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A Study on the Translation of Legal Texts

Kim Do-hun 1 손수연 1

1부산외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Demand for the translation of legal texts is on the rise, with Korea’s elevated status. Legal translation needs to be more accurate than any other text and plays a special role in regulating the society. Therefore, legal translators should recognize the features of legal texts and employ optimal translation strategies. This study aims to explore the features of legal language/sentences and the functions of legal texts. Based on a clear understanding, the paper deals with the strategies to translate legal texts. Specifically, this study touches on the characteristics and types of legal language and explores the conventional practices in the use of legal sentences of both English and Korean. It presents two major functions of legal texts: descriptive and normative. The functions, however, can be changed by translation purpose, i.e. normative legal documents can become descriptive when they are translated for research, not for legal effect. This paper introduces and compares three researchers’ translation strategies, and claims that transposition; expansion and reduction; and modulation are the most “appropriate” strategies. The author hopes this study will contribute to triggering further discussion on the translation of legal texts and to presenting guidelines for those in the translation profession.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.