The Chinese Translation of Long and Complicated Sentences in English Legal Texts
随着中国加入WTO,对外经贸往来不可避免地日益增多，各种相关的法律文件 也发挥着越来越重要的作用。由于英语是世界通用的语言，英文法律文件也成为全 球使用范围最广、使用频率最高的法律文件。与此同时，中国作为世界一极，地位 不断上升，中文法律文件也日趋重要。
鉴于中外语言、文化及法律体系方面的差异客观存在，为便于法律文件的各有 关方能够进行准确、有效的理解与沟通，对法律文件进行翻译的必要性和重要性日 渐凸显。
然而，国内对于汉外法律文件互译(包括英汉互译)规律性的认识和研究尚存 在着一定差距。同时，由于汉、英两种语言本身就有较大差异，中国作为大陆法系 国家与英美法系国家在文化和法律体系方面的差异也非常显著，所有这些因素使得 英文法律文件的汉译成为难度最大的翻译种类之一；其中的复杂长句更成为影响译 文质量的瓶颈。
本文从以上客观现实和需要出发，结合作者自身的从业经验，详细分析了英文 法律文本和其中复杂长句的特点，列举了汉、英两种语言之间的差异，论证了翻译 时应采取的策略，即宏观上采取异化翻译策略，适当辅之以归化翻译；并进而提出 了相应的翻译方法，以期对法律文本翻译的研究和实践有所裨益。
本文共分六章。作为引论，第一章介绍了本篇论文的理论基础和研究方法，即 关于专业用途语言(LSP)的理论以及由德国学者卡瑟瑞娜.莱斯提出的文本类型 学；文中采用了对比分析、案例研究等研究方法；第二章对英美法系国家和中国的 法律翻译历史进行了简要回顾；第三章重点分析了法律文本及法律英语的一般性特 点，阐述了法律翻译的标准和基本原则，由此将法律文本与其他文本加以区分并说 明了法律文本的特殊性所在；第四章进而以实例分析了英文法律文本中复杂长句的 特点，这是译员在做法律翻译时所面临的一个巨大挑战；针对前述特点，第五章提 出了翻译英文法律文本中复杂长句的策略和方法；作为结语，第六章对本文中所进 行的主要论述进行了总结，并建议对该领域进行进一步的研究。
关键词：法律文本法律翻译 复杂长句 翻译策略 翻译方法
With China’s entry into the WTO, the economic and business intercourse between China and foreign countries is inevitably on the increase, various relevant legal documents are playing more and more important roles. As English is the language which is most widely used all over the world, English legal documents also become the legal documents that are most widely and frequently adopted. In the meantime, with the rising status of China as a polar of the world, Chinese legal documents are becoming increasingly important.
In view of the differences between China and foreign countries in terms of languages, cultures and/or legal systems, it is quite necessary and important to produce translations of legal documents to facilitate the correct understanding and effective communications between the related parties of the legal documents.
However, there still exists certain gap in the understanding and studies of China in the laws governing the two-way translation of Chinese and foreign legal documents (including the English-Chinese two-way translation). Given the great differences in Chinese and English languages as well as the disparities existing between China, as a country with civil law system, and the countries with common law system in terms of culture and legal system, the translation of English legal documents into Chinese falls into one of the most difficult kinds of translation, the long and complicated sentences contained in the English legal documents in particular constitute bottlenecks which may make or ruin a good translation.
With a view to making minor contributions to the studies in this field, this thesis sets out from the above facts and necessities, makes detailed analyses of the characteristics of legal texts and features of the long and complicated sentences contained therein, demonstrates the translation strategy which shall be adopted in doing such translation, i.e. taking foreignization as the leading strategy and appropriate domestication as the supplementary strategy and further proposes the corresponding methods of doing such translation.
This thesis consists of six chapters. As an introduction, Chapter One provides the theoretical basis and research methodology of this study, namely, the theory of LSP (language for special purposes) and text typology proposed by German scholar Kartherina Reiss. A number of research methods are employed such as comparative analysis, case study, etc. Chapter Two presents brief historical surveys of legal translation both in countries with common law system and in China. Chapter Three focuses on the general features of legal texts and legal English and sets out the criteria and fundamental principles regarding legal translation, distinguishing legal texts from other texts and demonstrating why legal translation is special. Chapter Four goes a step further and identifies the features of long and complicated sentences in English legal texts, one of the greatest challenges confronting translators in doing legal translations. With this in mind, Chapter Five proposes the strategies and corresponding methods to be employed in translating complicated sentences in English legal texts. The concluding remarks in Chapter Six serve to summarize the main discussions in this thesis and make suggestions for further studies in this field.
Key words: legal texts legal translation long and complicated sentences translation strategy methods
After numerous revisions and adjustments, this thesis finally came into being. Upon its completion, my appreciation first goes to Professor Yu Lijun, who has given me kind encouragement and guidance throughout the whole writing process. Without his painstaking instructions and valuable comments, this paper could not have taken shape. His extensive knowledge and serious attitude toward learning impress me deeply.
Pd also like to take this opportunity to express my thankfulness to the three Professors during my defence of the thesis proposal, who had given careful consideration to my thesis proposal and valuable suggestions for later writing.
The teachers who ever gave us lectures during the three years are all worthy of my appreciation. Their painstaking work and strict requirements help me improve a lot not only in terms of knowledge scope, but also in language competence.
My thankfulness also goes to Mr. Joe Poon, who had guided me through the initial stage of my career as legal translator. He had not only reviewed many of my legal translations and given me valuable suggestions for amendments and improvements, but also lent me some useful books to increase my legal knowledge and improve my legal translation skills.
Last but not least, I*d also like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thankfulness to Ms. Li Zheng, who has been so patient, responsible and helpful throughout all these three and a half years! It is she who had made all the arrangements for me during the thesis defences process.
I really learned a great deal from the teachers as mentioned above, their efforts are essential to make this thesis a better work. The experience gained from this thesis-writing process is meaningful and beneficial to all my life!
Table of Contents
Chapter One Theoretical Basis and Research Methodology 1
- Theoretical Basis: Special-purpose Texts and Translation-oriented
- Research Methodology 3
- A Historical Survey of Legal Translation in Continental Europe 6
- A Brief Survey of Legal Translation in China 8
- Features of Legal Texts 10
- F eatures of Legal English 13
- Legal translation 18
- Origin, Function and General Features of Complicated Sentences 23
- Specific Features of Complicated Sentences in English Legal Texts 24
- Types of Complicated Sentences in Legal English 33
- The Long Sentence Organized in a Vine-like Structure 33
- The Long Sentence Developed Progressively 35
- The Long Sentence Organized in Juxtaposed Compound Structures 35
- Translation Strategy 37
- Translation Methods 44
Chapter Six Conclusion 52
- Significance of This Study 52
- Limitations and Suggestions 53
Chapter One Theoretical Basis and Research Methodology
- Theoretical Basis: Special-purpose Texts and Translation-oriented Text Typology
“Text type” is one of the basic notions of typology. As J.C. Sager put it, “Text types have evolved as patterns of messages for specific communicative situations” (Trosborg, 1997: 30) It is generally known that when people communicate by writing; they are expected to conform to specific rules and regulations. Failing this, communication may turn out to be difficult or even to break down. These rules and regulations may distinguish a certain “text type” from other text types.
This is also the case in translation. Before handling the translating work, the translator should first identify the text type of the source text, based on which the translation strategies and methods to be employed could be determined to produce a corresponding target text.
Likewise, it’s also the case when translating texts of legal nature. In addition, since legal texts are subject to legal criteria, it follows that a theory concerning the translation of legal texts must take account of legal considerations. In an attempt to provide a systematic approach to legal translation, this section deals with some fundamental issues of translation theory such as the theory of special-purpose texts and translation-oriented text typology.
- Special-purpose Texts
It was not until the middle of the 20th century that some scholars began to consider beyond the linguistic level and gradually became aware that the type of a text plays a decisive role in determining how it should be translated. This led to the creation of text typologies, the first of which were based on subject-matter.
According to Schleiemacher*s classification, scientific texts included philosophical texts and texts of the humanities as well as texts of natural sciences. Later, a clear distinction
was made between literary texts, on the one hand, and technical and scientific texts, on the other. While literary texts included philosophical texts and texts of the humanities, technical texts and texts of the natural sciences were classified as technical and scientific texts. (Sarcevic, 1997: 6).
After the Second World War, Andrei Fedorov included commercial and official documents as well as technical and scientific texts in the group of special-purpose texts. At about the same time, Casagrande recognised four text types: special-purpose or pragmatic texts (as he referred to them), aesthetic-poetic texts, religious texts, and ethnographic texts. His text typology later served as the basis for Jumpifs study, one of the first post-war studies devoted to specialized translation. Classifying all special-purpose texts as pragmatic, Jumpit distinguished between four groups: technical texts, texts of the natural sciences, texts of the social sciences and other types. His group of texts of social sciences included the following fields of specialization: sociology, economics, politics, finance, and law. (Sarcevic, 1997: 6, 7) Further, Jumpit also concluded that all special-purpose texts had an informative function.
It has long been generally recognized that the primary function of Language for Special Purposes (“LSP”) is the conveyance of information and the language must be precise and direct.
- Translation-oriented Text Typology
The study of translation-oriented text typology was probably first associated with the German scholar Kartharina Reiss in the 1970s. Reiss’s classic contribution to translation studies, Translation Criticism: the Potentials & Limitations first appeared in 1971 and its English version was published in 2000.(赵东林，2006: 48-50) It is she who offered new insights into the problem of translation and provided a typology of three “pure” text types: informative, expressive and operative.
Reiss developed her typology based on the classification of language functions offered by Karl Buhler. According to Karl Buhler, language serves to represent (objectively), express
(subjectively) and appeal (persuasively). In actual pieces, there are constant combinations and overlapping. And yet as one or another of these functions becomes dominant in any given text, it becomes evident that distinguishing the three basic functions is justified: the depictive function is emphasized in content-focused texts, the expressive function is emphasized in form^focused texts, and the persuasive function is emphasized in appeal- focused texts. (Reiss, 2000: 24-25)
According to Reiss* definition, the primary function of informative text is the conveyance of knowledge and/or the description of facts. In comparison, the expressive text is characterized by its artistic nature, which emphasizes form and style. The operative text is addressed directly towards an audience in order to influence its behaviour and/or to provoke it to certain actions.
In subsequent years, Katharina Reiss further suggested specific translation methods in relation to the three text types she classified. As she put it, the methods of translating an informative text can be summarized as follows: the target text (“TT”) of an informative text should transmit the full referential or conceptual content of the source text (“ST”). The translation should be in “plain prose”, without redundancy and with the use of explication when required.(赵东林,2006: 53)
The translation-oriented text typology proposed by Reiss has attracted much attention and is repeatedly quoted, commented and criticized. However, it can not be denied that Reiss laid a foundation for the further explorations of translation-oriented text typology.
- Research Methodology
Research methodology indicates the thinking approaches of the author and affects the logic, orderliness and scientificness of the thesis as a whole. With the purpose of exploring and expounding on the English-Chinese (HE-CH) translation of long and complicated sentences in legal texts, the following research methods are adopted in this thesis:
- Comparative Analysis
- A Comparative Analysis of English and Chinese languages
The source language （HSLn） and target language （HTLn） covered in this thesis are English and Chinese respectively. As these two languages belong to different language families, more individualities rather than generalities are found between them. Although the generalities between English and Chinese ensure the feasibility of the two-way translation, their individualities require many techniques and crafts on the part of the translator in doing such translation. It is not easy to reproduce the meaning and function of the SL in the translation. In the course of meaning transfer, adjustments at various levels are, to a large extent, usually serve as necessary means.
Only after the translator has been fully acquitted with the generalities and individualities of these two languages can he/she make appropriate transfers and adjustments. In view of the above, some of the similarities and disparities between English and Chinese are presented in Chapter 5 of this thesis.
- A Comparative Analysis of English Example Sentences and Their Chinese Translations
In this thesis, about 22 pairs of examples of E-C translation with both ST and TT are cited so as to make the argumentation and opinions of the author more persuasive and to make the thesis more substantial in contents.
These 22 pairs of examples also clearly demonstrate the disparities existing in the logic order, sentence structure and word order etc. of English and Chinese languages.
- Case Study
A number of examples as mentioned above are selected from some books on legal translation, such as A Course in Translation of Legal Documents （《英汉法律翻译教 程》）,Legal Texts and Legal Translation （《法律文本与法律翻译》）,Legal Translation in Practice （《法律翻译：从实践出发》）and Legal Translation: A New Approach （《新 编英汉法律翻译教程》）.
Many examples are taken from the previous translation works of the author herself. Taking confidentiality into consideration, the sensitive constituents contained in some sample sentences are substituted by “A”, “B” or “X”, “Y”, etc.
- The Presentation Method from Generality to Individuality
The core part of this thesis is the elaboration on the Chinese translation of long and complicated sentences in English legal texts, so some basics of legal texts, legal English and legal translation are presented prior to the analyses made into the Chinese translation of complicated sentences in English legal texts.
Hence, this thesis is developed along such a line: legal texts一legal English-legal translation in general一long and complicated sentences in legal texts. The texture is clear enough to take the readers step by step to the subject matter of this thesis.
Chapter Two Literature Review
Although translations of legal documents are among the oldest and most important translations all over the world, legal translation has long been attributed with low profile in both translation and legal studies. Sarcevic also commented that, “‘Compared with the immense quantity of legal translations produced daily, the literature on legal translation is meagre indeed.” (Sarcevic: 1997, 2)
For many years, the studies in and discussions on legal translation have mainly focused on the microcosmic levels at the syntactic structures and lexical expressions, whereas the macrocosmic theoretical guidance in this regard remains inadequate. As Susan Sarcevic acknowledged that, “As a result of the importance attached to the letter of the law, most studies are devoted to the questions of terminology, while textual and pragmatic translation where even the grammatical forms and word order of the source text are retained) to protect it from heterodoxy. Moreover, both biblical and legislative texts were attributed the quality of mysteriousness.
In the early Middle Ages, national languages were still underdeveloped, as a result of which legal instruments and documents were recorded in Latin. Since lawmakers and judges were not always versed in Latin, translation was essential in both the legislative and the judicial process. According to Phillip Heck, a legal historian, strict literal translation was the rule of the day for medieval translators of legislative texts. Heck defends the use of word-for-word translation. As he put it, it was necessary to preserve the letter of the law in Latin so as to enable it to be reproduced correctly when back transited into German.
The final breakdown of Latin dominance occurred considerably later on the Continent as a result of the reception of Roman law. As the major means of achieving the goals of the language reform, translation was deemed necessary to the public, and to provide greater clarity, thereby reducing litigation and the number of interpretation errors by judges.
The struggle for the identity of national languages finally resulted in a new language consciousness which was bound to have an impact on translation as well. In the seventeenth century Pierre-Daniel Huet raised his voice and rejected strict literal translation as ‘primitive’. In his opinion, the translator must respect the basic rules of grammar and syntax in the target language, yet not ‘adulterate’ the source text by producing a free translation. Thus Huet advocated a ‘refined’ form of literal translation to increase comprehensibility while following the source text as closely as possible. Although Huet was interested mainly in literary translation, the shift to literal translation was inevitable in the field of law as well.
Literal translation still dominated the translation of legal texts well into the twentieth century.
In subsequent years, the national language consciousness finally aroused the interest of legal translators in the quality of the target text. No longer satisfied to reproduce a text that was only generally understandable to their fellow countrymen, translators began to make a conscious effort to produce a text in good German, French, Italian or whatever the target language happened to be. Without openly rejecting the traditional method of literal translation, legal translators gradually began to make greater concessions to conform to the rules of the target language.
Some scholars such as Gemar even went a step further to encourage translators to interpret legal texts by using methods of interpretation normally reserved for judges. Whereas the author is of the opinion this may go too far in that the approach Gemar proposed may most probably trigger the risk of compromising the accuracy and authenticity of the source text, which shall be absolutely refrained from. Only in circumstances where the translators have achieved considerable proficiency in law, languages (both the SL and the TL) and translation skills at the same time and can fully ensure the accuracy and authenticity of the source text, can he/she be permitted to be a legal text producer or co-drafter.
2.2 A Brief Survey of Legal Translation in China
The Chinese legal language also boasts of a long history. It is recorded that there had been relatively complete penal statutes in China in as early as Xia Dynasty (2000 B.C.). (http://wyv^vl.gdufs. edu.cn/chinaflr) However, the closed-door policy followed by the feudal China for a long time severely impeded the development of law, legal studies and consequently, legal translation, which had not been attached adequate importance until the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
On most occasions, the Chinese translators have been adhering to the principle of faithfully preserving the meaning of the ST and deem literal translation as the ideal means. For instance, Sun Wanbiao (孑小万彪)states in his book A Course in Translation of Legal Documents that, as far as the methods of doing legal translation are concerned, literal translation (the translation strictly in line with the ST) is most desirable. (2003: 7)
The author essentially agrees with the aforementioned views of most Chinese scholars. Further, she makes an attempt in proposing and demonstrating the translation strategy for doing legal translation, considering legal translation as an interlingual, intercultural and cross-legal-system communicative activity.
- Chapter Three Features of Legal Texts, Legal English and Principles of Legal Translation
Attempting to correct misconceptions about legal texts, this Chapter shows how legal texts differ from other texts and, consequently, how legal translation differs from the translation of other texts.
- Features of Legal Texts
- . Words are direct, clear and without any implied meanings, dual meanings or extended meanings, a feature which is different from literary languages and quotidian languages.
- Names, titles and/or positions rather than personal pronouns (7, you,we, etc.) are often used, for the avoidance of confusions in case that a number of parties are involved.
The insured must report the injury within 10 days or forfeits coverage.
- There exist a large number of special terminologies and names such as institution names, legal code names, etc.
- Given the seriousness and accurateness of legal documents, descriptive qualifiers are seldom used. Adjectives used in legal English are mostly those indicating extent, limitation, status, time or place, etc. so as to make the information as substantial and detailed as possible.
- Important verbs or nouns are often repeated to emphasize the purposes directly and clearly, a syntactic device to ensure clarity and precision and to avoid amt)
Whereas the shareholding company (and/or its subsidiary) has/have conducted full discussions with the above third party or undertaking party (and/or its associate) relating to the possibility of joint cooperation. In addition, the shareholding company has pursuant to the related laws, regulations and/or the Listing Rules obtained approval from the board of directors or the shareholders? meeting (if applicable), and has confirmed that it (and/or its subsidiary) has/have no plan to participate in the investment or be engaged in or operate or participate in such business opportunity, and has given written confirmation to such effect to the undertaking party, and the conditions under which the undertaking party and/or its associate ultimately participate(s) in the investment or is/are engaged in or operate(s) or participate(s) in such business opportunity shall not be superior to those conditions required by the shareholding company when taking such business opportunity into account.
- Rhetoric means such as metaphor, personification, etc. are not used.
- Declarative Sentences Account for Quite a Large Number of Sentences Contained in Legal Texts.
Different English sentence types have different functions of expression. Apparent inclination exists in the selection of sentence types in legal documents. Due to the need to accurately and objectively set out or exercise restrictions upon the rights and obligations of the parties, declarative sentences are frequently adopted for elaboration, explanation, stipulation and judgement so as to make legal languages objective, direct and plain enough.
In contrast, imperative sentences, exclamatory sentences, interrogative sentences are used on very few occasions or even never used in legal documents.
- Cleft Sentences Are often Used
- icle 10 A marriage is invalid
- One party commits bigamy;
- The two parties are blood relatives that may not be married under law;
- Either party before marriage suffered from a disease considered by medical science as rendering a person unfit for marriage and that is not cured after marriage; or
- Either party has not attained the legal age for marriage.
The advantages of this kind of form lie in that:
- Such a form may indicate the classification into the sub-class (es) clearly;
- The various circumstances of invalid marriage may be emphasized so as to adjust and relieve the pressure on the main sentence.
- .9. Passive Voice Is often Used
In many circumstances, the object of an act is to be emphasized whereas the doer is to be ignored, in other words, the solemn and serious style of legal documents and their linguistic contexts require the emphases be placed on objective facts and the interference of subjective elements be reduced, thus making the legal documents as objective and
justified as possible. In addition, the using of passive voice leaves much room for adjustments.
- Subject to this Ordinance, whenever any business is transferred, with or without the goodwill thereof, the transferee shall, notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary, become liable for all the debts and obligations, including liability for tax charged or chargeable under the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap 112), arising out of the carrying on of the business by the transfer.
Analysis: What the former part of the sentence emphasizes is the fact whenever any business is transferred (凡转让业务),hence it is not necessary to point out the transferor and the transferee.(〃奶•〃www. legislaticm.goy.hk/blisjnd.nsf)
3.1.10 the Present Tense Prevails.
3.2 Features of Legal English
Legal English refers to the written English generally used in the legal trade (including laws, regulations, ordinances, rules, agreements, awards and judgements), especially the English with which the lawyers normally formulate legal instruments (contracts, articles of association, agreements and covenants, etc.).
The unique words, meaning of words, special terms and expressions of legal English differentiate it from ordinary English, thus developing a unique style. Some linguistic professionals summarizes such a style as “solemn” and “rigid”, since legal English is used for the purpose of stating the matters concerned seriously and objectively with formal words, sentences and certain formulas. Other people consider it as “mystical” or “stilted” on the grounds that the words of legal English are too obscure and difficult to understand, and the sentences are too lengthy and complicated.
Notwithstanding, the legal instruments must adopt accurate wordings, rigorous structures and patterns normally acceptable in the legal trade so as to fully embody the seriousness and tightness of law.
- The Lexical Features of Legal English
In order to handle legal translation, a translator shall acquaint himself/herself with the features of legal English in the first place. To this end, it is necessary to gain an insight into legal English from the lexical and syntactical perspectives.
- Words/ phases
We can find every now and then formal words, common words, Old English words, foreign words （mainly Latin words） which are endowed with special meanings and have been incorporated into legal English, legal terminologies and stereotyped expressions.
- The use of formal words
Formal words appear everywhere in various legal documents, for example, in contracts, prior is often used instead of before, subsequent is often used instead of after, provided that is often used instead of but, etc. Other formal words include construe, deem, operate, same, subject to, whereas, without prejudice to, etc.
- The use of common words with special meanings
Most common words which are used in legal documents have lost their common meanings which people are used to interpreting and have been endowed with totally different meanings. The examples below are worthy of our attention: action （诉讼）,consideration counterpart （有同等效力的副本）,execute （签署）,hand （姿勾，instrument （ 文例，negligence （过知,party （一方）、prejudice （损害）,said （上述,该）,save （除 了）, serve （送电.
- The use of Old and Middle English words
Many Old and Middle English words still exist in the current legal English, the most commonly used ones are the synthetic words made up of here, there, where and various prepositions, such as herein, hereof, hereunder; thereafter, thereby, therein; whereas, thereby; aforesaid, forthwith, etc.
- The use of foreign words
In modern standard legal dictionaries, words originated from Latin words are still compiled therein. Some of them have been absorbed as English words, such as affidavit （宣誓书）, alias （化名）,alibi （不在犯罪现场）,quorum （法定人数）、etc.
Although most Latin words are not used today any more, not a few of them still appear in legal documents every now and then, constituting a mark of legal English, e.g. ad hoc （埼 门的,专门地）,bona fide （真诚的,真诚地）,de facto （事实上的）,inter alia （除了别的 因素以^卜）,pari passu （按相同比例）and pro rata （按比例）
- The use of legal terminologies and stereotyped expressions
Legal terminologies and stereotyped expressions are hard to comprehend for laymen of legal trade, but they are indispensable to conducting legal business and drafting legal documents, a few examples are set out below: appeal （上诉）,burden of proof （举证责任）, cause of action（案 由）,contributory negligence（与 有过 失）,damages（损 失赔偿 金）, defendantdue diligence（审慎碉查）,Yeascmable doubt（合理的怀疑）.
Besides, lawyers often use stereotyped expressions when drafting legal documents to make the sentences more precise, or to clearly define the scope of application. The following phrases are examples in this regard: and for no other purposes, shall not operate as a
waiver, shall not be deemed as a consent, including but not limited to, without prejudice to, nothing contained herein shall
- The Syntactical Features of Legal English
Notwithstanding the tendency of simplification in the recent years, many sentences with complex structures and lengthy wordings still frequently appear in various legal instruments, which can be attributed to the pursuit of accuracy and closeness in the wording of legal stipulations and contract terms. When drafting legal stipulations and contract terms, the most important thing is the establishment of subject matter; meanwhile, the basis, prerequisites, conditions, assumptions, exceptions etc. for execution must also be taken into account. Consequently, various corresponding adverbial and adjective modifiers are used to express the meaning of such stipulations or terms completely, whereby many long sentences come into being.
In addition, the most outstanding features of legal instruments are objectivity and impartiality without involving any subjective elements. Hence, passive voice and nominalized structures appear in sentences quite frequently.
- Complex structures
Due to the existence of many qualifying and/or restricting constituents, long sentences frequently appear in legal English, which is also an embodiment of the strong bearing capacity of English.
If the Vendor fails to apply for and obtain any necessary extension of time for completing the Development under sub-clause (2) and fails to complete the Development by the expiry date of the Building Covenant Period, the Purchaser shall be entitled unless the completion of the sale and purchase herein has taken place, in addition to any other remedy that he may have, to give the Vendor notice in writing in that behalf to rescind this Agreement//and upon service of such notice, this Agreement shall be rescinded within 7 days thereafter//and the Vendor shall repay to the Purchaser all amounts paid by the Purchaser hereunder together with interest thereon at the rate of 2% per annum above the prime rate specified by the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited from time to time from the date or dates on which such amounts and interest to be in full and final settlement of all claims by the Purchaser against the Vendor hereunder.（陆文慧, 2002: 37-38）
Three complete English sentences may be clarified into three complete sentences in Chinese:
- Passive voice
Totally different from literary works where active voices are frequently used to enhance the dynamics of expressions, legal instruments are established with the purpose of providing norms for human behaviours and regulating various kinds of activities. Passive voice is therefore employed in circumstances where no specific person who carries out the action is identifies or the emphasis of the statement lies in the action rather than a specific person who carries out such action. This embodies the very features of seriousness and rigidness of legal English. The following sentence is an illustration of such feature:
Unless otherwise provided for herein, failure or delay on the part of any party to exercise any right, power or privilege under this Agreement shall not operate as a waiver thereof nor shall any single or partial exercise of any right, power or privilege preclude further exercise thereof or exercise of any other right, power or privilege. A waiver by one of the parties at any time of a breach of any term or provision of this Agreement committed by the other party shell not be construed as a waiver by such party of any subsequent breach to be committed by the other party, nor shall it be construed as a waiver by such party of its rights under such provision or any of its other rights under this Agreement.
In view that parataxis is emphasized in Chinese language, passive voice is used more frequently. In the example above, the passive voice structure is unless otherwise provided for herein …shall not be construed as 、etc.
In addition, most English passive voice will be translated into active voice in Chinese.
The Chinese character “被” (寄至)is usually omitted.
- Nominalized structures
A precise description of facts calls for a language that is short, to the point and without ambiguities. This accounts for the high rate of nominalizations in English legal texts, because nouns denote things and processes. Non-finite verbs are used in nominal and adjectival function because there is no need for tenses other than the present tense.
In the contract term cited in 322.2, there are such abstract nouns which originated from verbs, q.%, failure, delay, waiver, exercise and breach.
3.3 Legal translation
Legal translation is the communicative activity within the framework of the legal system (Sarcevic, 1997: 55). In the course of legal translation, a series of principles should be followed, whereas translations of different categories of legal documents raise different requirements for the translators. Successful translation shall be based on in-depth knowledge of the features of legal language, including various levels and aspects of legal languages as well as the difficulties posed thereof. The familiarity with features of legal languages as well as the knowledge of the criteria and principles of doing legal translation are conditions precedent for the legal translator to smoothly sort out a series of problems confronting him/her.
- The Criteria of Legal Translation
It is the same with the translation of literary works, the criteria of legal translation are faithfulness and smoothness. However, given the high degree of seriousness and tightness of the legal documents, the legal translation must convey the meaning of the original texts strictly to the letter. In the meantime, the translation shall be made easy and smooth and be in line with the stylistic features of legal language.
When doing translation, each word and sentence shall be strictly based on the original text, any arbitrary interpretation, deletion or alteration of the original meaning simply for the pursuit of “expressiveness** and Helegance” shall be refrained from. For the sake of preserving the letter of the law, the leading guideline for legal translation is faithfulness to the source text, which shall also be taken as the primary criterion. Of course, the ideal legal translation shall be the perfect combination of faithfulness and smoothness, which shall be the target assiduously sought after by legal translators.
To put it more specifically, when doing legal translation, even one word (including the function words) can not be treated lightly, especially the words frequently used in legal English, which shall be translated according to their meanings in the legal contexts, (for instance, ^actiorf” shall be translated as “诉讼‘ instead of“行动”).Even such prepositions as at, in, on shall be attached with adequate importance. For example, the prepositions in the following sentence respectively indicate the different locations of “land”, which must be accurately translated; otherwise, disputes may arise in the future.
Party A represents and warrants that there are no conditions at, on, under, or related to. the real property constituting all or any portion of the Land which presently or potentially pose a hazard to human health or the environment, whether or not in compliance with law, and there has been no manufacture, use, treatment, storage, transportation, or disposal of any hazardous or toxic substance, pollutant, or contaminant on the Land nor any release of any hazardous or toxic substance, pollutant, or contaminant into oc upon or over the Land.
甲方陈述和保证，构成土地全部或任何部分的房地产，宾内部、上面或下面或其相 关的部位现在不存在，也不可能存在危害人体健康或环境的情况（无论是否符合法 律规定），且土地上从未生产、使用、处理、储存、运输或处置过任何危险的或有 毒的物质、污染物或致污物，土地的印、上面或上空亦并未曾释放过任何危险的或 有毒的物质、污染物或致污物。（孙万彪，2003:7, 159）
3.3.2 The Fundamental Principles of Legal Translation
The fundamental principles of legal translation have been explicitly stated by Li Kexing and Zhang Xinhong （李克兴，张新红）as follows:
- Correctness and accuracy
Correctness and accuracy are the core principles of legal translation. Any “distortion** （discount to some extent, whether in terms of sentence structures or the choice of words） or ambiguity may give rise to serious legal consequences, even legal actions.
all the directors shall be appointed and replaced by the parties to the venture.
所有董事会成员 须由合营方委派和撤换。（李克兴，张新红，2006: 203- 204）
Analysis:”撤换”in Chinese means “removed” or “ousted”, the word “replaced” only has the meaning of “替换”， which is quite different from “撤换Therefore, the translation is not accurate enough.
From the example above, the principle of accurateness may be further demonstrated; any word, phrase or mark which has actual meaning must be transferred and expressed definitely and appropriately in the translation.
184.108.40.206 Consistency and identity
The principle of “consistency” means throughout the whole legal document, the key words shall be kept consistent and as the case may be shall be consistent with the interpretations to such words in related governing law.
The principle of “identity“ means using the same word to express the same legal concept.
The lack of consistency and identity in legal document may give rise to confusions of legal concepts, which may consequently result in unnecessary conjectures of the readers.
3.323 Clarity and concision
If the law is not written clearly, it will become pitfalls. Likewise, if the legal statutes are translated to be ambiguous rather than clear, they will not only become unenforceable, but also turn into be pitfalls; even if the source text are not pitfalls, it can still be made pitfalls by poor translation. However, clarity of legal documents does not necessarily means the use of complex grammars, voices or sentence structures; rather, as a renowned translation theorist puts it, the sentence shall be brief and short, long words shall be avoided as much as possible. To the extent the meaning is clearly stated, even one surplus word shall not be used.
Where the principles of clarity and concision conflicts with each other, clarity shall prevail; in other words, we’d rather make it wordy than compromise the original meaning of the source text.
Professionalism means the professionals of translation shall not only be proficient in both English and Chinese, but also have adequate knowledge of the rules of expression for relevant laws, especially general legal concepts and basic legal terminologies. Otherwise, even if the former three principles are satisfied, a translation may still run the risk of being sheer layman language in the eyes of legal professionals. To make it worse, confusion of legal concepts may arise or loopholes may be resulted in.
For instance, in any import or export contract, an article on how to deal with “不可抗力’飞 usually included therein. According to its meaning, it may be translated as “force beyond human power”, “force controlled by God”, or “irresistible force”, etc. However, only the translation as “‘force majeure”” can be called the professional and good terminology as far as a legal document is concerned.
3.325 Standardized language
The principle of standardized language means the employment of standardized language or written language and the avoidance of dialects or slang. To put it another way, official words and expressions, in particular, the standardized language” which has already been defined in the prevailing laws and regulations must be used.
3.326 Team work
Team work, as a procedural principle, means where it is permitted, the draft translation shall go through four formalities: translating by one person, editing by a second person, proofreading by a third person and final checking by a fourth person. No matter under what circumstances, the translation of any legal documents must be completed by at least two persons.
- Chapter Four Features and Types of Complicated Sentences in English Legal Texts
At the sight of sentences of more than three lines, many translators can not help feeling dizzy. According to the statistics from the experts, the average length of a sentence in legal documents is about 271 words. By comparison, the average lengths of a sentence in scientific documents, governmental documents and scripts are only about 27.6 words, 25.49 words and 7.0 words respectively （王道庚，2006: 91）. According to an analysis made regarding readability, a sentence with less than 15-20 words are easier for comprehension, more words than such length will bring more or less difficulty to the comprehension of the readers. In addition to the overly-long lengths, various qualifiers, complicated sentence structures and multi-levels of contents also feature long sentences in English legal texts. Therefore, we refer to such sentences as “long and complicated sentences^^ in this thesis.
To make it worse, given the unique purpose, nature and stylistic features of legal documents, long sentences appear even more frequently in legal texts than in any other texts, which undoubtedly create additional burdens to doing legal translation. It is no exaggeration that the correct comprehension and translation of long and complicated sentences is a crucial aspect which makes or ruins a good translation.
There is no doubt that the way that a translator deals with long and complicated sentences can most give exposure to his/her competence and working attitude.
- Origin, Function and General Features of Complicated Sentences
The long sentence structure can be traced back to the period prior to ancient Rome and ancient Greek, when there were still no punctuations. As a result, a certain regulation may be stated in one long sentence. Although punctuations appeared later on, the means of expression utilizing long sentences remains to date.
By way of long and complicated sentences, the rights and obligations of the parties may be accurately defined, thus eliminating any possibilities of mi si nterpretati on, misconception or divergence. In addition, the utilization of long sentences leaves no loopholes for any potential disputes in the future and may protect the legitimate rights of the parties.
For the purpose of translating legal documents, the translator shall begin with a grammatical analysis of the whole target sentence, based on which the translation could be done with corresponding smooth Chinese language.
As we all know, in a long and complicated sentence, it’s usually the case that the main clause (s) is/are followed by subordinate clauses, one sense group is closely connected with another sense group, thus developing the complex relationship of modifying and being modified. Only by finding out the mutual relationship among various elements within the sentence can we get a clear and full idea of the meaning of the whole sentence, which, of course, is not easy at all.
It is proved by many practices that, without any essential grammatical analyses (no need to investigate in the grammatical elements of each word) and the determination of individual element within the sentence (e.g. subject, predicative, object, adverbial, attributive, appositive, etc.), any direct translation simply depending on contexts and instinct may turn out to be efforts in vain or getting half the result with twice the efforts.
- Specific Features of Complicated Sentences in English Legal Texts
Detailed analyses of the specific features of complicated sentences in English legal text are made as follows:
- The long sentences of legal English are usually abundant in symbols of morphology, which enables the readers to identify the main clause and subordinate clause(s) with the indications of such symbols.
Where a secure tenant serves on the landlord a notice in writing claiming to exercise his right to buy the dwelling-house, and if the landlord refuses to admit the tenants right to buy the dwelling-house, then, subject to the following provisions of this Section, the Secretary of the State, zf he thinks proper, may by means of a written notification make special regulations in pursuance of his powers under Section 15 of this Act for the purpose of enabling the tenant to exercise his right to buy the dwelling-house (notwithstcmding anything contained in Section 51 of the Land Regulation Act 1925) within a period of six months from the date of such a refusal, provided that the dwellinghouse, or any part of it, is not being used for charitable purposes within the meaning of the Charitable Purposes Act 19541.(王道庚，2006: 38)
Analysis: In the above example, between the subject the Secretary of the State and the modal verb may. a conditional clause if he thinks proper is inserted; between the modal verb may and the predicate make special regulations, a prepositional phrase by means of a written notification is inserted.
- The information focus of a long sentence of legal English often appears at the beginning or at the end of the sentence, in particular, at the end.
Apart from claims made in the ordinary course of business, no claim under any policy of insurance taken out in connection with the assets of any Company is outstanding and, so far as the corresponding Vendor is aware, there are no circumstances likely to give rise to such a claim.
Analysis: In the example above, the information focus of the whole sentence is there are no circumstances likely to give rise to such a claim.
- Passive voice is often used for the following purposes:
(1) By using passive voice, the emphasis of the sentence information may be naturally and easily presented.
“The parties agree that in all projects between Party B and the government documentations that Party B needs for research must be provided by Party A.”
What the sentence emphasizes is that Party A (rather than any third party) shall provide such documentations; therefore, it should not be translated as:
Because the translation in this way means that:
“Party A must provide documentations that Party B needs for research”，the emphasis of which is documentations. When reading the sentence, the reader have to emphasize the subject 尸力川 4 to correctly convey the meaning of the source sentence.
Whereas the translation in passive voice will solve this problem directly:
In a passive voice sentence, the accent of a sentence will naturally falls on the place of where Party A is, ie. the end of the sentence.
- The subject of an action need not be mentioned because it cannot be precisely identified or its identification would be irrelevant or unimportant.
- The recipient of the action is to be emphasized.
- For the avoidance of duties.
- The meaning would be clearer by expressing the idea of the provision as the subject.
For instance, from “Party A made a mistake”, it can be easily inferred that the duty lies in Party A; whereas in the case of “a mistake was made”, there is not any implication as to who is the responsible person.
- Negative emphasized sentences are often used to strengthen the mood
Nothing contained in this agreement shall be construed so as to require the commission of any act contrary to law and wherever there is any conflict between any provisions of this agreement and any material statute law, ordinance or regulation contrary to which the parties have no legal right to contract then the latter shall prevail but in such event the provisions of this agreement so affected shall be curtailed and limited only to the extent necessary to bring this agreement within the legal requirements and all other provisions shall remain in full force and effect without change whatever.
- Never use rhetoric, as may often be seen in business and financial documents, such as the use of metaphors.
The following is a sentence contained in a financial document with metaphors:
Markets are bullish and bearish、profits sore, peak, dive and plummet, carpetbaggers besiege building societies, and banks employ a scorched – earth policy in the face of hostile take-over bids.
- In terms of conjunctions, subject to, provided (that), unless, in the event of (that), in case of (that), where, whereasand notw ithstanding are frequently used.
Where a secure tenant serves on the landlord a notice in writing claiming to exercise his right to buy the dwelling-house, and if the landlord refuses to admit the tenants right to buy the dwelling-house, then, subject to the following provisions of this Section, the Secretary of the State, if he thinks proper, may by means of a written notification make special regulations in pursuance of his powers under Section 15 of this Act for the purpose of enabling the tenant to exercise his right to buy the dwelling-house (notwithstanding anything contained in Section 51 of the Land Regulation Act 1925) within a period of six months from the date of such a refusal, provided that the dwellinghouse, or any part of it, is not being used for charitable purposes within the meaning of the Charitable Purposes Act 1954,(王道庚，2006: 38).
- In terms of prepositional phrases, such compounding prepositional phases such as by means of. in pursuance of. for the purpose of etc.are frequently used.
Example 16 (the sentence in the preceding paragraph) may be cited as an example.
- There often exists a sub-sentence introduced by “provided (that)”at the end of a sentence.
Provided (that) is often used to introduce the part that runs contrary to the meaning of the former part of the article, such as the extent of application, conditions of limitation, exceptional circumstances so as to enhance the completeness and enforceability of the whole article. Not only the former part but also the latter part of the article is only a component of a complete rule/regulation, the combination of which two can constitute a logic model with prerequisites and enough room for involution.
The legal meaning of provided (that) lie in the following two aspects:
- In terms of the form, an article containing provided (that)constitutes a sentence complete in meaning. The sentence before provided (that) may be a complete sentence by itself irrelevant to the content in transition. However, once provided (that) is used as a a connective, two separate component parts must be placed before and after provided (that)
- The supplementation of provided (that)complies with the relativity and complicity of the matter concerned.
- Inserted constituents are often used.
Inserted constituents are often used to modify, explain and/or supplement the contents in the previous part.
The inserted elements may express the meaning completely or attract the attention of and impress the readers.
As marking signs, commas are often used before and after the inserted elements to separate the inserted elements from the main sentence.
Apart from claims made in the ordinary course of business, no claim under any policy of insurance taken out in connection with the assets of any Company is outstanding and, so far as the corresponding Vendor is aware、there are no circumstances likely to give rise to such a claim.
The phrases which are most often used as inserted elements include: in one’s opinion, at one’s own cost, to the best of the knowledge/information/belief of, so/as far as somebody is aware, as the case may be, as the context requires, etc.
4.2.10 Parallel structures
Parallel structures are often used to keep grammatical consistency and make the sentence structure clear, orderly and eye-striking. The purpose of using such structure is for limited enumeration and the achievement of accuracy.
The parallel structures in legal documents are multi-level and may cover words, phrases, subordinate clauses and paragraphs, etc. The following example is taken from Memorandum of Association of the International Business Companies Ordinance, Territory of the British Virgin Islands.
The Company may not:
- carry on business with persons resident in the British Virgin Islands;
- own an interest in real property situated in the British Virgin Islands, other than a lease referred to in paragraph (e) of sub clause (3);
- carry on banking or trust business unless it is licensed to do so under the Banks and Trust Companies Ordinance, 1990;
- carry on business as an insurance or reinsurance company, insurance agent or insurance broker, unless it is licensed under an enactment authorizing it to carry on that business;
- carry on the business of providing the registered office for companies; or
- carry on the business of company management unless licensed under the Company Management Ordinance, 1990. (httpAvww.eastwestlaw.com/c_home/show.asp?id= 160)
- .11. The supplemental elements such as qualified adverbials not only appear frequently, but also are placed in remarkable places to function as explanation, restriction or supplementation to the main clause so as to make the whole sentence logically meticulous, stylistically solemn, or operates as limitations to the time, places, conditions, purposes, methods or state etc. for the performance of the rights and obligations of respective parties.
From the perspective of logic, the sentences in legal documents are often organized with certain models:
- action + legal consequences
- assumptions + treatment + sanctions
From the perspective of grammatical structures, ccassumptions^^ ie. qualified adverbials may take the form of either adverbial clauses, prepositional phrases or participle phrases. Adverbial clauses are usually introduced by conjunctions or prepositional phrases such as if, of and only if, unless, unless and until, where, wherever, when, whenever, provided that, in so far as, to the extent that, in case of, in the event of, subject to. etc.
If any person throws down, drops or otherwise deposits in, into, or from any place in the open air to which the public are entitled or permitted to have access without payment, and leaves, any thing whatsoever in such circumstances as to cause, contribute to, or tend to lead to, the defacement by little of any place in the open air, then, unless that depositing and leaving was authorized by law or was done with the consent of the owner, occupier or other person or authority having the control of the place in or into which that thing was deposited, he shall be guilty of an offence and be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten pounds; and for the purpose of this subsection any covered place open to the air on at least one side and available for public use shall be treated as being a place in the open air.
Analysis: The adverbial clauses placed at the beginning of the sentence are introduced by zf and unless, which give specific restrictions to the applicable conditions of such legal provisions from both the obverse side and the reverse side. Consequently, the appearance of the main clause he shall be guilty of. and be liable to is delayed.
- Nouns are often modified by one or more constituents
In most circumstances, the subject, object and contents of a legal rule are restricted to a given scope; only in this way can such legal rule be applied. More often than not, as the subject of an act, a person or a matter must be imposed upon various conditions as restrictions.
In terms of sentence structure, the nouns representing persons or matters are usually qualified by one or more modifiers. The modifiers may also take the form of either attributive clauses, prepositional phrases, present participle phrases or past participle phrases. Attributive clauses are usually introduced by who, that, which, etc.
- (The attributive clause functions as a modifier.)
Any person who, when not at his place of abode, has with him any article for use in the course of or in connection with any burglary, theft or cheat shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction upon indictment to imprisonment for 3 years. (http://www.legislation.gov. hk/eng/home. htm)
Analysis: If the attributive clause who, when not at his place of abode, has with him 的y article for use in the course of or in cormection with burglary, theft or cheat is removed, the sentence remains (Any person shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction upon indictment to imprisonment fbr 3 years) can not be a legal rule.
- (The present participle functions as a modifier.)
Investment consisting of shares purchased in a publicly listed company on a stock market not exceeding 1% of said company shall not be subject to the restrictions in this paragraph.
- (The past participle functions as a modifier.)
The agent shall be responsible for damages and economic losses incurred by the Joint Venture Company solely due to the failure by the Agent to properly infbrm the Joint Venture Company of any amendments to the sales contract entered into by the Agent on behalf of the Joint Venture Company with a purchaser.
- There are often enumerations of nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.
- (enumerations of nouns)
“Environmental Law” means all statutes, instruments、regulations、orders and ordinmces (including legislation、regulations、directives、decisions and judgements applicable to Country X) being in force from time to time and directly enforceable in Country X relating to pollution, prevention thereof or protection of human health or the conditions of the Environment or the use, disposal, generation, storage, transportation, treatment, dumping, release、deposit、buriaL emission or disposal of any Dangerous Substance.
- (enumerations of verbs)
Not, without the prior consent in writing of the Lender, to sell, discount, charge, assign, declare a trust over or otherwise dispose of or release、exchange、compound、set off or grant time or indulgence or otherwise deal with all or any of the Debts in favour of any other person or purport to do so.
- (enumerations of adjectives)
Taxation in any part of the world assessable or payable by reference to any profit, gain, income or distribution lamed, received、paid, arising or deemed to arisi on or at any time prior to the Accounts Date or in respect of any period ending on or before the Accounts Date.
- Expletives such as it is, there is/areare used to meet the needs of grammatical functions.
There are no circumstances in relation to any Target Company which give rise or could give rise or have given rise to any civil criminal administrative or other action, claim, suit, complaint, proceeding, investigation, decontamination, remediation or expenditure by any person or competent authority under any Environmental Law in relation to any matter including properties now owned or leased or formerly owned or leased by that Target Company.
- Subjective clauses with “it” as the formal subject are frequently used, such as Ifs agreed that , It’s understood that , etc.
4.3 Types of Complicated Sentences in Legal English
- The Long Sentence Organized in a Vine-like Structure
Each Target Company has within the time limits prescribed by the relevant legislation duly paid all Taxes (including provisional Tax), made all returns, given all notices, supplied all other information required to be supplied to the Tax Authority or other appropriate authorities and all such information was and remains complete and accurate and all such returns and notices were and remain complete and accurate and were made on a proper basis and do not, nor, to the best of the knowledge, information and belief of Company X after making due and proper enquires, are likely to, reveal any transactions which may be the subject of any dispute with the Tax Authority or other appropriate authorities and no Target Company is or has in the last Y years been the subject of an Tax Authority investigation or field audit or other dispute regarding tax or duty recoverable from that Target Company or regarding the availability of any relief from Tax or duty to that Target Company and there are no facts which are likely to cause such an investigation or audit to be instituted or such a dispute to arise.
各目标公司已在有关法规规定的期限内适时缴纳了所有税款(包括临时税款)，提交 了全部报表，发出了所有通知，提供了需要向税务部门或其它适当部门提供的所有 其它信息(所有上述信息均为并保持完整、准确)，所有上述报表和通知亦均为并 保持完整、准确，并妥为备制；并且尽X公司所知、所了解和所信，在进行适时、 适当问讯后，未泄露并且不可能泄露可能是税务部门或其它有关部门争议目标的任 何交易。任何目标公司在过去Y年内并非是或曾经是任何税务部门就应从该目标公 司索回的任何税款或关税或就该目标公司可用的任何税款或关税免除的调查、现场 审计或其它争议的目标。不存在任何可能引起上述调查或审计或争议的事实。
There are five main sentences as shown below in this long sentence:
- Each Target Company has duly paid all Taxes, made all returns, given all notices, and supplied all other information;
- All such information was and remains complete and accurate;
- All such returns and notices were and remain complete and accurate and were made on a proper basis and do not, nor, are likely to, reveal any transactions;
- No Target Company is or has been the subject;
- There are no facts.
Among these five sentences, only (2) has only one level, while the other four all have at least two levels: in (1), the main part is made long by the four juxtaposed compound verbs: paid all Taxes、made ctll returns, given all notices and supplied all other information. In addition, there is an adverbial clause of time, within the time Hmits which is qualified by a past participle phrase prescribed by the legislation; in the fourth phrasal verb
supplied all other information、the object informaticm is also qualified by a past participle phrase required to be si/pplied to the Tax Authority ov other appropriate ciuthorities.
In (3), there are three predicates: namely were and remain complete and accurate、we” made on a proper basis, do no± nor、are likely to reveal any transactiovs： Besides, there is a parenthesis to the best of the knowledge, information cmd belief of Company X aftey making due and proper enquires、obviously, there also exists an adverbial modifier, i.e. after making due and proper enquires. The noun trcmsaciioHS are qualified by a defining attributive clause which 加生”be the subject of dispute with the Tax Authority or other appropriate authorities.
In (4), there is an adverbial clause of time in the last Y ve“ qualifying the whole sentence. Besides, there is a long attributive consisted of 3 juxtaposed noun phrases qualifying the object subject、namely an Tax Authority investigation or field audit or other dispute、which is also qualified by two juxtaposed preposition phrases introduced by regarding: regarding tax or duty recoverable from that Target Company or regarding the avcdlability of relief from Tax or duty to that Target Company.
In (5), there is a defining attributive clause: which are likely to cause such an investigation or audit to be instituted or such a dispute to arise.
- The Long Sentence Developed Progressively Example 28:
There has not been, nor is there any, breach / nor is there any fact or matter // which would or may create a breach, of any of the terms of the licences or rights //// granted by or to the Target Company III and all other agreements, consents or undertakings Illi entered into by the Target Company Illi relating to the Target Company Intellectual Property.
截至目前尚无，目前亦无对于由目标公司授予的或授予目标公司的许可或权利的以 及目标公司就目标公司知识产权所订立的其它协议、同意或承诺的任何条款的任何 违约，亦并无任何会或可能引起上述违约的任何事实或事项。
- The Long Sentence Organized in Juxtaposed Compound Structures Example 29:
No Company has paid or become liable to pay any penalty in connection with any Taxation or otherwise paid any Tax after its due date for payment / or becomes liable to pay any Taxation the due date for payment of which has passed / or will become prospectively liable to pay any Taxation the due date for payment of which will fall within 30 days after the date of this Agreement.
任何公司均未支付或有责任支付有关任何税项的任何罚金，或在付款到期日之后以 其他方式支付任何税款，或有责任支付任何到期应付日期已经过期的任何税款，或 可能有责任支付任何将于本协议日期后30日以内到期应付的税款。
- Chapter Five Translation Strategies and Methods of Complicated Sentences in English Legal Texts
Translation strategy should be employed for a certain text type. Different text types lay emphases on different translation strategy (ies). As Newmark put it, different translation situations required different translation procedures. Translation is such an art that translators are always ready to choose the most appropriate strategies with the change of the translation situation and communicative purposes (1981: 91).
As previously mentioned in Chapter One, Jumpit, who distinguished between technical texts, texts of the natural sciences, texts of the social sciences and other types and whose analysis was restricted to texts of the exact science (technology and natural sciences), also acknowledged that different techniques were used to translate texts of social sciences, which definitely included law.
In view of the nature (as special-purpose text and informative text) and the features of legal texts, the differences between the common law and the civil law, as well as the differences between Chinese and English languages, the author proposes the following strategy in the English-Chinese translation of long sentences in legal texts, i.e. taking fbreignization as the leading strategy and appropriate domestication as the supplementary strategy.
- Translation Strategy
- Taking Foreignization Translation as the Leading Strategy
- Concept of Foreignization
- Taking Foreignization Translation as the Leading Strategy
The concepts of foreignization and domestication were proposed by Lawrence Venuti, an American translation theorist. He believes that, translation strategies achieved since the ancient times can be divided into two categories: foreignization and domestication. He asserted that, ccThe point (to advocate foreignizing translation) is rather to develop a theory and practice of translation that resists dominant target-language cultural values so as to signify the linguistic and cultural difference of the foreign text” (1995, 23)
It can be inferred from the above statement that fbreignization is a strategy of deviation from the local values and the preservation of the linguistic and cultural features of the source texts. It is source text-oriented; the contents, form, stylistic features and means of expression etc. of the source text are faithfully preserved.
Although fbreignization and domestication were firstly associated with literary translation, they have been increasingly applied to broader fields, such as culture, philosophy and sociology, etc. (http:〃tr.hj english.com/page/5461)
- The Requirement of its Nature as Informative Text and Special-purpose Text Given that the core function of ”informative texts” is “authenticity” and the primary goal of special-purpose translation is reproducing or transferring the meaning or content of the message of the ST as accurately as possible, the accurate conveyance of the information contained therein is the foremost purpose in translating legal texts, which means the accurate expression of the semantic meaning and the preservation of the syntactical structures identical with the ST to the utmost extent, i.e. the strategy of fbreignization should be employed.
For a long time, the strategy of foreignization has also been preserved for so-called “”informative texts” in the Chinese translation practices. In his article entitled Foreignization and Domestication of Translations for Cultural Exchanges. Xiong Bing (熊 兵)held the view that, the mission of the translator lied in the reproduction of not only the linguistic information but also the cultural information of the ST in the translation. Hence, when handling the words and sentences with given cultural implications, subject to the readers5 comprehension not being affected, fbreignization should be employed in the first place. Where both foreignization and domestication were applicable, fbreignization should prevail. (2003: 5)
In circumstances where the original contents and the will-be translation are almost identical, the structure and the means of expression of the ST shall be preserved.
We fully appreciate that the success of the Project and the Joint Venture’s ability to repay the loan facilities under the Loan Facility Agreement dated 29th of July 1997 will be dependent, among other matters, on the ability of HW Company to comply with and fully perform its obligations as the purchaser under the Power Purchase Agreement dated 29th of July 1997.
我们充分意识到，项目的成功和合营企业偿还1997年7月29日（签订的）《贷款 协议》项下贷款的能力将取决于（多个方面，其中包括）HW 公司遵守和充分履行 其作为购电方在2007年7月29日（签订的）《电力购买协议》项下各项义务的能 力。（王道庚,2006: 62）
220.127.116.11 from the Perspective of Primary Target Addressees
It’s obviously of great importance for the translator to know who will be the receiver of a text in a TL group. A legal text is a Communicative occurrence* which inevitably involves the interaction between producers and addressees. As some theorists put it, since legal communication is first and foremost a form of specialized communication, it follows that the actual or direct addressees of legal texts are mostly specialists empowered to interpret or apply such norms, such as lawmakers, lawyers, judges, etc. Persons only affected by the particular norms are referred to as indirect addressees.
As far as legal languages are concerned, due to their systematic and professional nature, legal languages also raise strict requirements to their users, which mainly consist of legislative organizations, experts and personnel, legal professionals and legal researchers, etc. These target recipients often possess sufficient legal knowledge and background information about the ST and can, for the most part, understand the ST. Generally speaking, the fbreignization translation will facilitate their comprehension and grasp of the ST.
5.1.2 Appropriate Domestication Translation May Be Adopted as the Supplementary Strategy
- Concept of Domestication
In contrast to fbreignization, domestication requires the compliance with the main values of the target language and culture, and the adoption of assimilative means so as to accommodate the translation to local laws, codes, tendency or political requirements, etc. Traditionally, domestication was called assimilative translation. As Lawrence Venuti once put it, ” in Nida’s work it is obvious that fluency involves domestication.”。995, 21)
“Yet the understanding of the foreign text and culture which this kind of translation (the dynamic equivalence translation) makes possible answers fundamentally to target-language cultural values while veiling this domestication in the transparency evoked by a fluent strategy.” (1995, 22)
It can be inferred from the above that by domestication, the readers are placed at the central position and the cultural background of the readers as well as their receiving psychology and habits of information reception are taken into full consideration.
Domesticating translation is closely related to pragmatic equiva lence since both of them are reader-oriented. By way of domestication, pragmatic equivalence may be achieved, thus helping the reader surmount the barriers of comprehension and facilitate the reader’s grasp of the writer’s intention.
- . The Requirement of the Nature of Law
- Law is different from other special-purpose texts
As a social science, law is a regime adjusting and regulating human behaviours and relations, and all legal texts have ideological implications to some extent. Although lawyers are only interested in the practical meaning of a legal text and its implications for what one can or cannot do, a legal text after all has a social meaning that can be understood only by examining the social context in which the text is produced.(Sarcevic: 1997, 69)
In comparison with scientific and technical texts which are a representative of the informative texts, the latter belong to exact science, boasting of unique objective accuracy, universality, super-national and super-cultural features and taking the objective rules existing among the human being as the core of information. Scientific and technical texts excluded any and all personal feelings, national awareness and cultural identification etc. and are objective, cool and rational.
In contrast, law is primarily closely related to the concept of state (or jurisdiction) and it varies with different countries. Each state or region with independent jurisdiction has its individual legal system, legal terminologies, origin of law, legal research methods and social and economic principles, etc.
- Legal culture
The legal cultures give birth to and foster legal languages, whereas languages, as media themselves in nature, are also carriers of given cultures and endowed with cultural attributes, hence legal languages inevitably constitute the components of legal cultures. Words and expressions, order of phrases/sentences, rules of texts and the overall style, etc. all constitute indispensable elements of legal culture.(刘 红婴,2003: 77)
There are two principal categories of legal systems in the world: common law system and civil law system. The UK (with the exception of Scotland), the U.S. and the original British colonies such as India, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong etc. all belong to common law system. Whereas mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, Italy, Spain etc. fall into the scope of civil law system. The translation of English legal documents into Chinese versions is a legal translation involving different legal systems. To this end, the legal concepts in one legal system will need to be transferred into the other one. Hence, non-equivalence in legal terminologies exists every now and then.
- Requirement of Readability
From the perspective of pragmatics, the purpose of informative texts is the conveyance of the relevant information to the readers; hence, the comprehension and grasp of the information by the readers cannot be ignored.
Besides, legal texts also contain the inner beauty of philosophical thinking and the beauty resulting from accuracy and simplicity, etc. Therefore, legal translators shall also attach adequate importance to the standardization, smoothness and ease and grace of the target text.
By readability, we mean the following: grammaticality （合乎语法），idiomaticness （表达习 惯），stylistic adaptability （对语体的适应性），clarity （明确）and organization （条理性）. （刘宓庆，1999: 49）
English and Chinese are two language systems which are quite different in the following aspects:
Firstly, while long sentences may come into being in English language by using connectives such as relative pronouns or relative adverbs, which do not exist in Chinese language, such sentences with rather complicated structures are not possible to appear in Chinese language.
Secondly, English is a flectional language which seeks for the cohesion of morphology and form.
In Chinese, nouns do not possess cases and numbers and verbs do not possess tense and voices, its semantic structure is quite different from that of the flectional language. Generally speaking, despite a few morphological auxiliary words （for instance,着，了，过 function as the auxiliary words indicating tenses;的 functions as the auxiliary word indicating an adjective;地 functions as the auxiliary word indicating an adverb）, the
Chinese language mainly depends on word-order and function words as the means of syntactical framework.
In comparison, within an English compound sentence, each element is connected by some proper connective, which clearly indicates the logical relationship between them, thus making the arrangement of each element rather flexible. Chinese sentences are usually arranged in the sequence of time and the order of logical thinking; consequently, complete meaning can be developed even without any connectives. When translating long sentences in English legal documents into Chinese, it is necessary for us to handle the complicated relationship contained in the English sentence based on the generally accepted means of expression in Chinese.
Thirdly, the focus of information is usually placed in the former part of the sentence in English sentences while is usually placed in the latter part of the sentence in Chinese.
Fourthly, in terms of idiomaticness, the Chinese language tends to follow a sequence of reason—result, incidence happened first—incidence happened later, issues of secondary importance comes before issues of primary importance, macro—micro perspective; while the English language follows a sequence of result—reason, issues of primary importance comes before issues of secondary importance, micro—macro perspective, etc.
Disparities do exist between the customs of expression: English-speaking people are inclined to state the results in the first place, which are followed by reasons, conditions or assumptions. Chinese-speaking people are more apt to state reasons, conditions or assumptions first and place the corresponding results afterwards.
Fifthly, in English a main clause is placed at the main level and the subordinate clauses and participle structures are undoubtedly placed at the subordinate level; whereas in Chinese, a main clause may sometimes be placed at the same level as the subordinate clauses.
For instance, the adverbials in legal English may be arranged in many places in the sentence, whereas adverbials are usually placed at the beginning of the sentence in legal Chinese. In view of this kind of difference, literal translation shall be avoided in doing translation of such kind.
At any time after Completion the Vendor undertakes to execute or procure the execution of such documents and do or procure the doing of such acts and things as the Purchaser may reasonably require for the purpose of:
- vesting the Sales Shares in the Purchaser the full benefit of all the provisions of this Agreement; and
- Effecting and implementing the Transfer, including without limitation, assisting the Purchaser with the registration of the Transfer with SAFE.
签署或促使签署买方可能合理要求的文件以及作出或促使作出买方可能合理要求的 行为和事情。(王道庚,2006: 101)
5.2 Translation Methods
Guided by the translation strategies, translation methods are designed to convey in translation the essential meaning of the source text. This section will present a number of specific translation methods which are often employed in translating long and complicated sentences contained in English legal texts.
- The Handling of Inserted Constituents
When it comes to the handling of inserted constituents, we may firstly ignore the inserted constituent and fbcus on the main sentence, after that the inserted constituent should be considered, translated and inserted in an appropriate place within the whole sentence.
- In case that the order of the whole sentence is in line with the order of Chinese, the inserted constituents may be placed accordingly and be marked with appropriate punctuations such as commas, brackets or dashesat both ends so as to make the whole sentence more smooth.
Apart from claims made in the ordinary course of business, no claim under any policy of insurance taken out in connection with the assets of any Company is outstanding and, so far as the corresponding Vendor is aware、there are no circumstances likely to give rise to such a claim.
- In case that the order of the whole sentence is not in line with the order of Chinese; in addition, the inserted constituent is relatively independent in meaning and can be used as supplementary explanation separately, then the inserted constituent may be handled separately and placed in an appropriate place.
Here and elsewhere, except where the context requires otherwise, any references to HCompany AH from 1 May 2004 onwards are references to Company A LLP.
5.2.2 The Translation of …not…unless…
As we can see in (1) of Section 4, Chapter 272 Motor Vehicle Insurance (Third Party Risks) Ordinance of Hong Kong Laws and Ordinance:
Subject to the provisions of this Ordinance it shall not be lewful for any person to use, or to cause or permit any other person to use, a motor vehicle on a road unless there is in force in relation to the user of the vehicle by that person or that other person, as the case may be, such a policy of insurance or such a security in respect of third party risks as complies with the requirements of this Ordinance.
The corresponding Chinese is as follows:
Original Translation:除本条例另有条文规定外，任何人在道路上使用汽车，或致使 或允许任何其他人在道路上使用汽车，除非就该人或该他人(视属何情况而定)对 车辆的使用已备有一份有效的和符合本条例规定的第三者风险保险单或保证单，否 贝］］并 不合法o (Jittp://www.legislation.gov.hk/blisjnd.nsf)
Previously, legal translators were advised not to transform active into passive provisions and vice versa, as this would be overstepping their authority. Generally speaking, such transformations are now deemed acceptable if the substance remains unchanged. Moreover, translators are sometimes encouraged to use such transformations as a means of improving clarity or shifting emphasis.
”除非 否则并不 “is equivalent to ”除非 否则均属(无/非/不等否足 词) “,because the legal effect is the same. More importantly, the Chinese ”除 非 否贝q并不 ” is not plain and smooth Chinese, and therefore may be substituted with除非……否则均属……〃.
Suggested Revision：除本条例另有条文规定外，任何人在道路上使用汽车，或致使 或允许其他人在道路上使用汽车，除非就该人或该他人(视属何情况而定)对车辆 的使用已备有一份有效的和符合本条例规定的第三者风险保险单或保证单，否则超 属违法。
5.2.3 The Handling of Attributive Clauses
- The attributive clauses introduced by thator yvhich may be translated as Happositive clauses** in Chinese:下述/这样的方式 或即
All date-related data stored electronically by or on behalf of the Company is in such a form that its input, processing, storage or use by or on behalf of the Company will not, directly or indirectly, cause a malfunction in any software, hardware or equipment.
由该公司或其代表以电子方法储存的所有与日期有关的资料所采用的形式使该公司 或其代表储入、处理、储存或使用该等资料不会直接或间接导致任何软、硬件或设 备功能失常O
由该公司或其代表以电子方法储存的所有与日期有关的资料采用了这样的形式，即 该公司或其代表储入、处理、储存或使用该等资料不会直接或间接导致任何软、硬 件或设备功能失常。（王道庚,2006: 98）
- Placing the Attributive Clauses in a Bracket
All computer software that has been supplied or installed by the Company since such date which performs or is or may be required to periform functions involving dates or the computation thereof has the programming, design and performance capabilities to ensure that it will not suffer or cause a malfunction.
由该公司自上述日期已提供或安装而履行或按规定或可能按规定履行涉及日期或其 计算的功能的所有计算机软件具有确保其不会遭受或导致功能失常的程序、设计及 性能。
由该公司自上述日期已提供或安装的所有计算机软件工该等软件执行或须或可能须 执行涉及日期或日期计算的功能上，均具有编程、设计和执行能力以确保其不会遭 受或导致功能失常。（王道庚,2006: 98）
Analysis: In the Suggested Translation, the second clause which peifoYnis or is or may be required to perform functions involving dates or the computation thereof ts placed in the bracket; in this way, the main clause is shortened and the meaning of the sentence is more focused; meanwhile, the subject 4〃 computer software is well supplemented and explained.
- Dismantling the Sentence and Translating into a Chinese Compound Conditional Sentence
You should notify us as soon as possible of any changes or variations to that information which may arise after the date it is passed to us, as well as of any new circumstances which might be relevant to the work we are undertaking.
5.2.4 The Translation of Parallel Structures
In view of the advantages set out in 4.2.10, the parallel structure shall be preserved in its Chinese translation.
Example 18 may be translated into the following Chinese following its English parallel structure:
2）拥有英属维尔京群岛上任何物产利益，本组织大纲第4 （3）⑥段提到的租赁 物产除外；
（http/www. eastwestlaw. com/c_home/show. asp?id= 160）
5.2.5 The Translation of Negation in English
The means of expression between English and Chinese are quite different, as it can be noted that subjects are often the objectives of negation in English, whereas in Chinese it is the predicates that tend to be denied.
No exercise or failure to exercise or delay in exercising any right, power or remedy vested in either party under, or pursuant to, this Agreement shall constitute a waiver by that party of that or any other right, power or remedy.
Analysis: In this example, the word No is intended to deny the whole subject of the sentence exercise or failure to exercise or delay in exercising and is placed before the subject; whereas in the Chinese translation, the negation is placed before the predicate verb 构成.
5.2.6 The Handling of Several Parallel Qualifiers
As to several qualifiers which are placed in the same sentence, for the avoidance of any ambiguities or mistakes, it is suggested that the qualifiers should be placed as near as possible to the element which is qualified. In this way, the connection between the qualifiers and the element qualified will be logical and natural enough.
HConfidential InfbrmationH includes information of whatever nature and in whatever form relating to any member of the Group or any of their Related Persons (as defined below) which has been or may be obtained by the Recipient or by any of its Related Persons.
Analysis: In this sentence, the subject information is qualified by four qualifiers, namely, three prepositional phrases: of whatever nature, in whatever fbrm, relating to any member of and an attributive clause: which has been or may be obtained by
Taking the Chinese logic and way of expression into account, it is suggested that qualifiers in the Chinese translation should be arranged before the central word in such an order: qualifier indicating nature, qualifier indicating form, qualifier indicating state, qualifier indicating relationship, qualifier indicating ownership, etc.
Upon termination, you shall comply with the undertaking specified in Clause 5.2 (f) above and shall pay to us all costs and expenses, including legal and other fbes incurred and all arrears of fees、charges or other payments arising in respect of the Software、this License or otherwise.
一旦发生终止，贵方应遵守以上第5. 24条所载明的承诺，并应向我方支付所有的 费用和开支，包括所产生的法律和其它费用以及就“软件”、本“许可”或其它方 面,而产生的费用、收费或其它付款的所有欠款。
Analysis: From practical experiences, it can be inferred that the attributive arising in respect of the Software, this License or otherwise should qualify all costs cmd expenses; otherwise, pay to us all costs cmd expenses may be too much for a party, which is not a normally acceptable contractual condition. Hence, there are two attributives qualifying all costs cmd expenses、namely, includiiig legal cmd other fees incurred cmd all aryears of fees、 charges or other payments and arising in respect of the Software, this License or otherwise. For the avoidance of the mistake in the original translation and considering the Chinese means of expression, it is suggested that the second attributive arising in respect of the Software、this License or otherwise be placed closely before ” 全部费用和开支” 0
发生终止后，贵方应遵守以上第5. 2(f)条所载明的承诺，并应向我方支付就“软 件”、本“许可”或其它方面所发生的全部费用和开支,包括法律和其它费用以及 所产生的费用、收费或其它付款的所有欠款。
- Significance of This Study
- For a long time, the studies in and discussions on the Chinese translation of English legal texts, such as those covered in the books from which some examples are cited in this thesis, mainly focus on the microcosmic levels at the syntactic structures and lexical expressions, whereas the macrocosmic theoretical guidance in this regard remains inadequate. Despite of the fruitful results achieved by scholars to date, practice-oriented guidance still fall short of the strong demands.
These days, some scholars (such as Associate Professor Zhang Changming (张长明)of Guangdong Maoming Institute and Professor Zhong Weihe (仲伟合)of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies) have set out to explore the applicability of functional translation theories in legal translation. (http:/Avwwl.gdufs.edu.cn/chinaflr) The author applies text typology in this thesis to the discussions on the nature and functions of legal texts and the strategies relating to the translation of complicated sentences contained in English legal texts, explores the significance in terms of guidance that text typology has in the translation of English legal texts into Chinese.
- Notwithstanding the long and complicated sentences feature English legal texts and have been widely recognized as the bottlenecks which frequently challenge legal translators in doing such translation, systematic and in-depth studies and analyses in relation to the translation of complicated sentences contained in English legal texts are still lacking. In the books as previously mentioned in this thesis regarding English-Chinese legal translation, specific handling methods in this regard are all covered to some extent, whereas systematic and comprehensive studies and analyses are still inadequate in the features of complicated sentences; systematic and in-depth studies and analyses are also lacking in the corresponding translation strategies.
It is new attempts that in this thesis, the author sums up the three types of complicated sentences which appear most frequently in English legal texts, analyses in detail the features of such sentences from the lexical, semantic and syntactical perspectives, etc., accordingly proposes and demonstrates the strategies in doing such translation and further puts forward some specific translation methods based on her own practical experiences.
- As a social science, law covers various aspects such as language, culture, politics, ideology, etc. It has been recognized that the translation of legal texts is an interlingual, intercultural and cross-legal-system communicative operation. In view of this fact, the author reflects on the theoretical construction of legal translation from the above perspectives, considers beyond the traditional discussions on literal translation and free translation which haven been repeatedly discussed at the linguistic level.
Nowadays, the foreignization and domestication strategies have been widely discussed and developed beyond their literary applications to a broader sense which covers the linguistics, culture, philosophy, sociology, etc. (see the definitions in 5.1 of Chapter 5). In an attempt to demonstrate the strategies to be employed in doing such translation from the perspective of legal language and legal culture, the author applies these two concepts according to their developed sense and proposes taking foreignization as the leading strategy and appropriate domestication as the supplementary strategy, which are trial explorations in this field.
- Limitations and Suggestions
Given the complexity and sensitivity of legal translation, the discussions and explorations in this field are somewhat avoided touching upon by many scholars. Due to the limited interdisciplinary competence and experiences of the author in law, languages and translation, as well as the limited materials which came to her command, the analyses made in this thesis are still inadequate despite of her good intention to make minor contribution to the studies in this aspect.
It is the hope of the author that more attention and interests of scholars could be invited to conduct more extensive and intensive studies in the field of Chinese-English legal translation so that the existing gap could be gradually filled in and more guidance could be provided to legal translation practitioners. The views and discussions in this thesis are always open to corrections, suggestions and further improvements.