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Produits Corses

Produits Corses

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An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards (International Programme) Competition by Stephanie Wright. Originally submitted for French Translation Methodology at University of St. Andrews, with lecturer Dr David Evans in the category of Languages & Linguistics
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards (International Programme) Competition by Stephanie Wright. Originally submitted for French Translation Methodology at University of St. Andrews, with lecturer Dr David Evans in the category of Languages & Linguistics

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
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12/22/2013

 
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Abstract
In this second assignment I was asked to translate into English the „Conditions générales devente‟
(Terms and Conditions) of the websitewww.lesproduits-corses.com,a company hoping to expand its activities to English-speaking customers. Once again I was asked toprovide:(i) A discussion of the strategic decisions that I had to make before translating the passage. (ii) A translation of the text into English (826 words). (iii) An explanation of the main decisions of detail made in producing the target text. This time the main challenges posed by the source text were related to the fact that itbelonged to a specialist legal genre which was mostly unfamiliar to me. As a result, in-depthresearch had to be carried out in order to establish the norms of 
the „Terms and Conditions‟
 genre in both French and English. Furthermore, the fact that the text formed part of a legally-binding contract meant that accuracy was of upmost importance. It was therefore extremelyimportant to seek the help of specialist dictionaries and glossaries. Not only did the specialist
nature of the source text‟s
genre pose problems with regard to translating individual words,but my lack of experience in legal matters meant that, in parts, I was unable to fullyunderstand the concepts underpinning the source text. As a result, it was important to consultspecialists in the field of law in order to ensure that my target text was not misleading orfactually inaccurate. An additional complication in translating the source text was that, although the textwas mostly factual in nature, the fact that the text was to appear on the company´s websitemeant that, to a certain extent, it contained elements similar to those of a marketing text. Inother words, these Terms and Conditions would also play a part in convincing potentialcustomers to shop with the company, and so needed to convey a tone appropriate for such apurpose.
While French texts pertaining to the „Terms and Conditions‟ gen
re tend to employ avery formal and sophisticated language style, English texts pertaining to the same genre areusually more informal and friendly in tone. Therefore in this assignment it was necessary toretain the factual accuracy of the French text while adapting the style to an English audiencewith quite different expectations from the original French audience.
 
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One final challenge posed by this assignment was that the source text contained acouple of important yet almost unperceivable errors. Given the fact that the genre wasunfamiliar to me, it was difficult to distinguish between phrases that were difficult tounderstand purely because of specialist nature of the text, and phrases which were madenonsensical by errors. As a result, these mistakes were difficult to identify and, thus, correct.To conclude, although challenging, this project was most stimulating and provided anopportunity for me to gain an insight into a field with which I was previously unacquainted.i.
 
Strategic decisionsGiven that the source text consists of a legally binding contract, our priority in compilingthe target text is accuracy of content, as straying too far from the original content could resultin a legal dispute. Furthermore, as the contract originates from France and will only beaccountable under French law, we will not culturally transpose references to the French legalsystem to the British legal system. With regard to lay-out, we will also preserve thearrangement of the source text as, although there are often variations between French textsand English texts belonging to this genre, there are also great disparities within the group of English texts that pertain to the genre. Therefore it has been deemed most appropriate tomaintain the lay-out of the source text in accordance with the preferences and priorities of thewww.lesproduits-corses.com company.With regard to how references to French laws and specific elements of the Frenchlegal system will be translated, Legifrance.gouv.fr, the official website of the Frenchgovernment for providing legal information to the public, states that
„Translations of French
legal texts available on the Legifrance site have no legal force: they are provided forinformational purposes only. Only the French versions of texts appearing in the
 Journalofficiel de la République française
 
have legal force.‟
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This suggests that any unofficialtranslations that this translator produces of French institutions or laws may not have the forceof law either. Meanwhile, it is important that the English-speaking customer understands the
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http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/Traductions/en-English
 
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terms and conditions he or she is reading, otherwise producing an English translation wouldbe pointless. Therefore, in order to maintain the force of law while ensuring thecomprehension of Anglophone readers, where references are made to specific elements of theFrench legal system, the official French name will be preserved but will be followed by an
„informational purposes only‟ English translation i
n brackets. This is the case, for example,
with the translation of „Tribunal de Commerce‟ in the source text, which has been renderedinto the target text as „Tribunal de Commerce (Commerce Tribunal)‟. Additionally,
throughout the source text, where a refe
rence is made to law, the adjective „French‟ has often
been added in the target text in order to make it explicit that the contract is based on Frenchas opposed to English law.The source text contains a number of technical terms and expressions that are notoften used in situations outwith the legal field. In order to help locate the correct vocabularyand gage the register appropriate to the field, we have consulted a number of examples of texts of a similar nature in the target language. As a result, the terms and conditions onwebsites belonging to companies similar to Les Produits Corses, such as Fortnum and Mason,Marks and Spencer and The Local Food Company
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have been used as a point of referencewhile undertaking this translation. We have also consulted legal and business dictionaries,
such as Bridge‟s
The Council of Europe French-English Legal dictionary
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and Bousteau and
Boisvert‟s
French Business Dictionary: The Business Terms of France and Canada
.
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With
regard to the translation‟s target audience, given Corsica‟s geographical location and the
perishable nature of the goods on offer, we will assume that the bulk of www.lesproduits-corse.com
s Anglophone
customers will be resident in the UK. As a result, we will uselanguage characteristic of terms and conditions in British English, rather than language morefamiliar to an American consumer market.Additionally, as many of the people reading the target text will be new towww.lesproduits-corse.com,in order to ensure that the customer understands and feelscomfortable ordering products from the website - thus increasing the likelihood that they willplace an order and return to the company on future occasions - we will strive to display the
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F.H.S Bridge,
The Council of Europe French-English Legal Dictionary 
, (Strasbourg: Council of Europe publishing,2002).
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Agnes Bousteau and Simon Boisvert,
French Business Dictionary: The Business Terms of France and Canada
,(Rockville: Schreiber Publishing, 2005).

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