I'm attempting to translate a notarial certificate to Chinese, but it contains this curious sentence at the start:

To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting

According to ELU, this is basically a fancy salutation, like "to whom it may concern", but because this is so formal, and possibly carrying legal weight, I'm reluctant to translate it simply. Is there a suitably proper Chinese translation of this phrase?

Just for fun, I tried Google and Baidu's machine translations, which were so hilarious I had to share:

Google: 要所有人都为之这些礼物要来,问候

Baidu: 给所有这些礼物的人,问候

1 Answer 1


This sentence construction has roots in Common Law, and indeed some care should be taken when translating it in full. For example, one of the answers in the ELU link notes that these presents is a legal term for "this document".

As for the phrase itself, Chinese Wikipedia has a handy footnote about the phrase:

这两句都有两个to而且合乎文法,关系代名词whom前面写to是老式文法,现代英文关系代名词一般直接接在all后面,to移至动词come后方,“To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting”即“To all whom these presents shall come to, Greeting”,come to意为‘涉及’,presents意为‘文件’,“To all whom these presents shall come to, Greeting”意为‘致本文件所涉及之诸位,各位好:’;‘致本文件相关各方,大家好:’

So you can translate using:

  • 致本文件所涉及之诸位,各位好 or
  • 致本文件相关各方,大家好
  • I have no idea about the legal correctness but 涉及 seems to refer to people mentioned in the document instead of those to whom the document is presented, also the repetition of 位 in the first sentence bothers my ears. I would prefer the 2nd translation.
    – NS.X.
    Aug 20, 2015 at 20:34

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