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A Contrastive Study Of Two English Versions Of The P.R.C. Insurance Law

Posted on:2003-08-31Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:D H ZhongFull Text:PDF
GTID:2156360092481453Subject:Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
The present thesis conducts a detailed contrastive study on two English versions of the Insurance Law of the People's Republic China. The thesis represents an attempt to apply Peter Newmark's translation theory to legal translation as well as to formulate the criteria for legal translation and propose some practical translation techniques.The thesis consists of three chapters and a conclusion. Chapter One is an introduction to translation theory. Its first section offers definitions of "translation" by various scholars, and the second is a review of translation theories, including current western translation theories and present Chinese translation studies, aiming to explain that the translation theory is important and should be employed to guide the translation practice. Then, Newmark's theory, especially his communicative and semantic translation, is introduced. Emphasis is placed on the differences between the two methods, and the basic principle of applying Newmark's theory to legal translation, that is, semantic translation supplemented by communicative translation, is advocated in legal document translation.Chapter Two is a survey of linguistic characteristics of the English used in insurance laws. The lexical features include the use of terms of the art, archaic words, words of Latin and French origins, words used in coordination, and the modal verb "shall". With regard to syntactic features, this chapter demonstrates the basic sentence pattern of legal English. It shows that complicated and flexible adverbial modifiers make possible long, involved sentences in legal English. After that, textual features, such as cohesion and information distribution are analyzed.The main body of the thesis is Chapter Three, in which the author conducts a detailed contrastive study on the two English versions. To judge whether a rendition is superior to the other calls for specific criteria, and while speaking of translation criteria, no one would fail to mention Yan Fu's "faithfulness, expressiveness and elegance". Nevertheless, legal English belongs to a special category, so at the beginning of this chapter, the criteria of the legal translation, that is, formalness, accuracy, conciseness and readability, are tentatively proposed, which constitute theframework for this contrastive study.Stylistically speaking, formalness is the most conspicuous feature of legal language and it is exhibited by the use of technical terms, archaic words and formal words. Abundant examples in this section show that employment of these words makes the rendition stylistically prominent.Accuracy is the fundamental feature of legal English and this section discusses ways to secure accuracy in legal translation, e.g. avoiding using a seeming counterpart, guarding against misuse, handling words with cultural information and arranging the modifiers appropriately, using "shall" and prepositions correctly, trying to differentiate nuances of word meaning and achieve semantic completion. All these help to produce a translation that is semantically equivalent to the original.Conciseness draws more and more attention in the legal circle. The author contrasts different treatments by two versions of the original, and concludes that effective means to achieve conciseness include eliminating semantic redundancy, using a word to replace a phrase, omitting one of the verbs, etc.The author makes an exploration into the possibility of improving the readability of translation, which is rarely discussed in legal translation. He holds that communicative translation can help to improve the readability of the translated text, for it aims to make the rendition as clear, smooth and idiomatic as possible. Meanwhile, some practical translation techniques are discussed from the perspectives of addition, collocation, modification, sentence pattern, cohesion, information arrangement, and adaptation to the thinking mode.Finally, a conclusion is drawn that both semantic translation and communicative translation play an important role in legal translat...
Keywords/Search Tags:semantic translation, communicative translation, legal English
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