Noscitur a sociis
Latin words and phrases


Lat – it is known by its associates. The meaning of a word is known from the accompanying words.

Would that work?

HTH

Mary
Selected response from:

Mary Worby
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:52
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +2it is known by its associates
Mary Worby
4 +1I would leave it in Latin, if the context is legal
CLS Lexi-tech
4noscitur a sociisFuad Yahya
1 -1known to be similarDrSantos


  

Answers


10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
it is known by its associates


Explanation:
Noscitur a sociis
Latin words and phrases


Lat – it is known by its associates. The meaning of a word is known from the accompanying words.

Would that work?

HTH

Mary


    Reference: http://www.butterworths.com.au/legalwords/html/001060.htm
Mary Worby
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:52
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 4
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  martina schneider
16 mins

agree  Egmont
371 days
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33 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
I would leave it in Latin, if the context is legal


Explanation:
as in the examples below. You find it in Latin also in French legal texts.


How do courts interpret laws?

Courts originally used a 'literal approach', meaning the words in a law were taken exactly as they appeared, however ridiculous the effect. The legal system now more commonly uses a 'purposive approach', meaning the intended purpose of the law is taken into account. The legal rule 'noscitur a sociis' (literally 'a thing is known by its associates') means that laws should be interpreted in their intended context.

http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/drafting.html

The Commission is not satisfied that the associated words rule (noscitur a sociis) is of much assistance in interpreting the meaning of "damage" in the context of this case. A restrictive interpretation may defeat the true intention of the Legislature. The Commission agrees with the cautions expressed by Cote in The Interpretation of Legislation in Canada (Second Edition) at page The Commission is not satisfied that the associated words rule (noscitur a sociis) is of much assistance in interpreting the meaning of "damage" in the context of this case. A restrictive interpretation may defeat the true intention of the Legislature.
http://www.fac.gov.bc.ca/decision/96-08.htm

Noscitur a sociis. It is known from its associates. The meaning of a word is or may be known from the anying
words. Under the doctrine "noscitur a sociis", the meaning of questionable or doubtful words or phrases in a statute may be ascertained by reference to the meaning of other words or phrases associated with it.

http://www.supremelaw.org/authors/meador3/jurisd-5.htm

paola l m


CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 02:52
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian
PRO pts in pair: 16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  flaviofbg: Exactly, it is NOT to be translated (nice links, Paola :)
5 hrs
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5 peer agreement (net): -1
known to be similar


Explanation:
An absoulte and total guess


    Since when do we have intellectuals in the IRS?
DrSantos
Local time: 08:52
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  flaviofbg: Absolutely wrong (I suggest not to answer when it is a total guess and valid answers have been given-regards, Flavio
2 hrs
  -> OH, dear, oh dear me! If it is wrong what is the right one?
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
noscitur a sociis


Explanation:
I assume you are not asking for suggestions on how to translate the phrase: It should not be translated, as the principle stated is better identified by its Latin name.

As to what it means, the answers posted so far amply cover the meaning, and to that extent, there is not much that I can add.

The reason I am writing, however, is that from the little contextual information that you provided, it seems that the Canadian Income Tax Act, or whatever text you are reading, is appealing to the wrong legal precept.

As has been well explained, "noscitur a sociis" means that words derive their meanings from their context (translators are quite familiar with this precept). It appears, however, that the precept that should apply in the situation you are describing is a different one, a principle called "ejusdem generis" ("of the same kind"). Please take a look at the following excerpt, which I hope can explain these two principles better than I can:

http://www.irlgov.ie/lawreform/publications/Statutory Drafti...

"Other relevant rules in this context are the common law maxims, such as the
noscitur a sociis (‘a word or phrase is known by its associates’) and ejusdem generis (‘of the same kind’) rules.12 These maxims are applications of the principle that words in a statute should be interpreted according to their context. The first of these
rules provides that words should be construed in the light of other words that surround them. The second means that where general words follow a list of persons or things which are all of the same type, for example where all are domestic animals, or food
stuffs, the general words which follow are to be construed as implying only persons or things of the same general kind as the other items listed."

So if the dispute is over "the relationship of a motor boat to a canoe or rowboat," it seems to me that latter principle should apply.

In any case, I hope that the phrase in question is clear.

Fuad


    Reference: http://www.irlgov.ie/lawreform/publications/Statutory%20Draf...
Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 80
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