On Translating a Korean Legal Entity Designation


On a recent translation job in the above source text, my colleague translated "유한회사" as "LLC" but I revised it to "Yuhan-Hoesa". The following is his question and my reply regarding the mattter.


In Article 1, you transliterated the word 유한회사 as 'Yuhan', which I don't quite understand. The dictionary I used said 유한회사  meant 'limited liability company' (LLC) or possibly 'Incorporated' (Inc.). I also got this impression from the Articles of Incorporation, because of the wording in the articles explaining investment units.


The issue regarding "유한회사" is one that can be confusing and different translators can legitimately take different approaches. Here’s my rationale.

The first issue in question is the translation of “유한회사” to English. The complication is that the legal form of “LLC” doesn’t exist in Korea. We can say that the most similar legal form to “유한회사” is “LLC”, but it’s still a matter of comparing apples to oranges because Korean companies are structured differently in many ways and certainly, a US-based LLC would not be recognized legally in Korea. In this case, it’s not even a US company, but a Dutch company, so we’ve got that additional complication.
But beyond that, this sentence is stipulating the way the name should be rendered in English and in Korean. But if we’re translating it to English, how do we render what essentially has to be a Korean word? The simplest and most accurate approach, in my opinion, is to transliterate, thus, I rendered it as “Yuhan-Hoesa ————–”. 
Once we get past this sentence, since the document clearly stipulates that the company name should be “———- B.V.” when rendered in English, every other translation of "유한회사 ———- " should be written as “———- B.V.”.

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