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:
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
Earlier Sergio wrote about an “article on evaluating English-Spanish legal dictionaries.” Now, from the Legal Scholarship Network, comes notice of this new article:
“The Quality of Legal Dictionaries: An Assessment”
R. DE GROOT, University of Maastricht
CONRAD VAN LAER, University of Maastricht
In this article, the quality of the different bilingual legal dictionaries between the languages of the Member States of the European Union will be assessed. In order to do so, some general remarks will be made first about problems with translating legal terminology. Based on those remarks, criteria for reliable bilingual dictionaries will be formulated in the next section. Finally, these criteria will be applied on the available bilingual dictionaries containing the legal language used by one or more EU Member States. To illustrate this, we have attached an updated bibliography encompassing about 200 recently published bilingual and multilingual legal dictionaries in the European Union.
The bibliography in the Annex will be the evidence for our final conclusion that most legal dictionaries must be classified as a word list, which implies here that they are of dubious quality. To date, few legal dictionaries have attempted to meet our criteria. Dictionaries that are based on comparative legal research, on the other hand, offer advantages that render them useful to professional translators.
Source: LSN Comparative Law Vol. 8 No. 127, 11/11/2008