Japanese Law Translation

Hap tip to Ben Jones for pointing out that these are unofficial translations.

Japan’s Ministry of Justice has a new Website that offers unofficial English translations of thousands of Japanese statutes and regulations. The site provides bilingual versions of the laws and regulations. It also includes lexicographic notes explaining the translation of difficult terms. Here is an example of Article 1 of the Copyright Act of 1970:

目的)

(Purpose)

第一条この法律は、著作物並びに実演、レコード、放送及び有線放送に関し著作者の権利及びこれに隣接する権利を定め、これらの文化的所産の公正な利用に留意しつつ、著作者等の権利の保護を図り、もつて文化の発展に寄与することを目的とする。

Article 1 The purpose of this Act is to provide for, and to secure protection of, the rights of authors, etc. and the rights neighboring thereto with respect [copyrightable] works as well as performances, phonograms, broadcasts and wire-broadcasts, while giving due regard to the fair exploitation of these cultural products, and by doing so, to contribute to the development of culture

The site’s bilingual dictionary is a wonderful resource that not only provides translations, but also links to statutes and regulations that use a specific term or phrase.

Japanese Law Translation

http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/

One thought on “Japanese Law Translation

  1. “Official English translations”? I think not. See e.g. http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/index/info_search/?re=02&info=1

    “These are unofficial translations. Only the original Japanese texts of the laws and regulations have legal effect, and the translations are to be used solely as reference material to aid in the understanding of Japanese laws and regulations.”

    Their machine translation’s not even that clever — note for example numerous dates transcribed as e.g. “5 month 2008 year” (= 2008年5月, May 2008) — even translate.google can do better than that.

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