Legal translation: A sociosemiotic approach

Le Cheng, King Kui Sin, Winnie Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Quite different from translation for general purposes, transplanted legal discourse is often unmatchable to the target discourse community. In reality, exact equivalence could not be found in terms of translation in legal transplant, which means the major task of translation in legal transplant is to solve lacunae, discursive gaps between the source text and the target text. In legal translation, a lacuna seems to constitute a factor of untranslatability. This paper, based on a study of four cases, argues that equivalence can be achieved within the proposed Translational Triangle. The sociosemiotic approach is adopted in this study to explore the complexity in legal translation, and provide insights into legal translation, both theoretically and practically.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-33
Number of pages17
Issue number201
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Complexity
  • Language and society
  • Legal translation
  • Sociosemiotic approach
  • Translational triangle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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