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viernes, 20 de febrero de 2015

English Tips for Spanish Lawyers: the the

Por Nick Potter




Here’s the first in a series looking at real-life examples of the most common mistakes in English by native Spanish lawyers – yes, even at the big shiny international firms. These and a whole host of other invaluable tips are available in a new book, 50 English Tips for Spanish Professionals.


the the


For us Anglo-Saxons, one of the puzzling things about Romance languages like Spanish is how everything has a gender.
Generations of English schoolboys have scratched their heads and asked
“But how can a beard be female?”
The Spanish definite articles la, el, las, los all translate as the genderless the.

Or do they?

Which ONE of the following is correct?

A
The Royal Decree 235/2013 on the basic procedure for energy performance certification of buildings
B
The chapter 3 of the Royal Decree 1065/2007 contains the general rules on granting and revoking NIFs
C Article 13 of the Council Regulation no. 1346/2000 of 29 May 2000 on insolvency proceedings
D
The RD partially implements in Spain the Directive 2013/36/EU of 26 June 2013
E According to the clause 15.2 of the SPA
F According to the relevant section of the Act
G
Here is the judgement issued by the Employment Court no. 9 of Las Palmas in the case nº 21/12
H
An amendment is included to the article 108 of the Law 24/1988, on the Securities Market
 

Before you read the answer, remember:


The definite article “the” is one of the most frequently used words in English. So why are you probably using it too much? Because the definite article is used more frequently in Spanish than it is in English.
 
When is it used in both languages?
  • The prime minister (there is only one) / El primer ministro
  • The company (a specific company) has just hired a new CEO / La empresa acaba de contratar a un consejero delegado nuevo
  • I parked outside the school (the school as a concrete noun – literally, the building made of concrete) / Aparqué fuera del colegio.
When is it used in Spanish but not in English?
  • The prime minister’s car (possessive) / El coche del primer ministro
  • Companies (companies in general) are not hiring right now / Las empresas no están contratando en este momento
  • She remembers studying it at school (school as an abstract noun – the idea, concept or experience of school) / Recuerda haberlo estudiado en el colegio
When is it not used in Spanish or in English? With most names, for example:
I fancy going to Norway / Me apetece ir a Noruega
Now.

What about when making references, to laws for example?

In English we might refer to the EU Market Abuse Directive (a specific directive); in Spanish too: la Directiva de abuso de mercado.

But note the difference (in bold) when referring to the Directive number:
  • Transposition into UK National Law of Directive 2003/6/EC
  • La transposición al ordenamiento jurídico español de la Directiva 2003/6/CE


Look at the following English/Spanish texts,


where there is no definite article in the English but there is in the Spanish (in bold and underlined):

EN
The notification requirement of Article 108(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)
ES
La obligación de notificación prevista en el artículo 108, apartado 3, del Tratado de Funcionamiento de la Unión Europea (TFUE)
EN The application of Regulation (EC) No 994/98
ES La aplicación del Reglamento (CE) n° 994/98
EN
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has just published its judgment in Case No. C-82/12
ES
El Tribunal de Justicia de la Unión Europea acaba de hacer pública la sentencia en el asunto C-82/12


Finally, compare this reference in an English newspaper to a court in London…


“In October 2013 the phone hacking trial began at Court 12 of the Old Bailey in London”

… with this from a Spanish newspaper, also referring to a court:
Desde el Juzgado Nº 5 de la Audiencia Nacional de España, Garzón comandó el arresto de Pinochet al final de la década de los noventa”
See? No “the” in the English.
Here’s the difference:


reference numbers


In English we do not use the definite article when referring to reference numbers, article or clause numbers, case numbers or court numbers. Really, this is the same mistake as made with percentages,
If what you’re referring to contains a number, treat it as a name.


So:

The correct answer is F. In all the others “the” needs to be removed for references that contain numbers:

A The Royal Decree 235/2013 on the basic procedure for energy performance certification of buildings
B The chapter Chapter 3 of the Royal Decree 1065/2007 contains the general rules on granting and revoking NIFs
C Article 13 of the Council Regulation no. 1346/2000 of 29 May 2000 on insolvency proceedings
D The RD partially implements in Spain the Directive 2013/36/EU of 26 June 2013
E According to the clause 15.2 of the SPA
F According to the relevant section of the Act [CORRECT]
G Here is the judgement issued by the Employment Court no. 9 of Las Palmas in the case No* 21/12
H An amendment is included to the article 108 of the Law 24/1988, on the Securities Market

Remember! Nº in Spanish is No or No. in English.


Note


Because Spanish legislation is always in numerical form, it can be translated in two ways: Law 24/1988 on the Securities Market (no definite article) or, in anglicised form, the Spanish Securities Market Act 1988. Because in practice laws get translated in a variety of different ways (“Act 24/1988” too), be sure to include the Spanish in brackets on first reference:
the Spanish Securities Market Act 1988 (Ley 24/1988, de 28 de julio, del Mercado de Valores)

3 comentarios:

Jokin dijo...

This really makes me wonder about the dysfunctional way in which Spanish lawyers cite law compared to the English way.
(E.g. 'Securities Market Act 1988' v 'Ley 24/1988, de 28 de julio, del Mercado de Valores', why does it matter that the act was passed on the 28th of july?)

No soy un robot dijo...

¿Y no se podría hacer algo parecido con el alemán? Creo que sería muy interesante.

JESÚS ALFARO AGUILA-REAL dijo...

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