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Translating Chinese Legal Documents (TRAN90005)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeTRAN90005
Semester 1
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Students will be given a guided introduction to a variety of legal documents, including the Chinese constitution, criminal law, tax legislation, contracts, and communiqués. Special attention will be devoted to the cultural and linguistic nuances of certain key terms in PRC legislation. The style of Chinese legal documents will be analysed, as will issues in the legal interpretation of such documents and professional presentation to Anglophone clients or employers.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject, students will:

  • improve their skills in comprehension and interpretation of legal language in Chinese;
  • gain knowledge of some issues of contemporary Chinese legal policy and law reform;
  • acquire skills to extract information from complex specialized materials written in Chinese, and render them accurately into English;
  • be able to present specialized technical information in a correct professional format;
  • be equipped with skills to translate Chinese legal documents.

Generic skills

  • Bilingualism: Translation entails the highest possible degree of written competence in English and Chinese, with an acute capacity for metalinguistic awareness, and a preparedness to continually improve
  • Intercultural understanding: Translation requires the practitioner to be deeply engaged with two cultures and to understand how to mediate between them on behalf of people who do not share both cultures. In this particular subject, students should command the ability in understanding social and economic contexts of Chinese legal system.
  • Decision making: Translators are creative decision makers who need to draw on multiple sources of data to form judgments that are seldom clear-cut, and who are prepared to defend their decisions and to revise them when necessary.

Last updated: 6 November 2018