法律英语翻译

法律翻译应注意的十二个问题(一)

2022-9-15 10:26:29 SEO 39

  法律翻译应注意的十二个问题(一)

  一、情态动词

  1.长期以来,在法律英语中,存在着严重滥用shall一词的情况,无论外国法律,还是中国法律英译均是如此。对此,英语国家已经开始给予应有注意。

  2.美国简明英语行动和信息网出版的写作手册Writing User-friendly Documents以及美国国家档案和记录管理局出版的写作手册Drafting Legal Documents中,专门对法律文件中shall等情态动词的用法作出说明:

  Use “must” for obligation, ‘‘may” for permission, and “should” for preference. Use “may not” to convey prohibitions. Avoid the ambiguous “shall.”

  Writing User-friendly Documents

  Shall—imposes an obligation to act, but may be confused with prediction of future action

  Will—predicts future action

  Must—imposes obligation, indicates a necessity to act

  Should—infers obligation, but not absolute necessity

  May—indicates discretion to act

  May not—indicates a prohibition—Drafting Legal Documents

  3.情态动词在法律英语中的用法。A是修改前的说法,B是修改后的说法。例:

  (1) A: The Governor shall approve it.

  B: The Governor must approve it. [表示义务]

  B: The Governor will approve it. [表示未来行动]

  (2) A: The fine for driving without a license shall be $10.00.

  B: The fine for driving without a license is $10.00.

  4.法律具有持续不断的效力。法律是针对法律适用时所说的话,不是起草或者生效时所说的话,因此,法律应当使用一般现在时。

  通过使用现在时,避免了复杂的动词形式。例:

  (1) A: Any oil or gas lessee who wishes to use timber for fuel in drilling operations shall file an application with the officer who issued the lease.

  B: You must file an application to use the timber for fuel on your oil or gas lease. File the application at the office where you obtained your lease. [表示义务]

  (2) A: The applicant shall be notified by registered mail in all cases where the permit applied for is not granted, and shall be given 30 days within which to appeal such decision.

  B: Our agency will notify you by registered mail if we reject your application appeal must be filed within 30 days. [表示将来]

  5.关于法律文本中如何使用情态动词,法律起草者和用户的观点并不一致,因此大家看到的法律文本,用法也并不一致。

  但无论采用哪家观点,必须保证在同一篇文本中,用法一致。

  二、条件的表示方法

  1.法律英语手册中这样规定:如果只有一个if,一个then,则先说if,再说then。这样做的好处是假如if表示then的适用对象,读者读完if就知道是否需要往下读了。如:

  If you invested in Class A shares, then…

  【解析】如果读者不投资于A股,就不用读下去了。

  2.如果有一个if,数个then,则先说if把then以清单形式列举出来。

  如果只有一个then,有几个if,则先说then,把if的内容以清单形式列举出来。

  如果有多个if多个then,可能就需要把一个句子断为几个句子,分清哪个if对应哪个then;或者列表说明。例:

  (1) If the introductory language for the list is an incomplete sentence—

  End the introduction with a dash;

  End each item in the list except the last item with a semicolon;

  After the semicolon in the next-to-last item in the list, write “and” or “or” as appropriate;and

  End the last item in the list with a period.

  (2) A: Applicants who were Federal employees at the time that the injury was sustained should have filed a compensation request at that time. Failure to do so could have an effect on the degree to which the applicant can be covered under this part.

  B: You may not be covered under this part if—

  You were a Federal employee at the time of the injury; and

  You did not file a report with US at that time.

  三、隐藏的条件:“的”字结构

  1.汉语立法中的一大特点就是用“的”字表示条件。国内立法英译中,可以看到对这一结构的处理方式,除其他外,包括以下几种:

  (1) Whoever式。例:

  “具有下列条件之一的……” Whoever meets the one of the following conditions…

  (2) Anyone who式:Anyone who meets one of the following conditions…

  (3) Those who式:Those who meet one of the following conditions…

  (4) Any person式:Any person who meets one of the following conditions…

  (5) No one who式。例:

  有下列情形之一的,不予注册

  【译文】no one who is found in one of the following cases may be registered…

  (6) If式:if a person meets the one of the following conditions…

  (7) Where式:where one of the following conditions is met…

  2.翻译任何资料,如有可能,都要参考英语国家同类文件(平行文本)的写作风格。

  (1) 我们任意找一部英语法律,看以上表达方法的使用情况。

  我们选择美国《版权法》。美国《版权法》共279页,利用电子搜索手段查找各种用法,发现以If开头的,共69处,以any person who开头的,共17处,以where开头的,有7处,以whoever开头的,共有5处,以anyone who开头的,共有2处,以those who开头的句子没有。没有一个句子含有No one。

  以上统计并不全面,但从统计结果可以明显看出,英语使用if表示条件是最多的,其次是any person who (当然不限于person),然后是where、whoever。还有其他方法,例:

  In the event that the author’s widow or widower, children, and grandchildren are not living…

  (2) 当然,表示条件并不限于以上几种方式,还有许多隐藏的表示方法。

  所以,我们在汉译英时,汉语中的“的”字结构不一定都翻译为相同的格式,而是根

  据情况采取不同处理方法,但多数应该翻译为if。

  四、同义词

  1.法律中经常列举一系列同义词,其意图是为了表示穷尽性列举,例:

  宾馆、饭店、旅社、招待所、公共浴池、游泳池、理发店、美容店、歌舞厅等经营单位,应组织直接为顾客服务的人员到市、区(市)县以上卫生行政管理部门指定的性病、艾滋病防治专业机构进行性病、艾滋病项目检查,取得健康证明后,方可准予上岗。

  【译文】Business units such as hotels, restaurants, public baths, swimming pools, hairdressers, beauty salons, and song and dance halls…shall arrange for service personnel who have direct customer contact to be tested for venereal diseases and AIDS at specialized institutions designated by health administrative authorities at or above city, district or county level. Such personnel shall not be allowed to work until they have passed the tests and received a health certificate.

  【解析】这里的“宾馆、饭店、旅社、招待所”在英语中无法找到足够的同义词与之对应,所以译为两个词。这段英文只是普通报告中引用的部分,英语并无法律约束力,所以可以这样翻译。

  有人主张把译入语表示相似意思的所有同义词也全部罗列出来(如inn,hotel,boarding house,guesthouse,hostel,roadhouse,motel),同样也表示穷尽。

  但如果是国际文书,两种语言具有同等法律效率,就不能像以上例子那样灵活翻译,而是要找到同义词,或进行解释,甚至使用拼音:hotels and restaurants(binguan,fandian,lushe,and zhaodaisuo)。

  本文整理自《非文学翻译理论与实践》


法律翻译应注意的十二个问题(一)

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