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合同与协议在翻译中的区别

摘要:在现代英语合同翻译中

合同与协议在翻译中有什么区别吗?

而在现代英语合同翻译中,合同翻译一般成为 Contract,协议翻译一般称为 Agreement。那么 Contract  Agreement 是一回事吗?他们之间又有什么关系呢?《中华人民共和国民法通则》第 85 条规定:" 合同是当事人之间设立、变更、终止民事关系的协议"A contract shall be an agreement whereby the parties establish, change or terminate their civil relationship)。《中华人民共和国合同法》第二条规定:

合同翻译图片

"合同是平等主体的自然人、法人、其他组织之间设立、变更、终止民事权利义务关系的协议"

Contracts referred to in this Law are agreements between equal natural persons, legal persons and other organizations for the purpose of establishing, altering and terminating mutual civil rights and obligations)。

美国法律整编合同法第二次汇编定义合同为:"合同乃为一个允诺或一组允诺。违反此一允诺时,法律给予救济;或其允诺之履行,法律在某些情况下视之为一项义务。"A contract is a promise, or a set of promises, for breach of which the law gives a remedy, or the performance of which the law in some way recognizes as a duty.)(RestatementSecond, Contracts, Section 1)这一定义在 Steven H. Gifts编著的 Law Dictionary 被完全引述. 但一般而言,Contract,乃两个以上当事人间具有法律约束力之协议,或由一个以上当事人所为一组具有法律约束力之允诺。(A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties or a set of legal binding promises made by one party or more.(G. C. Lindsay, Contract, 3rd ed. 1992) 这一表述在 L.B. Curzon 编撰的 Dictionary of Law 中概括为"A legally binding agreement creating enforceable obligations." Chris Turner 在其编撰的 Contract Law 中定义的更为具体明了"A contract is an agreement between two parties by which both are bound in law and which can therefore be enforced in a court or other equivalent forum."即合同就是对合同方具有法律上约束力, 可由法院或其他同等管辖地强制执行的协议。

至于 agreementL.B. Curzon Dictionary of Law 定义为:" consensus of minds, or evidence of such consensus, in spoken or written form, relating to anything done or to be done."是对已做和待做的有关事宜以口头或书面形式做出的相同意思表示或该意思表示的证据。

Black's Law Dictionary Agreement 下了两个定义:一个是"a concord of understanding and intention between two or more parties with respect to the effect upon their relative rights and duties, of certain past or future facts or performances,"即双方或多方就某些过去或将来事实或相关权利、义务或权利义务的履行而达成一致的理解和愿望。另一个是"The consent of two or more persons concurring respecting the transmission of some property, right, or benefits, with the view of contracting an obligation, a mutual obligation."即两个或多个当事人,为了约定单方责任或相互责任,就财产、权利、利益的移转取得的一致同意。

Contract(合同) Agreement(协议)到底能不能相互替换呢?让我们来看看英文合同相关书籍和词典的说法。Chris Turner 在其Contract Law 中是这样阐述合同的成立:"There are three key ingredients to formation (of contracts): agreement-based on mutuality over the terms, agreement exists when a valid acceptance follows a valid offer; consideration-given by both sides, the quid pro quo, and the proof that the bargain exists; intention to create legal relations-since a contract is legally enforceable, unlike mere gratuitous promises. 即合同成立的三个要件:协议(基于要约与承诺形成对条款的相互一致而存在)、约因(双方付出的对价及对价存在的证据)和设立法律关系的意愿。(合同具有法律上的执行力, 不同于纯粹的无偿赠予的允诺)这里也是用 agreement 来解释 contract 的,认为 contract(合同)是一种符合一定条件的 agreement(协议)。

在英语法律用语中虽然多用"agreement" 来解释"contract" 其实也有偶用"contract" 解释

"agreement"的情形,如:Agreement,(2) A contract (The Law Dictionary) 甚至有在同一句中交替使用的实例,如:If the contract contains an innocent mistake, you can get out of the agreement if the mistake is important. (What Should I Know About Contracts, The State Bar of California, 2 Edi. 1984), 还有更为明确的:Agreement. Synonym for Contract (Robert LeRoy & Kenneth A. Buths, Business Law and Taxes, "Glossary", 1984)

综上所述,我们不难看出,汉语的法律用语仅用协议来解释合同,而英语的法律用语往往不很严格,多用 Agreement 解释 Contract, 但也有用 Contract 解释 Agreement 的情形, 虽说大多情况Contract Agreement 有所区别,有时候两者可以作为同义词互换使用。作为具有法律意义的正式文件,两者性质上是一样的,但就广义的协议和合同来讲,还是有区别的:

从内容、条款上看,合同较为具体、详尽,着眼于微观,而协议则较为原则、粗疏,致力于宏观。实践中往往合作方就某一项目达成协议对有关原则问题作出约定,然后在此基础上签订合同, 再全面明确各项具体的细节。

从涉及范围上看,合同的标的往往比较单一集中,也很明确;通常都是一事一议,就事论事, 而协议的标的往往比较广泛;一项大型项目的协议往往包括或分解成若干个具体的合同。

从书写格式上看,合同已基本格式化了,大家可以看到许多的合同范本;而协议的格式相对灵活一些,没有什么固定的格式。

而狭义的协议和合同并无分别,只是用语上和习惯上的称呼而已。

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