English-Chinese legal translation/Rechtsübersetzung Chinesisch-Englisch

Slaw – which describes itself as a co-operative weblog about Canadian legal research and IT, etc. – kindly gave me a mention, and in connection with that I found a reference to a book on legal translation that has not yet appeared in North America but may have just appeared in Europe: Translating Law, by Deborah Cao. The table of contents may be seen on that site as a PDF file.

The book investigates legal translation in its many facets as an intellectual pursuit and a profession. It examines legal translation from an interdisciplinary perspective, covering theoretical and practical grounds and linguistic as well as legal issues. It analyses legal translation competence and various types of legal texts including contracts, statutes and multilateral legal instruments, presents a comparative analysis of the Common Law and the Civil Law and examines the case law from Canada, Hong Kong and the European Court of Justice.

One thing that strikes me about academic books on legal translation is that there is a lot of space given to the translation of statutes, which is something I tend to think is a bit outside the usual translation scenario, because it’s got as much to do with drafting as translating. Susan Sarcevic’s book has that emphasis too. It’s probably easier to do research on bilingual legislation too. But I will have to see the book to judge that.

Meanwhile, I had just skimmed an interesting article on Chinese legal translation: Translated Chinese as a legal language in Hong Kong legislationClara Ho-yan Chan, Instituto Politécnico de Macau. It’s largely about the translation of the Sale of Goods Act into Chinese.

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