Translating Chinese Legal Documents

Subject TRAN90005 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1 hour lecture and a 1 hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Time commitment totals 170 hours.


Admission to the Master of Translation program.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Yongxian Luo



Subject Overview:

Students will be given a guided introduction to a variety of legal documents, including the Chinese constitution, criminal law, tax legislation, contracts, and communiqu├ęs. Special attention will be devoted to the cultural and linguistic nuances of certain key terms in PRC legislation. The style of Chinese legal documents will be analysed, as will issues in the legal interpretation of such documents and professional presentation to Anglophone clients or employers.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject, students will:

  • improve their skills in comprehension and interpretation of legal language in Chinese;
  • gain knowledge of some issues of contemporary Chinese legal policy and law reform;
  • acquire skills to extract information from complex specialized materials written in Chinese, and render them accurately into English;
  • be able to present specialized technical information in a correct professional format;
  • be equipped with skills to translate Chinese legal documents.

  • One 2000 word written assignment due week 6 ( (35%)
  • A 1-hour in-class test, 500 words, due week 10 (15%)
  • A final translation project of 2500 words due week 12 (50%)

Hurdle requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Materials prepared by the Asia Institute.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Bilingualism: Translation entails the highest possible degree of written competence in English and Chinese, with an acute capacity for metalinguistic awareness, and a preparedness to continually improve
  • Intercultural understanding: Translation requires the practitioner to be deeply engaged with two cultures and to understand how to mediate between them on behalf of people who do not share both cultures. In this particular subject, students should command the ability in understanding social and economic contexts of Chinese legal system.
  • Decision making: Translators are creative decision makers who need to draw on multiple sources of data to form judgments that are seldom clear-cut, and who are prepared to defend their decisions and to revise them when necessary.

Related Course(s): Master of Translation
Master of Translation (Extended)

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