Legal documents are the same as general documents. They both have opening and concluding statements. The difference is that the opening statement in a legal document is fixed and does not change, with sentence patterns such as "in order to ..., according to ..., combined ....". The concluding statement is also fixed, stating the execution date of the regulation stipulated in the document and the date of abolition of previous regulations. A certified Chinese translation should consider the importance of each part. This article mainly focuses on the translation of opening and concluding statements.
Given the extremely stable format of a legal document’s opening statement, its translation should be basically the same. It is possible to keep the opening statement as a template after translating a basic legal document; the same applies to other legal documents. The habit of using a sentence in Chinese is straightforward; first is the cause, then the basis, and finally the result; but in English translation, the result needs to be translated first for emphasis before proceeding with the translation. Some academics use the phrase “These Regulations are enacted...” for emphasis, while others use the word “formulate” instead of “enact”. However, considering the meaning of the words, “enact” is more accurate than “formulate”. If some translation can use both words without any trouble, the accuracy of the translation can be further ensured.
The concluding statement denotes the end of the whole document. The aspects to be considered in translation are not many; only maintaining a similar style of the original text is required. What is worth mentioning is that since the concluding statement provides the effective date of regulation, the phrase “effective herein” needs to be emphasized on the translation. This phrase can have different translations; namely, “take effect”, “come into effect”, “effective”, etc.
There are many other aspects that certified Chinese translationtranslation need to consider, and these have to be summarized by the translation during the translation process. Translators also need to update their knowledge and share resources to accomplish better translations.