An investigation of norms in legal translation: A corpus-based study of conditional connectives in company law

Kanglong Liu, Linqing Zhu

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Based on a comparable corpus comprised of texts collected from different versions of company law from the United Kingdom, Chinese mainland, and Hong Kong at different periods, we conducted both quantitative and qualitative analyses to examine the similarities and differences between these versions using the conditional connectives commonly found in legal texts as indicators. Through a detailed comparative analysis of these conditional connectives, the extent to which writing and translation norms affect the production of legal texts were discussed and explored. In light of the translation norm theory by Toury and the Three Circles model of World Englishes by Kachru, we found that Britain as a native English country of the inner circle is the initiator and reformer of legal writing norms and as such also exerts an influence on the norms of the outer and expanding circles. As far as company law is concerned, the newly created norms of the inner circle have not made an impact on the expanding circle and the translation of legal texts from the Chinese mainland is still governed by the old norms, which explains the conservative and archaic style identified in the two Chinese versions of company law.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiverse Voices in Chinese Translation and Interpreting
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Practice
EditorsRiccardo Moratto, Martin Woesler
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-33-4283-5
ISBN (Print)978-981-33-4282-8, 978-981-33-4285-9
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2021

Publication series

NameNew Frontiers in Translation Studies
ISSN (Print)2197-8689
ISSN (Electronic)2197-8697


  • Company law
  • Conditional connectives
  • Corpus
  • Legal translation
  • Translation norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication


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