AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies Volume, 1 Number 2, May 2017                                        Pp. 138-151

Reflection of Translation Theory in Teaching Practical Translation: Legal Translation as Case Analysis

Dawn TSANG Fei-yue 

Programme Director, Applied Translation Studies
Division of Humanities & Social Sciences
Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College
Zhuhai, China


Abstract PDF

This paper discusses the applicability of translation theory in teaching practical translation. It examines the Chinese translation of an English legal judgment “Attorney General v Lee Kwong-kut and Attorney General v Lo Chak-man and another”(Hong Kong Public Law Reports, 1993) by the Privy Council. It combines the source-text analysis with translation strategies from the perspective of semantics, syntax and register, in order to discuss how theories can be applied in real-life legal translation setting. The source text contains distinctive examples of legalese, convoluted sentence structure and honorific addresses specific to Anglo legal context. The Chinese translation is challenging as to how to cope with the linguistic and cultural differences, and most significantly, how to carry over the central meanings while retaining the equivalent effect and the authenticity of a legal judgment. Furthermore, this paper is based on the author’s teaching experiences, and will refer to the syllabuses and curriculum design of the “Programme Intended Learning Outcomes” and the “Course Intended Learning Outcomes”. It demonstrates the applicable value of translation theory, and how practical translation can be taught with theoretical explanation and vice versa.Translation bases on practice, all kinds of theories area guideline to be applied.

Cite as:

TSANG, D.F. (2017). Reflection of Translation Theory in Teaching Practical Translation:Legal Translation as Case Analysis. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies, 1(2).


Dr. Dawn Tsang is the Programme Director of Applied Translation Studies at Beijing Normal UniversityHong Kong Baptist University United International College (UIC). She received her Ph.D. in English and
translation from the Lingnan University (Hong Kong). She possesses extensive teaching and
administrative experiences in higher education. She had worked for several universities in Hong Kong
and Australia, including Lingnan University and the University of Tasmania. Her expertise enables her to
teach a broad range of translation courses, including academic writing, business English, interpreting,
cultural translation, literary translation, media translation, legal translation and translation theory. All the courses she taught have been highly interactive and well-received. Her research interests include
practical translation, interpreting, translation theory and its application