Differences of Legal translations between Hong Kong and Mainland China

Because of a few social history reasons and political system reasons, the legal languages are different in many aspects.

The following tables are some of the examples.

The same English and Different Translation between Hong Kong and Mainland China

Read Also: Legal English – a Good Combination of Precision and Intricacy

English Expression in Hong Kong Expression in Mainland China
judge 大法官 审判员,法官
material evidence 重要證據 物证
mortgage 按揭 抵押/按揭
claim 申索 索赔
hearing 聆訊 审讯
judgment 得直令 判决书
imprisonment for life 終身監禁 无期徒刑
charge 押記 赊欠
suffer 容忍,忍受 遭受
indemnity 彌償 赔偿
adjourn meeting 押後會議 延期会议
auditor 核數師 审计师
legislative council 立法局 立法委员会
defer 押後 推迟,延缓
examine 詰問,訊問 审问,查问
incriminate 入罪,導致入罪 牵连
plan 圖則 设计图
take over document 收購文件 接管/接收文件
ombudsman 廉政專員 纪律检查委员会

No corresponding expression

Hong Kong 香港 Mainland China 内地
jury 陪審團 prime culprit 罪魁
Kit fat wife 結發妻 labour reform 劳动改造
Kim tiu marriage 兼祧婚姻 heinous crime 罪恶累累
court fee 堂費 deprivation(deprival) of political right 剥夺政治权利
satisfy 信納 civil death/deprival of political right for life 剥夺政治权利终身
justice 太平紳士 counter-revolutionary offence 反革命罪
adjourned meeting 押後會議 administrative sanction 行政处分
affirmation 非宗教式誓詞 malfeasance/violation of the laws and breaches Other deleted file recovery recovery software programs can cause more damage to your hard drive and files by trying “fix” the problem, instead of focusing on recovering your files. of disciplines 违法乱纪
allow an appeal 判決上訴得直 leniency toward those who acknowledge their crimes but severe punishment of those who stubbornly refuse to do so 坦白从宽,抗拒从严
barrister 大律師 gravity of the circumstances/cases of gloss violation 情节严重
betting duty 博彩稅 forced labour 强制劳动
burden of proof 舉證責任 coercive remoulding 强制改造
Chief Secretary 布政司 lenient treatment 宽大处理
Chit-Fund 銀會 labour reform under surveilance 监督劳动改造
Crown land 官地 disciplinary action(award/treatment/punishment) 纪律处分
deponent 宣誓人 gang war 打群架
shadow director 幕後董事 execute 处决
exceed 高逾

During legal translation, we should always remember those differences; try to use the most suitable expression in order to avoid a laughing stock.

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