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Reference and Its Translation in Legal Text

Author: GuoDan
Tutor: XiaoYunShu
School: Southwest University of Political Science
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: discourse discourse analysis reference legal translation translation strategies
CLC: H315.9
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 20
Quote: 0
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All kinds of policies, regulations, agreements and laws come into being with the development of globalization. Therefore, all these relevant policies, regulations, agreements and laws are considered as one of the objects of translation naturally. Furthermore, China’s WTO Accession is a big challenge to translators as well. Although there are lots of differences between legal English and legal Chinese, criteria for translation both in legal English and legal Chinese are identical in general, especially the criterion of accuracy. Fulfilling the requirement of accuracy needs to pay attention to a great number of elements, such as a good understanding of the original text, the competence of bilingualism, distinctive legal culture and legal systems and so forth. Apart from the said elements, the present paper tries to study on the translation of reference in legal texts by focusing on the analysis of reference.Discourse analysis was put forward in 1952. It is an interdisciplinary subject which has a lot in common with pragmatics. A discourse has texture and that is why it is different from other linguistic units which cannot be considered as a discourse. One linguistic unit may have nothing to do with another without texture. The texture is dependent on cohesive relation greatly. Reference is one of the cohesive devices which contribute to textual cohesion. It is a semantic relation. When the interpretation of one linguistic unit is decided by the meaning of another linguistic unit which presents in the preceding or following discourse, reference comes into being. In spite of different classifications on reference, the present paper is going to adopt M. A. K Halliday and Ruqaiya Hasan’s viewpoint. They divided reference into personal reference, demonstrative reference and comparative reference in one of their representative works, Cohesion in English.The inconsistency of reference is not allowed in legal texts and legal translation as a result of those unique characteristics of legal texts or legal language. Therefore, the appropriate translation of reference plays an essential role in legal texts. In accordance with the application and features of reference in legal texts and the comparison, discussion and study on Chinese and English reference, the present paper puts forward five translation strategies.

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