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Sie wollen in London einen Dauerauftrag einrichten, eine Einzugsermächtigung stornieren oder Staatsanleihen kaufen? Don't panic: Hier kommt der Crashkurs in Financial English.
Sie wollen in London einen Dauerauftrag einrichten, eine Einzugsermächtigung stornieren oder Staatsanleihen kaufen? Don't panic: Hier kommt der Crashkurs in Financial English.William Shakespeare was a wonderful poet and playwright - and a successful businessman. But the economic advice given by Polonius, one of Shakespeare's characters in Hamlet, was dubious. Talking to his son Laertes, who is about to leave home, Polonius says: "Neither a borrower nor a lender be; / For loan oft loseth both itself and friend. / And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry." Look first at the words "lend" and "borrow", which often cause confusion. If someone gives you money for a period of time, they lend it to you ("Could you lend me £20 until Saturday?"). In other words, they "give you a loan". If you take money from someone temporarily, you borrow it ("Could I borrow £20 until tomorrow"), or "take out a loan". The lender gives; the borrower takes (and hopefully repays).

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So Polonius is saying: "Don't borrow or lend money. If you lend money to a friend, you are likely to lose both the money and the friend. If you borrow, you will become less careful with money" ("Borgen stumpft der Sparsamkeit die Schneide"). Although lending to friends can certainly cause problems, modern economies cannot function without borrowing and lending.Your own moneyIndividuals borrow from banks, for example when they overdraw (überziehen) their current/checking account (Girokonto); they "take out an overdraft". When people buy a house, they usually take out a mortgage (Hypothek). The money you have to pay for loans (Darlehen) is the interest (Zins); the interest rate (Zinssatz) is a percentage of the loan.To pay money to someone else from your account, you can make a bank transfer (Überweisung). If you have to transfer a fixed sum regularly - such as your rent (Miete), or the interest on your mortgage - it is easiest to set up a standing order (Dauerauftrag). If you give an organisation permission to take variable amounts from your account - for example, to pay your phone bill - you set up a direct debit (Einzugsermächtigung).To find out how much money you have on your account, you can look at your bank statement (Kontoauszug). This will tell you whether you are in the red (in den roten Zahlen) or in the black; that is, whether you are in credit (im Haben/Plus) or in debit (im Soll/Minus). To withdraw money (Geld abheben) from your account, you can use a cashpoint/cash machine/cash dispenser (Geldautomat; US: automated teller machine or ATM).Your company's moneyCompanies also need money to finance their activities. There are several forms of company finance, including debt (Schulden), such as corporate bonds (Unternehmensanleihen); and shares/stocks/equities (Aktien). The people who buy shares are the shareholders (Aktionäre), the owners of the company. Usually, shares are traded on the stock market (Börse); in financial reporting, stock markets are often called "bourses".Companies raise finance (Finanzierung besorgen) in the hope that the rate of return or yield (Rendite) will be higher than the interest they have to pay. This return can be measured in many ways, including the return on sales (Umsatzrendite) and return on investment (ROI; Kapitalrendite). Ultimately, companies aim to make a profit (Gewinn), to be profitable (rentabel). Company profits are usually called "earnings".Companies publish their annual results in their profit and loss account/statement (Gewinn- und Verlustrechnung). The company balance sheet (Bilanz), on the other hand, shows all the company's assets (Aktiva, Vermögen) and liabilities (Passiva, Verbindlichkeiten) at a certain date.Your country's moneyGovernments also borrow money, usually in the form of bonds (Staatsanleihen), also known in Britain as gilt-edged securities or gilts (gilt-edged = mit Goldschnitt; securities = Wertpapiere). The total debt of a government is the national debt (Staatsschuld). It is hard to imagine what Shakespeare and Polonius would think of all this modern lending and borrowing. Maybe they would accept that All's Well That Ends Well.Ian McMaster ist Chefredakteur des Englisch-Magazins Business Spotlight.
mailto:i.mcmaster@spotlight-verlag.de
In der nächsten Ausgabe: Accents of English
Dieser Artikel ist erschienen am 23.06.2004