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Title: An evaluation of an online bilingual corpus for the self-learning of legal English
Authors: Fan, M
Xu, X 
Issue Date: 2002
Source: System, 2002, v. 30, no. 1, p. 47-63
Abstract: Based on a relatively simple but innovative idea of inserting hyperlinks at the sentence level between parallel texts, a bilingual corpus of legal and documentary texts in English and Chinese has been created and made available online together with a web-based concordancer. In addition to introducing such a corpus, this paper reports a study which seeks to evaluate the usefulness of the corpus in the self-learning of legal English. The subjects involved were a group of Chinese students doing a degree in Translation in a university of Hong Kong, where English Common Law is still used after the handover in 1997 when the sovereignty of Hong Kong was restored from Britain to China. The instruments for data collection included two comprehension tasks, a questionnaire and a follow-up interview. Findings of the study indicate that students considered the bilingual corpus useful as they needed both language versions in the understanding of legal provisions though they were found to rely more on Chinese. Interesting data in relation to how users of the bilingual corpus switched between the two languages have also been obtained. This paper also investigates how the inherent characteristics of legal English contribute to the comprehension difficulty of L2 learners irrespective of the help obtained from the bilingual corpus.
Keywords: Bilingualism
Comprehension tasks
Legal English
Online bilingual corpus
Parallel texts
Journal: System 
ISSN: 0346-251X
DOI: 10.1016/S0346-251X(01)00052-5
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