legal translation requires translators to have strong vocabulary and understand legal knowledge. what should we master in legal terminology translation?
1. using functional equivalents
the legal terms of china and other countries have their specific legal significance and effect, and the form can not be changed arbitrarily. therefore, when translating legal terms, translators should try their best to seek formal terms equivalent to or close to the original words in their own laws, rather than arbitrarily creating new words, so as not to mislead readers, cause ambiguity or dispute over interpretation. functional equivalents refer to words in the target language legal system that have the same function as a specific concept in the source language legal system. functional equivalents are usually used when there is no exact equivalent in the translation of legal terms. when there is no exact equivalent, which word is chosen as the functional equivalent depends on whether the function of the term concept in the target language is equivalent to that in the source language.
2. translation without equivalents
the concept of equivalence is relative, not absolute. due to the differences in legal systems, many foreign professional terms related to concepts, principles or norms do not exist in china's law, so there is no equivalent or close equivalent. in this case, translators of legal terms may as well translate the original words into neutral words of non legal professional terms after making a correct understanding of the free translation of the original words, so as to avoid confusion.
interpretation is to express the meaning of the source language in the neutral language of the target language. it can make the target language readers better understand the meaning of the original language, rather than just stay in the literal meaning, so as to improve readability. it should be noted that when legal terminology translators adopt the method of interpretation, they are actually playing the role of drafter, so they should be particularly careful, master first-hand materials as much as possible and correctly understand the real meaning of the original language. legal terminology translators cannot express the true meaning of the original word accurately and completely if they only translate literally or literally.
4. translation and borrowing
the process of perfecting china's legal system is also a process of enriching chinese legal terms, and translation and borrowing is a good way to enrich the legal term system. because there are great differences in pronunciation and writing between foreign language words and chinese words, when foreign language loanwords enter the chinese legal terminology system, they generally go through the process of "domestication", that is, the loanwords have been slightly changed in phonology or writing to make them similar to chinese local words. therefore, translation borrowing is also a good way to translate legal terms.