Translation of Law Term: As Of

We always come across the law term “as of”. To translate this term correctly, we need to understand its meaning thoroughly.


1) The new contract takes effect as of July 1.

Translation : 新合同七月一日起生效。

Comment: 这里用“起”一词是不对的。原文的意思是“在七月一日(on July 1)”,虽然从法律效力上来看和从七月一日(as if it was from July 1)是一样的,但是原文的意思不是“自七月一日起(starting from July and then thereafter)”。

2) Notification letters had been delivered to 19 persons as of mid-July.

Translation: 七月中旬以来,已向19人发出通知。

Commend: as of mid-July不是“七月中旬以来”的意思,而是“到(或截止)七月中旬(by the middle of July)”或“在七月中旬(at the middle of July)”的意思。

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3) The representations of selling shareholders shall be true at and as of the closing date as though such representation were made at and as of such time.

Translation: 从事经销的股东的陈述,要使之到了结算期时其真实一如在结算期作出的一样。

Commend: 中文译文有几个问题。“selling”shareholders不是“从事经销”的意思,而是出售股份的意思,“selling shareholders”是“出售股份的股东”。译文把“as of”说成“如…一样”,实际上是回避了“as of”的问题。第一个“as of”应足以表示法律虚构的概念,即说某件事情在某个日期发生(实际上没有在这一天发生)或被推定或被认为在那个日子发生,然而句子里又用了“as though”和“as if”反复重复同一个概念。这种起草法律文书的英语,翻译起来会很困难。

4) Termination of this agreement shall cancel, as of the date the termination shall become effective, all orders that may not have been shipped.

Translation: 本协议终止时,于终止生效之日起,停止一切尚未装运的订货。

Commend: 把“as of”译成“于……之日起”是不对的,它的意思不是“从那个日子(from the date)”。“as of the date”的意思是在终止之日(on the date of termination)而不是从终止之日(from the date of termination)。

5) The representations and warranties of Transferee contained herein shall be true and accurate on and as of the Closing Date with the same force and effect as though made on and as of the Closing Date…

Translation: 本协议内载明的转让方的声明和保证,在本协议签字当日在所有实质方面均为真实、准确,且在成交当日在所有实质方面均为真实、准确,如同该等声明和保证是在成交当日所作声明和保证…。

Commend: 这里的关键是这一部分“on and as of the Closing Date with the same force and effect as though made on and as of the Closing Date”译文把“on and as of the Closing Date”译成“在成交当日”。这里的英文本身是有缺陷的,因为这里有三层法律虚构,是重复的,不必要的。不过译文还是表达了原意。

“From”与“on”之间可能有很大的差别。举一个例子,一份协议从英文译成中文。协议里提到“the amount of principal and interest outstanding as of January 1, 1999”。(“在1999年1月1日未偿还的本金和利息数额”和“自1999年1月1日起至现在未偿还的本金和利息数额”和“自1999年1月1日起至现在未偿还的本金和利息数额”,这两者的差别会是巨大的。)英文“as of January 1, 1999”的含义是“在1999年1月1日未偿还的…”

在用英文起草法律文件时,使用(as of)应当很谨慎,不要出现重复的现象。如果用中文起草就不会有这个问题,中文没有这种用法。如果从英文译成中文,可能就有困难。究竟怎么译好?在正常情况下,如果一份英文合同说“[it is]‘effective as of a certain date’”,我们应把它译成“[本合同]于某年某月某日生效。在其他情况下,准确的翻译可能有所不同。

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