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Legal Korean: Basic Law Terminology

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Learning a new language becomes particularly interesting when we start delving into specific areas of vocabulary, such as legal terminology. If you’re studying Korean and have an interest in the law, knowing basic legal terms can be incredibly useful, whether for professional purposes, understanding Korean dramas, or simply enriching your vocabulary. Below is a list of basic legal Korean vocabulary, complete with definitions and example sentences.

법 (Beop)
Definition: Law or any legal statute.
이 법은 지난해에 개정되었습니다.
(Translation: This law was amended last year.)

계약 (Gyeyak)
Definition: Contract or agreement between two or more parties.
우리는 새로운 계약을 체결했다.
(Translation: We entered into a new contract.)

소송 (Sosong)
Definition: Lawsuit or legal action taken by a person or organization.
그 회사는 고객에게 손해 배상을 위해 소송을 당했다.
(Translation: The company was sued by a customer for damages.)

변호사 (Byeonhosa)
Definition: Attorney or lawyer.
변호사는 고객의 권리를 대변합니다.
(Translation: The attorney represents the client’s rights.)

재판 (Jaepan)
Definition: Trial or the process of judging a legal case in court.
재판은 다음 주 목요일에 시작됩니다.
(Translation: The trial begins next Thursday.)

증거 (Jeunggeo)
Definition: Evidence or proof presented in legal proceedings.
이 증거로 인해 사건이 전환점을 맞았습니다.
(Translation: The case turned on this piece of evidence.)

피고 (Pigo)
Definition: Defendant or the person being accused in a lawsuit.
피고는 법정에서 무죄를 주장했다.
(Translation: The defendant claimed innocence in court.)

원고 (Wongo)
Definition: Plaintiff or the person who brings a case against another in a court of law.
원고는 손해배상을 요구하고 있습니다.
(Translation: The plaintiff is demanding compensation for damages.)

판결 (Pangyeol)
Definition: Judgment or the final decision made by a judge in a legal case.
판결은 내일 발표될 예정입니다.
(Translation: The judgment is due to be announced tomorrow.)

형법 (Hyeongbeop)
Definition: Criminal law, which deals with behavior considered harmful to society.
형법은 사회의 안전과 질서를 유지하는데 중요합니다.
(Translation: Criminal law is important for maintaining the safety and order of society.)

민법 (Minbeop)
Definition: Civil law, which deals with disputes between private parties.
민법 분쟁은 대체로 재산과 계약에 관한 문제들입니다.
(Translation: Civil law disputes are mostly about property and contractual issues.)

상법 (Sangbeop)
Definition: Commercial law, which governs business and commercial transactions.
이 회사는 상법에 따라 설립되었습니다.
(Translation: The company was established according to commercial law.)

판사 (Pansa)
Definition: Judge, who presides over court proceedings.
판사님께서는 정의로운 결정을 내려 주셨습니다.
(Translation: The judge made a just decision.)

법정 (Beopjeong)
Definition: Courtroom, where legal cases are heard and decided.
법정은 증인의 증언으로 조용해졌습니다.
(Translation: The courtroom fell silent during the witness’s testimony.)

With these basic law-related terms, you can start to get a grasp of legal Korean language. Whether you’re studying for the TOPIK exam, working in a legal context, or just expanding your language horizons, understanding these terms can open many doors and deepen your appreciation of the Korean language and its legal system. Remember, like any language learning endeavor, context is key, so try to practice these words in context and immerse yourself in authentic Korean legal material to see them in action.

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