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Issues of Translating ‘handa’ and ‘hayeoya handa’ in Korean Statutes: Focusing on the Possibility of Using Shall in the English Translation of Korean Statutes

Yoo, Jeong Ju 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study explores the issues of translating ‘handa’ and ‘hayeoya handa’ in Korean statutes, which typically express declarations and obligations in Korean legal speech acts. Traditionally, ‘handa’ and ‘hayeoya handa’ in Korean statutes have all been translated by using modal auxiliary ‘shall’, regardless of their intended illocutionary forces. This was possible because ‘shall’ has been widely used in expressing constitutive rules and other declarative forces, as well as expressing obligations in English statutes. However, due to the Plain Language Legislation adopted by many common law countries, ‘must’ and present indicatives are rapidly replacing ‘shall’ for expressing obligations(ordering) and declaratives. This change requires Korean legal translators to distinguish declarations and obligations in legislative acts and translate them using different performative markers. In order to identify possible obstacles in distinguishing obligations and declaratives and other factors that make it hard for translators to determine illocutionary forces of Korean legislative provisions, this paper conducts a case study of a Korean law to analyze its illocutionary forces and performative markers and compares their translations with a British statute corpus of 750 thousand words, with reference to the legislative drafting guidelines of EU and common law countries.

Citation status

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