Translation as a Complex Inter-linguistic Discourse and its Current Problematic Practice in the Genre of Legal Fiction in China

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Abstract

In comparison with the creation of language, translation from one language to another offers greater challenges for those working with languages, be the text for translation concerned with philosophy, literature or law, all of which are arguably highly professional domains. When it comes to the translation of legal fiction, a highly interdisciplinary genre, even experienced practicing translators tend to fall short of being well equipped with sufficient legal knowledge and terminologies, not to mention the capacity to detect the subtleties that are inherent in a legal term. All of the problems above account for the often less-than-satisfactory quality of legal fiction in translation, misleading or confusing the potential target audience. After making the prior theoretical investigations, this paper attempts to analyze some problems in the current Chinese translation of such legal novels as Franz Kafka’s Der Prozess and Charles Dickens’s Bleak House, and then take a corrective stance, hoping to arouse the translators’ awareness of the importance of this genre, as well as their awareness of the essential professional skills they still need to acquire, so that they can reach equivalent accuracy in legal technicalities, as well as subtlety and nuance that reflect the legal spirit.