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Use of register

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There is always more than one way of saying something!! Be aware of the difference register can make to what you say, and be aware of which register you are using.



If you are interpreting into a foreign language, the correct use of a variety of registers will be one of the most difficult things for you to master. For practical purposes it will often come down to a choice of two registers (formal and less formal) for the non-native speaker.

Have a look at the examples below where you will find pairs of synonymous phrases in the left and right-hand columns. These examples are taken from David Walker's excellent Committee Guide, a thematic and lexical handbook for interpreters working in the European Parliament and other institutions. Click here to see more of it.



actively considering thinking about it
afford an opportunity give a chance
and indeed and
as matters stand the way things are
at an early date soon
at their earliest convenience soon
bereft of without any
brought fully to the attention take up with
came to recognise realised
carries with it involves
conspicuous by its absence not there
consonant with in keeping
debarred from prevented
decline their invitation say no
have an opportunity be able
don't think it differs very markedly much the same
drew a positive response was welcomed
endeavouring trying
express my gratitude thank
far in excess of much more than
have shown no indication don’t seem to
fortified encouraged
have other ideas disagree
I am reminded I remember
I have in my possession I have
in readiness preparing for
indicate a willingness say they will
initiate urgent discussions get on to
it was for that reason that was why
it's my intention I intend
likely patterns forecast
little to tell them apart similar
made statements said things
make common cause join forces
make alternative arrangements do something else
make available provide
make representations protest
nigh on nearly
no dearth plenty
on day one of accession as soon as they join
omits to mention doesn't say
persist in efforts keep trying
put a statement out issue a press release
secure an accommodation get an agreement
seek a response ask for a reply
set them alongside compare
7 or 8, no-one really knows 7 or 8
should acquaint themselves find out about
some but not all some
taken in conjunction together with
that puts one in mind that reminds me
their phrase for how they describe
therefore seeks leave to asks permission
under debate being discussed
use their best endeavours try their best
we're ad idem on we agree
wishes to wants to
would do well to ought to


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