Approaching an Economic Text

Many economic texts are built up on a balance between two agents, each represented by a number of key-words; thus you can have, on the one hand, actif patrimoine, entrée, recettes, revenu, dépôt, avoirs, credit etc., depending sometimes on whether you are looking at them from the lender's or the borrower's point of view; on the other hand, passif, dette, perte, exigibilités, investissement, placement etc. Or it may be between État, gouvernement, budget and fonction publique on the one hand, and, on the other, Commissariat général au Plan, Commission des Comptes and comptes de la nation. You are pursuing two thin threads, sometimes intertwined sometimes disentangling, going through the whole text.

Peter Newmark (1993) Paragraphs on Translation, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, p. 35.

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