※商务写作指南:能把人绕晕的account

candylqj (Candy糖果姐)
学习部长|火眼金睛|年度最6责编
人气新星
191 4 3
发表于:2015-07-24 20:10 [只看楼主] [划词开启]
The word “account” can mean a variety of things, depending on the context in which it is used. It also has many idiomatic uses. As a result, if not used with great care, the word can cause ambiguity and make sentences difficult to understand.

根据不同的语境,account这个词可以有很多不同的解释,也有很多约定俗成的固定用法。因此,如果在使用account这个词时未加注意,那么就有可能造成歧义和理解上的困难。


Consider the following sentence (it's an exaggeration, but I have often seen similar):
来看一下下面这个例句(虽然这是个极端的情况,但我确实经常看到类似的句子):


On account of a payment made on account of the service charges on the Lessor’s account, no further payments on this account are necessary.
由于与服务相关的账目费用已经汇入Lessor的银行账户,因此没有必要再付任何费用了。


The word “account” appears four times, and has three different meanings. This makes the sentence thoroughly confusing for a reader, and so some serious editing is necessary.
在这句话中,account这个词出现了四次,包含了三种不同的含义。这就让读者很难理解这句话想表达的意思,因此需要做出一些必要的修改。


First of all let's look at each phrase in turn: (1) On account of a payment made (2) on account of the service charges (3) on the Lessor’s account, no further payments (4) on this account are necessary.
首先让我们来看一下每个用到account的词组搭配:(1) On account of a payment made (2) on account of the service charges (3) on the Lessor’s account, no further payments (4) on this account are necessary.


(1) The first phrase, on account of means literally “by reason of”. The writer could also use “due to”, “as a result of”, or “because of”.
(1)第一个词组“On account of”就是“由于、因为”的意思。作者也可以用“due to”,“as a result of”或者“because of”等来表示。


(2) The second use of on account of is ambiguous because it does not mean “by reason of”. Rather it means “on the service charge account”, i.e. the record of credits related to the service charges.
(2)第二个词组中的“on account of”就有些歧义,在这里它并不表示“由于、因为”的意思,更倾向于表示“服务费账目”,即与服务费相关的信用记录。


(3) The phrase on the Lessor’s account contains an error that I frequently see. It is a serious mistake because it changes the meaning of the sentence. What the writer means is “into the Lessor’s (bank) account”. However, the phrase “on someone’s account” is idiomatic and means “on someone’s behalf”. But this payment was not made on the Lessor’s behalf, rather it was made into his bank account!
(3)第三个词组中的“on the Lessor’s account”出现了一个我经常看到的错误。这是一个严重的问题,因为它改变了整句话的意思。作者想要表达的意思应该是“汇入Lessor的银行账户”。但是“on someone’s account”是有固定用法的,相当于“on someone’s behalf”(代表某人)。但这个词组的意思并不是“代表Lessor的账户”,而是把钱汇入Lessor的账户!


Remember that in English payments are made “into or to a bank account” and NOT “on a bank account”.
记住,在英语中,付款是“汇入(into或者to)某人的账户”,而不是“在(on)某人的账户上”。


(4) The last phrase – on this account – has three possible meanings. It contains the same ambiguity as the second use of on account of: Does the writer mean “for this reason”, or is he referring to the record of credits related to the services charges? The third possible meaning is “into a bank account”. Although this phrase is very ambiguous, it does not actually cause a problem here because the sentence ultimately means the same thing whichever way you understand this phrase.
最后一个词组“on this account”有三种不同的含义。首先,和第二个词组on account of一样,on this account到底是表示“由于(for this reason)”的意思,还是表示“与服务费相关的账目”的意思?以上就包含了两个不同的意思。第三种意思是“汇入银行账户(into a bank account)”。虽然这个词组很有歧义,不过在前后文中它的意思还是很明确的,不管你怎么理解这个词组,它所表达的意思都是一样的。


But I think you’ll agree that it is not very satisfactory to write something that can be interpreted in three different ways.
但是,我想如果一个词组可以有三种解释,你也不会对这种用法感到满意吧。


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