Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Translation

The Translation of English Legal Texts Based on Functional Equivalence Theory

Author YuYinLei
Tutor DongXiaoBo
School Nanjing Normal University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords legal English legal texts functional equivalence legal translation
CLC H315.9
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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As a means of legal communication, the translation of legal texts has played an increasingly important role in our globalized world. It is a fact that translating legal texts from English to Chinese is not a mechanical process of transcoding English into Chinese, but a double operation consisting of both interlingual and legal transfer. Translators will inevitably go across the barriers of language and law, which is a great challenge for them. Accordingly, it is necessary to look at translation of English legal texts from an interdisciplinary perspective, exploring the linguistic and legal aspects of translation.Firstly, different from common English, legal English is a technical language with its distinguished characteristics in terms of lexis and syntax. The knowledge of the linguistic features of English legal texts is beneficial to the understanding of the source texts and then helps to improve the quality of the legal translation. Secondly, legal texts are intended to serve a specific function. The ideal translation of legal texts delivers the exact intention of source texts producers, (i.e. legislators, judges, lawyers and so on) to the readers of target texts, in which case the legal content and legal effect in target texts are dually equivalent to those of source version. Due to the linguistic, cultural and legal differences, the problem of equivalence has always been one of the most prominent issues of linguistic and translation studies. With regard to the nature of translation, Nida’s functional equivalence theory has put great emphasis on the communicative function, which is instructive in the practice of legal translation. Thirdly, the translation of legal texts demands profound knowledge on two languages and legal systems, as well as proficient translation skills on the part of the translators.Setting the tone for the interdisciplinary nature, this thesis provides the leading features of legal English, constructs a theoretical framework of functional equivalence and explores some effective translation strategies. It is hope that it will shed some light on legal translation both theoretically and practically so as to promote the legal communication between different languages and legal cultures.

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