Agree/coordinate/reconcile

mindiola

Senior Member
Lithuanian
Hi, everyone!!

I need your help so much!! I don't know which one of the following words

  • agree
  • coordinate
  • reconcile

may be used in the context I will try to describe below.

Let's say I have to sign a contract with a company. The company sends me a draft contract. I am not satisfied with it and make some comments and ask to change some terms and conditions, etc. The company then says: OK, we can change clauses 2, 3 and 6 as you like, but there is no way we can change clause 9. To which I reply, that it's OK. Or let's say my boss asked me to prepare some kind of business strategy. I did as I was asked and presented my first version to my superior who then asked me to change certain clauses and give him the second/better version. How can I call this procedure in English?? Did we coordinate the contract/document or reconcile it? Or maybe both of these words simply do not suit here and there is entirely different term? My dictionary is not very helpful this time :(


I would be very grateful for any help!!
 
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  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    If an initial contract contains inconsistencies, you can reconcile the clauses in which these inconsistencies occur. The result will be mutually acceptable conditions (i.e. conditions that are agreeable to both parties).
    But you are describing a process of agreeing amendments to a contract. I know of no special name for this process.
    In the case of the business strategy, you are revising or making changes to certain clauses. You are not reconciling or coordinating them.

    We are talking about some process of agreement. But I suggest you make up a sentence in which you want to use your "problem" verb to see whether it fits.
     

    mindiola

    Senior Member
    Lithuanian
    OK, but what if there are no compromises? Let's say, I present a draft document to one person (superior), he/she says: "it is ok. Now take this document to Mr. X and Mrs. Y". And both of them says that it is OK. In my language we have only one word for both of these situation (the situations I described previously and the situation I gave you now). Is there a word in English which means either that the document was amended several times before signing or was signed at the very first time?
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I can't imagine there will be one word which will have these two meanings.

    The end result of the two processes is the same - the document was agreed upon. So why not simply use the word 'agreed'?
     

    mindiola

    Senior Member
    Lithuanian
    Thank you both so much. I was thinking about "agree" but was not completely sure. Below are real sentences in which I must use this very verb. For now I write "agree".

    Each draft contract must be agreed by respective employees who comment the draft contract or attach their seal to the document without any comments.
    The person who prepared the draft contract must agree the document with the persons named below.
    Only a fully agreed contract may be signed.


    In this specific case the process takes place within the same company, i.e. employees must get approval of other employees of the same company.

    Do you find this word suitable here?

    Thanks so much again!
     

    Anakonda

    New Member
    Russian
    Mindiola, I see what you mean, as in Russian we do have this verb combining all these meanings in one word, and I often have the same problem when translating it from Russian into English as it is not 100% equal to agree, compromise, negotiate, etc. :(
     

    mindiola

    Senior Member
    Lithuanian
    Anakonda, so you must understand how depressing this is :D In Russian this verb is согласовать. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Each draft contract must be agreed by respective employees who comment on the draft contract or attach their seal to the document without any comments.

    The person who prepared the draft contract must agree the document with the persons named below.

    Only a fully agreed contract may be signed.
    :thumbsup: These all sound fine to me. It would have been useful to see these sentences earlier. ;)
     

    mindiola

    Senior Member
    Lithuanian
    Sorry, I thought that these sentences alone will not explain my problem, so I tried to explain my situation by giving several different contexts :D But I only made it all worse, because, as I know now, in English there is no universal word like in Lithuanian and Russian that includes all these aspects. So it all depends on the specific context. Thank you all SO MUCH. You saved my day!!!
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Each draft contract must be agreed by the respective employees who comment the draft contract or attach their seal to the document without any comments.
    The person who prepared the draft contract must agree the document with the persons named below.
    Only a fully agreed contract may be signed.
    Agreed is probably the best compromise! Certain languages force one to use one word to cover several possibilies, e.g. negotiate, sign off, check out, reconcile. The same problem described here is found in Swedish.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Don't worry - unsurprisingly, we use the same word in my language - I mean, the same as the one you use in Russian; sounds almost the same. :D

    I use different English words to translate it in different situations - mostly agree(d) and agree(d) upon, but sometimes also endorse, approve, etc. No one has ever noticed. :)
     

    Anakonda

    New Member
    Russian
    Boozer, you are right, in some cases "approve" helps me out as well :)

    By the way, concerning Only a fully agreed contract may be signed and the like: shouldn't it be a full agreed upon contract?
     

    mindiola

    Senior Member
    Lithuanian
    Boozer, you are right, in some cases "approve" helps me out as well :)

    By the way, concerning Only a fully agreed contract may be signed and the like: shouldn't it be a full agreed upon contract?

    Anakonda, I am not sure. Maybe native speakers could comment on this aspect. Maybe there is a difference between those two.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Only a contract fully agreed upon
    Only a fully agreed contract
    Only a full agreed-upon contract - :( clumsy, but tells me that the contract is full, not that it is fully agreed upon; the thing is I am a lot more inclined to use 'agreed upon' is post-modification, rather than before the noun.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    (a) Each draft contract must be agreed by respective employees who comment the draft contract or attach their seal to the document without any comments.
    (b) The person who prepared the draft contract must agree the document with the persons named below.
    (c) Only a fully agreed contract may be signed.
    First of all, as other native speakers have already indicated, it is perfectly correct to use the verb 'to agree' in this transitive sense. The word 'on' is not needed.

    The question, however, is whether 'agree' is an appropriate term in these sentences.
    'To agree a contract' means simply to give it your approval and consent: your final acceptance.

    If I understand correctly, each of the sentences refers to a distinct stage in the process.
    If I understand the process, it is as follows:

    One person prepares a draft contract.
    The contract is submitted to the employees concerned, who either agree it as it stands, or submit the alterations they require.
    The original drafter must now negotiate with those who have requested alterations.
    Only when the contract has been agreed by all parties can it be signed.

    Is that a correct understanding of the process?
     
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    Anakonda

    New Member
    Russian
    I guess only mindiola can say if you've got it right or not, but the problem is that in most cases all these stages are named with one word in Russian and, as it has turned out, in Lithuanian and Bulgarian as well. I don't know if it's just the same with other translators in other countries but in Russia in most cases translators are asked to use unified terms throughout one text if it's a legal paper. That means that one Russian word should be translated with one and the same English word (where possible) to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes between the parties speaking different languages. That means that if you use "agree" in one paragraph you'd better use it in the rest of the paragraphs as well. And that is the problem, as - as you have noted - the process is described with different English verbs at different stages. Probably, "agree" is really the best one to cover all the meanings as closely as possible.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    It seems to be really a translation problem, which could be discussed in the Russian forum.

    If it is necessary to combine more than one meaning in each sentence, then one way to do that is to use two words together each time: 'negotiate and agree'. This covers the two elements: working towards acceptable contract terms (negotiating) and expressing final acceptance (agreeing).
     

    Anakonda

    New Member
    Russian
    Thank you, wandle, I like the idea of using two words to complete each other! :thumbsup:
    Mindiola, pardon me for using your thread to discuss my "translation problem", I hope it will be useful for you too ;)
     

    tomtombp

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Initially I thought that we don't have a universal word for that either but after looking up the Russian word I found that we do.
    Then I looked up the English equivalent. Collate and liaise might describe the process in question. Waiting for native speakers opinion.
     

    mindiola

    Senior Member
    Lithuanian
    The question, however, is whether 'agree' is an appropriate term in these sentences.
    'To agree a contract' means simply to give it your approval and consent: your final acceptance.

    If I understand correctly, each of the sentences refers to a distinct stage in the process.
    If I understand the process, it is as follows:

    One person prepares a draft contract.
    The contract is submitted to the employees concerned, who either agree it as it stands, or submit the alterations they require.
    The original drafter must now negotiate with those who have requested alterations.
    Only when the contract has been agreed by all parties can it be signed.

    Is that a correct understanding of the process?
    Not necessarily there must be any alterations. Most often, I think, documents are approved as they are (or at least with minor alterations). It is important, to have in mind that all those persons involved have the same interests (the interests of the same company they work for). The main idea is that all management/administrative levels of the company (employees responsible) must be familiarized with the contract and give their approval (or suggest corrections/alterations required). So the aim of this entire process is to get all necessary approvals of other employees in question (usually top management), so that everyone is happy with the final version of the contract to be submitted to and signed by another company/person. The whole point is to prepare the best final version, most suitable for the company. I don't know if I explained clearly :) I'll try with some examples :D again :D

    Let's say, there is a small company (let's name it CONFUSION :D) which has a director, secretary, accountant and a few other employees. So, Confusion decides to purchase some equipment and finds the most suitable supplier. The director asks the secretary to prepare a draft contract. The secretary does as told. But the director, of course, must see what is written in the contract. So, the secretary must submit the draft contract to the director. The director then reads it and gives his/her approval or asks to make some changes required. The secretary does as told and then the draft contract is submitted to the supplier. Supplier reads the contract and negotiates on some terms. The secretary then must forward the draft contract commented by the supplier to the director. And the process starts all over again. The problem is that the process within the company and the process between the companies is defined with one word in Lithuanian. So, sentences A and B refer to the process within the company while sentence C may refer to the both processes (within the company and between the companies).


    P. S. Anakonda, I am not angry at all :) Lithuanian and Russian have a lot in common, so your opinion and experience is also very helpful :)
     
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