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Translating The Terms Of Legal English From Cross-Cultural Perspective

Posted on:2010-05-26Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:C S WenFull Text:PDF
GTID:2166360275460421Subject:Legal Translation Theory and Practice
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Legal English, in terms of linguistics, is a functional variety of English with a specific vocabulary based on the common core of the English language, which is formed and used in the activities of legislation and judicature. Like the other legal languages, legal English has a series of special terms, which help solidify the corresponding concepts and reinforce the typical characteristics of its legal system or structure. Therefore, correct translation of legal terms often determines the quality of the whole translation of legal documents. However, correct translation of legal terms is not easy, which involves many factors. The most important factor is cultural elements in both the source language society and target language society. It is with cultural effects on translation in mind that the author embarks on this seemingly easy but in fact very difficult undertaking—the study of cultural effects on translation of legal terms. This paper begins with a brief survey of the definition of culture and a general relationship between culture and language as well as translation, and then focuses on the legal culture and its influence on legal translation from four aspects: the dissemination of western legal culture in China, the British and American legal system, the Chinese legal system and legal conceptual problems. Upon analyzing characteristics of the terms of legal English, the author takes several examples to further illustrate the applicability of cross-cultural translation from the understanding stage in the source language and the expression stage in the target language. In addition, due to different legal culture and legal system, in order to seek functional equivalents in target language, the author puts forward three translation methods: 1) use of corresponding terms directly in case of near equivalence; 2) use of lexical expansion in case of partial equivalence and 3) use of paraphrase, neutral terms, borrowing or neologism in case of non-equivalence together with three translation principles—transparency, consistency and succinctness by employing Sarcevic's theory of equivalence.The cross-cultural translation approach is employed in translation of legal terms, which is of great practical and theoretical significance. When we treat foreign legal documents, this approach can guide us to better understand legal terms in the source language and find functional equivalents in the target language in the specific cultural context. This approach also can facilitate the communication and fusion of different legal culture all over the world. It is hoped that more resources are available for further studies and that the cultural elements affecting translation can be further explored and enriched.
Keywords/Search Tags:Cultural Effects, Legal Translation, Legal Culture, Legal System, Equivalence
PDF Full Text Request
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