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Chinese-English Translation Of Fifty Common Legal Words

Posted in Legal News

A long time ago (before we even started this blog, I believe) one of our summer associates, Ben Kostrzewa, compiled a Chinese-English translation of fifty common legal words. I have had that list on my computer ever since and I just come across it again and figured I would run it on here so others might take advantage of it. Not even sure why this list was compiled but it appears to have been aimed at least as much to assist the Chinese lawyers with whom we work as to assist our clients doing business in China.

At this point I have my doubts that I would choose all fifty of these words for such a list, but since the translations are accurate and since they have already been compiled, we are going with it.

If you notice any inaccuracies, please let us know my commenting below. Similarly, if you want to add to the list, please do so.

诉讼-Sue, Litigate

机构-Agency

上诉-Appeal

法案-Bill

案件/案例-Case

民法-Civil

控诉-Complaint/Charge

宪法-Constitution

合同-Contract

证明有罪/定罪-Conviction

有限公司-Corporation

法庭-Court

债权人-Creditor

犯人-Criminal

债户-Debtor

契-Deed

被告人-Defendant

义务-Duty

产业-Estate

证据-Evidence

行政-Executive

联邦制-Federal/Federalism

理由-Grounds

判决-Judgment

司法-Judicial

陪审团-Jury

法律-Law

责任/义务-Liability

制定/通过 法律-Legislate

抵押-Mortgage

动议-Motion

过失-Negligence

可转让的-Negotiable

文书-Instrument

意见-Opinion (Not Judge’s Decision)

当事人-Party

原告/申诉人-Plaintiff

辩护-Plead/Pleading

财产-Property

管理/调整-Regulate

权利-Right

证券-Security (bond, stock)

判决-Sentence

法律-Statute

证据Testimony

产权书-Title

侵权行为-Tort

托拉斯-Trust

认定-Verdict

遗嘱-Will

见证/证人-Witness

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=17829949 Sean Wood

    The pinyin translation would also be helpful.

  • Jose Serebrier

    No pinyin? No definitions? The Chinese definitions vary considerably from our English language ones as the legal systems are totally different. What, for example, do you mean by “Trust”? The legal definition of the moral concept or as in a “Trust Fund”? Without these this article is largely meaningless.

  • S.

    this list was used in 长沙大学 legal department today, thank you

  • kevin

    I think

    有限公司 limited corporatione

    可转让的 transferable

    可议付的 negotiable

  • Zhang Ying Hong (Kevin Zhang)

    Yup Kevin I agree it’s not entirely accurate. Dan you should get this checked professionally. Readers should also note these Chinese characters DO NOT apply in Hong Kong, Taiwan or overseas Chinese diasporas as the characters in these places are complex version and you have only listed simplex. And you didn’t put in pinyin either. It is difficult for foreigners to understand Chinese uses of these technical words and be accurate, it needs mainland professionals with pinyin and dual Chinese-US legal qualifications to do this type of translation properly. Please be cautious using the above it’s not 100% correct.

  • http://www.sjfpc.com/home.html Steven J Fromm & Associates

    This is a very cool list. I really enjoyed it.

  • Shirin

    For those wanting the pinyin it can be easily found by inputting the list into google translate. Or other similar translation sites.
    Also – just a note that I have more often seen 行政 translated as administrative/administration than executive.

  • Sue Wang

    Theres several here that are not properly unspecified or open to interpretation. I’ll give the English words that are not accurate above in the Chinese characters provided: litigate, complaint, conviction, corporation, court, deed, duty, estate, executive, federal, grounds, motion, instrument, party, regulate, title, trust & will.

  • Sunny

    Debtor: 债务人
    Verdict:裁决

  • http://silvan.me/ Matt Silvan

    Thanks for this list! I might start learning them in the coming months. I agree with the comments before me: You should add some context or description (especially for which you present two Chinese vocabularies).

  • Jimmy Fu

    Regarding the translation of the legal words, my opinions are: 1. the Chinese word for “Debtor” should be 债务人 instead of 债户。 I think 债户 maybe more used in Taiwan. Most Chinese in mainland China will be puzzled by 债户; 2. the English word for Chinese “产业” should be industry. Estate in Chinese means property in most cases.; 3. The Chinese word for “Executive” should be 执行的 (example, executive vice president) instead of 行政。 The English for 行政 should be “administrative‘; 4. In Chinese, “negotiable” is 可承兑的 instead of 可转让的。 The English word for 可转让的 is transferrable; 5. The Chinese words for “Statute ” are 法令、法规、条例,not 法律 which is Law in English; 6. The Chinese words for “Testimony” should be 证词 or 证言 instead of 证据; Best Regards/ Jimmy Fu