Legal Translation Skills

Course Code: LTS101
Day: Sat Time: 11:30-13:20 Hours: 20 Sessions: 10 Semester: Spring Instructional Language: English Prerequisites: Eligibility for this course is subject to instructor's approval. A small piece of text to be translated (approximately 150 words) will be provided to applicants via email. The translated text should be sent back by email to or faxed to 03-5441-9811). Students who have already completed one of the Continuing Education department's translation courses (JSL401, BTS101, LTS101, or TTS101) are not required to take the translation test for enrollment. Special Notes: 【This is a hybrid course that you can join either at our Tokyo campus or online via Zoom.】 Location: Hybrid, In-Person (Tokyo), Online English Proficiency Level: High Intermediate, Advanced

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Course Description

This is an introductory course which aims to help students develop strategies for translating between legal English and Japanese. The course content will include specialized legal terminology and related linguistic structures to help prepare students for the translation of legal text and documents from Japanese into English. Different types of legal documents will be provided for students to practice their translation skills.

Learning Objectives

1. Learn specific translation techniques and strategies for legal documents.
2. Learn legal vocabulary and concepts.
3. Learn to find resources for continued improvement.

Who should take this course

Lawyers, paralegals, persons working in legal departments and translators.

Professional Training Certificate Elective Course For:


No required textbook


Christopher Rathbone

Instructor Biography

Christopher Rathbone is a foreign associate at the full-service law firm, City-Yuwa Partners in Tokyo where he specializes in international transactions. He has taught classes and provided seminars on legal translation, legal writing and contracts for Japanese, Korean, Cambodian and US universities, as well as the Tokyo offices of many top US law firms. As a long term resident of Japan who is fluent in Japanese, Mr. Rathbone’s classes and seminars provide both practical information and cultural insights. In addition to legal writing and contracts, he frequently gives presentations on diverse topics including Plain English and the legal profession in Japan and the US. As a health advocate, he also writes articles and speaks on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the intersection of tobacco and human rights. Mr. Rathbone graduated with honors from the University of Saskatchewan and earned a J.D. from the College of Law of the University of Saskatchewan and an LL.M. from Hokkaido University as a Monbusho Scholar. He is admitted as an attorney in Massachusetts.