Sunday, September 16, 2007

Translation of Local Legal Terms: New Article

Feiren alerted me to the work of veteran translator Paul Cox, who teaches translation at the local universities. Cox has produced a wonderful piece on translating local legal terms into English, which is up at the Winkler Partners website. A taste:

The lack of authoritative translation guidelines is reflected in the inconsistent English names by which individual laws have been known in the past. For example, Taiwan's basic corporate governance law, the Company Act, has historically been referred to by various names in English, including the "Company Law," "Company Act," and "Corporate Statute." This kind of inconsistent terminology is already widely scattered across the Internet, compounding the potential for further confusion.

2003 Legal Translation Guidelines

The prospects for consistent English terminology in translating Taiwanese law brightened when the first (and as of today still the only) official guidelines relating to English legal translation were issued through a formal letter by Taiwan's Executive Yuan (Cabinet) on 3 July 2003. These brief guidelines (entitled the Table of Standard English Translations of Legislative Nomenclature and referred to as the Table of Standard Translations below) specify standard nomenclature to be used in the translated names of, and in citations to, Taiwanese legislation. The Table of Standard Translations is critical to the English translation of Taiwanese law, so I introduce some key terminology from the Table and related concepts below.
Winkler has many meaty articles like this up in the review section of their new web site.

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