Legal translation and Chinese

The article “Legal Translation and Chinese” will tell you who is a translator of legal documents from Chinese. Economic relations between Europe and China are deepening. Joint European-Chinese companies are opened. Both in Europe and in China. Any economic relations between business entities are formalized in the form of legal and financial documents.That is why the direction “Legal translation and Chinese language” is gaining an increasing role in modern conditions.


  • Legal translation and Chinese. How is this related?
  • Legal translation and Chinese. Requirements for a translator
  • Requirements for a Chinese translator to perform legal translation
  • Legal translation and Chinese: TOP4 rules
  • Difficulties during legal translation
  • Qualified Chinese translator in the field of legal translations
  • List of documents for legal translation from Chinese into Russian
  • Legal translation and Chinese: wording
  • Use of industry-specific terms in legal translation
  • Conclusion

Legal translation and Chinese. How is this related?

Legal translation is a separate area of translation activity, which consists in the translation of a certain category of documents. Such documents regulate legal relations and are used to exchange legal information between specialists from different countries. This type of translation is one of the most difficult. Why?

Legal translation and Chinese. Requirements for a translator

Firstly, the translator must have a professional command of the Chinese language. Secondly, the translator must understand industry terminology. Here, this refers to legal terms. The law itself reflects the socio-political and cultural characteristics of the country. That is why legal translation is not a trivial task. For such information to be conveyed adequately, the target language must be accurate, clear and reliable.

Requirements for a Chinese translator to perform legal translation

Accordingly, the level of qualification of the translator directly affects the result and quality of the translated legal document. Also, the professionalism of the translator may depend on whether a commercial deal is concluded or not.

Along with the linguistic peculiarities, the contractor takes into account the specifics of the transaction, the branch of civil law relations, the peculiarities of legal systems. A translator engaged in legal translations, no matter how trite it may sound, must have the appropriate experience in translating legal documents, be familiar with legal issues. The best option if such a translator has a legal education.

To perform high-quality legal translation, it is important for the customer to make sure that the translator has the necessary competence. Here we come to the requirements for a legal translator. It is best to entrust the translation of legal documents to a translator who specializes in the relevant field of law and works with the appropriate language pair.

In addition, such a translator must also have a legal education. Why is this so important? Everything is simple: the transaction will not be registered, property damage will be caused, which may entail civil liability in the form of fines, forfeit, penalties, and even to court proceedings.

Legal translation and Chinese: TOP 4 rules

The translator of this direction must comply with the following rules:

  • competent use of industry terminology;
  • the ability to use standardized text forms, speech patterns typical for legal documents of a particular country within a certain legal system;
  • identification and analysis of differences (lexical, semantic, syntactic, grammatical, etc.) between several languages within each selected language pair;
  • adherence to the principle of consistency in the presentation of the material used.

Difficulties during legal translation

Certain difficulties can arise in the process of translating legal documents. The legal system of each state is structured differently. Therefore, the documents may use terms, the exact equivalent of which in the target language is not always easy to find.

When faced with a difficult situation, a legal translator starts searching for the optimal match between the source term and the term used in the translated text. Dictionaries, industry glossaries, and related materials may be used.

In the process of performing legal translation, a translator may encounter some of the following difficulties:

  1. inconsistency of wording, due to which there may be discrepancies in the definition of some legal concepts used in the legal systems of states with interpretation in the language of the source material and its translation;
  2. the complexity of the search or even the lack of adequate translation of terms in the target language;
  3. the presence of socio-cultural features that lead to a discrepancy between the textual conventions of the source and the interpreted language.

Qualified translator from Chinese in the field of legal translations

For example, the author of this article, having been engaged in translation activity for 6 years, actively used his knowledge of the legal profession. For example, legal education allows Alexander to convey all the legal nuances in the process of performing a translation. Alexander specializes in the translation of documents from Chinese into Russian in the field of civil law, protection of intellectual property rights, and consumer protection.

List of documents for legal translation from Chinese into Russian

  • contracts for technical audit;
  • maintenance agreements for industrial equipment;
  • contracts for the supply of production line, machine tools;
  • sales agreements;
  • lease agreements;
  • labor contracts;
  • license agreements;
  • constituent documents (charter, constituent agreement, minutes, certificate of registration and registration);
  • a memorandum on the establishment of a joint venture;
  • tender documents for construction works;
  • statements of claim for recognizing the registration of a trademark as invalid;
  • responses to claims for the protection of intellectual property rights for a trademark;
  • regulatory legal acts of state bodies of various countries (laws, regulations, decrees and rules);
  • local regulatory legal acts (technical standards, regulations);
  • accompanying documents (powers of attorney, certificates, certificates, licenses, permits).

Legal translation and Chinese: wording

In the process of performing a legal translation, the translator pays close attention to the following fact. The original text of a legal document is drawn up in accordance with the norms of a certain legal system (continental or Romano-Germanic legal system – Western Europe, Russia; Anglo-Saxon legal system – England, USA, Canada, Australia).

The specifics of each legal system affect the legal formulation. Therefore, due to the lack of appropriate lexical equivalents, the translator remembers that the textual formulations in the source language are often culturally dependent. For example, a Sino-Russian translation of a statement of claim for filing with an arbitration court in China.

The text of a legal document is prepared according to the rules established by the regulations of its country of origin and uses the appropriate wording. The text of the translated document must accurately reflect the content of the original and all its legal subtleties, but at the same time be built according to the rules of a different legal system and be guided by different terms.

Use of industry-specific terms in legal translation

In addition, there are great difficulties in translating legal documents due to the availability of specialized industry terms. This is due to the variety of branches of legal law and the specifics of the terminology of each of them.

In addition to terms, there are also legal clichés – phrases that carry a certain legal meaning. The legal translation of such phrases is even more difficult, as it requires a sufficiently deep knowledge of the legal system and a competent selection of language constructions.

In the process of performing translation, the translator can use bilingual legal dictionaries. But here, too, the translator should always be very careful: such dictionaries often do not contain a reference to a specific branch of law in which a particular term is used.

Therefore, we come to the need to create a specialized legal glossary for a specific project. Otherwise, any mistake and / or inaccuracy (typo, minor defect) in the documents can cause significant legal consequences, as noted earlier.


The publication Legal Translation and Chinese addressed the following issues:

  1. features of translation of legal documents;
  2. the importance of professional legal translation;
  3. basic requirements for a translator to perform legal translation;
  4. a brief overview of the problems of legal translation.
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