Japanese Legal Terms

Japanese Legal Terms

From Peter Durfee via the CIR Homepage:

The Japanese government’s official English translations of certain (about 230 pages worth) Japanese legal terms is available online. The following url links to a (3 MB) pdf on the Japanese Cabinet Secretariat’s site that contains the dictionary (the 法令用語日英標準対訳辞書):


I took a quick squiz at the file and it looks like a major resource for anyone who translates in the legal field, whether for terms of art:

shall be presumed

shall be deemed

without delay

standard notations:

目次 Table of Contents
編    Part
章    Chapter
節    Section
款    Subsection
目    Division
条    Article (Art.)

or simply the official names of laws:

Basic Act

【例】原子力基本法                 Atomic Energy Basic Act
環境基本法                   Environment Basic Act
男女共同参画社会基本法    Basic Act for Gender-Equal Society

Just because the translation is official doesn’t mean it couldn’t be improved – “Environment Basic Act” is nothing if not forced. Both ALC and Glova give “The Basic Environment Law” for 環境基本法 (かんきょうきほんほう)which does roll off the tongue a little better. Nevertheless, a handy document to have in one’s (basic) possession.

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