Here are some tips to help translators avoid copying structure and wording from other languages that would be awkward in English. They should be useful to non-native speakers, but may serve as handy reminders for native speakers too.
English prefers to be simple, concise and concrete.
Use simple words where appropriate.
- Change > to
- initiate a programme > start a programme
- apply for employment > apply for a job
- activities of a criminal nature > crime
- contribute to constructing Europe > help build Europe
- require assistance > need help
- request remuneration > ask for a fee
- specialised methodologies > special methods
- an agricultural holding with caprine animals > a goat farm
- with a possibility of dissemination to producers > and may be sent to producers
- in view / light of the fact that fees are high > because / as fees are high
- pursuant to / in accordance with / within the framework of this Law > under / according to this Law
- for the purpose of protecting consumers > to protect consumers
- for the purpose of its use as a guide > to be used / for use as a guide
- important from the point of view of producers > important for producers
- the Directive concerning / regarding / relating to financial services > the Directive on financial services / the Financial Services Directive
- despite the fact that resources are limited > although resources are limited
- prior to / subsequent to the Council Decision > before / after the Council Decision
- at the time when the application is submitted > when the application is submitted
- until such time as a decision is taken > until a decision is taken
- on the occasion of its accession to the EU > when it joined the EU / on joining the EU / upon accession to the EU
- Action is needed at the present time. > Action is needed now.
- Help is needed in the near future. > Help is needed soon.
- updated on a daily basis > updated daily
- the study demonstrates / indicates that > the study shows that
- the Commission is aware of the fact that > the Commission knows that
- in the event of an emergency > in an emergency
- in the same context, it is necessary > it is also necessary
- equal or superior to EUR 10 000 > EUR 10 000 or more
- She suffered an armed attack. > She was shot.
- It is inadvisable to be in control of a moving vehicle when suffering from fatigue. > Do not drive if you are tired.
This means avoiding archaic legalese.
- The matter was put to the Style Guide Committee (hereinafter ‘the Committee’). The Committee …. > The matter was put to the Style Guide Committee. The Committee …
- Contract between the County of Needham (hereinafter referred to as ‘the County’) and Acme Imports (hereinafter referred to as ‘Acme’). > Contract between the County of Needham (‘the County’) and Acme Imports (‘Acme’)
- the aforementioned professions. > these / the above professions
Source: DGT, European Commission