The Characteristics and Translation Principles of Business English

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The Characteristics and Translation Principles of Business English

Abstract: Along with the further development of the social economy of our country, foreign business activities have penetrated all enterprises. Business English translation in China's foreign business plays an indispensable role like a bridge. This paper aims to analysis the characteristics of business English and on this basis to explore business English translation principles and also introduces the influence of the cultural differences on business English translation.

Keywords: business English; Characteristic; Translation principles; Cultural differences

Ⅰ.Business English characteristics

1. The universality of polysemy

In business English, polysemy phenomenon is very common, generally speaking, if a noun has many meanings, is often used in different fields respectively and profession as the jargon and professional term. Therefore, in order to ensure the accuracy of the translation, we must know the specific professional meaning of a word, understand the professional knowledge. After all, professional term is used to correctly express scientific concepts of words and exclude multi-meaning and ambiguity. There are three cases below: (1) They are US $ 1 each, but if your order exceeds 1000 pieces, we will give you a 10% discount. (2)The exporter may take the accepted Bill to a discount bank before the maturity if he is in urgent need of the amount of money. (3)Exchange dealers only work with these differences, i.e. with premium and discount, expressed in decimal points, between the spot and forward prices. All of three sentences above have “discount”, which respectively expresses in different professional meanings: (1)“an amount of money that is taken off the usual cost” in foreign trade business;(2) “the act of giving or getting the present worth of a bill not yet due” in bank business;(3) “dextral value or price ” in foreign exchange business.

2. The richness of professional terms.

The business range is very wide, which involves international trade, economy, finance, marketing, insurance, law, and other fields. Each area has its own professional terms, such as in international trade, e.g. Free on Board, Standby Credit, Letter of Guarantee; in economy, e.g. the demand curve, corporate charter, economic lot size; in finance, e.g. blank document; in foreign exchange market, e.g. financial and operating ratios; in insurance, e.g. force majored, All Risks, the Risk of Breakage, etc. In order to really understand business English articles, the translator must have a good knowledge of the subjects in the fields concerning business English, and avoid the generalization of the professional vocabulary. Otherwise, that will either lightly make translation jokes or heavily then will cause severe economic losses.

3. Conciseness and lucidity of words

This is mainly displayed in business letters with concise sentences, short paralleling sentences and short complex sentences. For example, we are delighted to receive your letter of November 18 asking whether we can supply you with Art.No.6120. Conciseness and lucidity can also be seen through the use of a large number of abbreviations in business letters. And the abbreviations are conventionally established, which are accepted by both parties involved, e.g. A/C (account); ENCL (enclosure); FYI (for your information); I.R.O. (in respect of), etc.

4. Incessant development words

Nowadays, business English is closely related to politics, economy, culture and science and technology activities, and develops as fast as the time changes. Many new words reflecting the political economy emerge endlessly. For example: “Internet”, which was produced as the development of global information technology. Some similar words like “online marketing”; “E-business (or E-commerce)” and so on. And some new words are generated through different semantic collocations of the original vocabulary. For example,...
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