Category: Conferences

On  Thursday, 21 September, the University of Birmingham will host a seminar on ” Law, translation and migration: an enlightening relationship”. The event is free but requires pre-registration. The announcement about the event and the full programme are reproduced below:

“Challenges of legal translation have existed for a long time in international law and international relations. However, the intense process of globalization since the latter half of the 20th century has led to a rapid increase of international treaties and agreements, regional governance, international organizations, NGOs and courts as well as growing reliance on international arbitration.

Much of this globalized legal work is performed through translation. In spite of its long history and recent proliferation, legal translation remains underexplored, particularly from a socio-legal perspective. In fact, research on the intersection of law and translation has tended to concentrate on a rather limited agenda with broader issues being neglected. Therefore, migration is an appropriate and innovative lens to pursue this broader investigation and to tackle the following key issues: what are the various effects of globalisation on this intersection? What is the impact of legal translation on the acceptance of concepts and ideas into other (legal) cultures? What are the effects of the ‘translated’ word on the perception of the very phenomena it portrays?

This seminar will not only further our understanding of the intersection of law and translation, but it will advance knowledge and analysis on migration, an issue central to our times. By addressing the intersection of law and translation in this way, it will  reveal novel questions, effects or links to migration, thus advancing the intellectual agenda of the socio-legal community.”

Programme

Morning

Workshop 1 – Language and migration – A complex relationship

Professor Ann-Marie Fortier – University of Lancaster (Department of sociology):
‘On (not) speaking English: colonial legacies in language requirements for British citizenship’ 

Professor Eleanor Spaventa – University of Durham (School of Law):
“Language and the internal market”

Professor François Grin – Université de Genève (Faculty of translation and interpreting)
“Language, mobility and inclusion in the EU: the MIME project”

Workshop 2 – Portrayal of the nexus translation and migration

Professor Lucja Biel – University of Warsaw (Faculty of applied linguistics):
‘Translation and the law: A case study of a corpus of (legal) translation on migration’ 

Professor Loredana Polezzi – University of Cardiff (School of Modern Languages):
‘The portrayal in contemporary literary texts of the relationship between migration, translation and the law”

Afternoon:

Workshop 3 – ‘Translating migration’ in practice

Professor Angela Creese & Professor Adrian Blackledge – University of Birmingham (School of Education):
‘Translation in everyday practice”

Dr Frances Rock – University of Cardiff (School of English, communication and philosophy)
“Just because she’s a solicitor that doesn’t make her any better than you”: Law, translation and migration in confronting disadvantage through enlightened relationships in legal advice”

Dr Elpida Loupaki – Aristotle University of Thessalonika (Department of French studies and literature):
‘Translating migration – beyond terminology’

Piotr Wegorowski – University of Cardiff (School of English, communication and philosophy)
“Translating institutional procedures: the case of community policing”

 

source: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/law/events/2017/law-translation-migration.aspx

Following on from the previous post about upcoming conferences relevant to legal translation, language and law, a few more conferences on the topic have been drawn to my attention by colleagues. Many thanks!

So adding these 2, that makes a total of 7 more conferences on legal translation this year.Continue Reading..

Hard on the heels of the very interesting event “Legal translation to the next level” held on 4 February here in London come a series of other events and conferences all relating to the topic.  The tagline for the London conference was that legal translators should ‘roar to the world’ about their existence.  Another 5 conferences happening this year will certainly help get the message out there about what legal translators do and the important role they play. So here’s a quick round-up of forthcoming legal translation events:Continue Reading..

The role of legal translators, and of legal translation as an activity, is attracting increasing attention, with a host of conferences having been organised on the subject or closely related topics in recent years.

I’ve recently returned from a very interesting and productive conference in Seville entitled, “From Legal Translation to Jurilinguistics: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Language and Law” held at the Universidad Pablo   de Olavide in late October.

The recent conference in Seville emphasised the important role legal translators have to play

The recent conference in Seville emphasised the important role legal translators have to play

Some of the key themes that emerged at the conference for me were:

  • The vital communicative role that legal translators have to play

Prof. Jan Engberg, an expert in knowledge communication, stressed that legal translation is all about the translator being able to communicate specialised knowledge so that people (typically but not always lawyers) in one knowledge community can understand what is being said by people in another knowledge community. Legal translators mediate and broker the transfer of that knowledge and are interested in solving the linguistic problems that emerge in conveying knowledge. Their primary goal should be to create a text in the target situation that can be read in the right way by its audience. He stressed the importance of comparative law in this regard; which brings us to the next major theme at the conference.

  • The importance of comparative law skills for legal translators

Another broad theme at the conference was the importance of comparative law, and the importance of a transystemic approach to the study of law to enable legal translation to occur more easily because of greater understanding on the part of legal translators of what the concepts involved mean in, and across, legal systems; a topic addressed by Prof. Emerich in her keynote address.

  • How important it is for legal translators to correctly position themselves in the market

Building on the vital communicative role legal translators play, Juliette Scott, emphasised in her presentation the importance of legal translators correctly positioning themselves in the market, and stressed how important it is for legal translators to choose the correct terms when referring to themselves, primarily because of the impact this has on how the market perceives them as professionals.

  • The growing importance of corpuses for identifying language patterns and for aiding consistency and improving quality in legal translation

In her keynote speech Prof. L. Biel examined the historical development of corpuses in translation and discussed the importance of corpuses so far as a research tool. Since legal language is highly patterned and formulaic, corpuses are proving useful in identifying these patterns; though some translation studies have indicated that despite such high formulaicity, translators often have a tendency to use their own phrases rather than the patterns that would typically be used in corresponding target language texts. Somehow “translation as a process” is interfering. It is to be hoped that corpuses can be operationalised to ensure greater consistency across languages to improve translation quality. Gianluca Pontrandolfo also presented interesting corpus-based research on judicial phraseology, and several other speakers provided practical examples of how corpuses can promote better quality legal translations.

  • The need for better quality legal dictionaries

On a related point, several speakers analysed the difficulties one often encounters with legal dictionaries and presented projects aimed at creating better quality legal dictionaries or glossaries, presenting some interesting methodologies such as the ‘least bad possible equivalents’ for terms when two legal systems do not have the same concepts (Frison & Gavrilova) or a participative, interactive glossary-development process (Fiola).

  • The role of the EU’s directive on translation and interpreting in criminal settings

Several other papers addressed the progress made so far in adapting the law in various EU countries to the requirements of the recent directive on translation and interpreting in criminal settings, revealing that transposition has not always been a smooth process.

 

 

Translation of legal documents and complicated legal language

On 29 June, I attended an interesting afternoon about the drafting of legislation and some of the difficulties it poses, with some discussion of the translation of legal documents thrown in too and a lot of interesting input from the audience from legal interpreters who often have to deal with the complexities of legal language and explain them to the ordinary man.

6 speakers presented different issues relating to law and language (and raised the topic of legal translation). Brief summaries are set out below that highlight the key issues of interest in the translation of legal documents.

Hayley Rogers, a UK legislative drafter, outlined the UK legislative drafting process and some of the difficulties it presents. She argued that legislative drafters tend to see themselves as ‘architects’ but often the practicalities of the drafting process mean they are actually more akin to ‘cowboy builders’ creating chaotic-looking legislation because of a series of constraints (primarily political and policy-related) imposed on the drafters.  So instead of striving for perfection they often just have to cope with the world ‘as it is’. This may resonate with legal translators who face demands for perfection from clients, but are constrained by real world factors like short delivery deadlines.

Prof. Maria De Benedetto spoke about how the language of the law is often incomprehensible to the layman, how it is a language of the elite, and outlined some of the techniques those who speak the language of the law utilise to maintain their elite status, such as reliance on Latin when ordinary people are unlikely to comprehend it.

James Hadley is new to legal translation as a discipline but comes from a strong background in translation theory. He is currently involved in a project being run by the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) in partnership with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) exploring some of these key questions that arise when laws and legal documents need to be translated from one language to another. His presentation looked at equivalence and legal translation and his working hypothesis is that equivalence (defined as “the notion that a translated text produces the same effect for its readers as the source text did for its own” may be demonstrable in legal language.

He posited that those who are capable of doing legal translations properly will need to have a very specific skill set, represented by the following Venn diagram:

The skill set need for the translation of legal documents

The skill set need for the translation of legal documents

 

Nothing original here, but it is always good that key issues in the discipline are presented to new audiences and that more people become educated about legal translation and what it entails, who can do it, and so on.

It will be interesting to hear more about his research as it becomes available.  According to the School of Advanced Studies website, the larger project that Hadley’s research relates to will look at who legal translators should be, how to assess the quality of their work, and what issues reading a legal document may raise from a language / law viewpoint.  Legal translation is taking place all the time, and may entail the translation of laws that have the same effect as the original language version in bi- and multi-lingual jurisdictions. Outside of an institutional context, that sort of legal translation is a rarity. Much more common is the translation of legal documents for other reasons: international commerce, the purchase of land, employees working in other countries needing to know their rights. Legal language is complicated though; often dubbed negatively as ‘legalese’ which is difficult to understand even for native speakers of the source language. To quote the School’s announcement about the upcoming project, “That being the case, and legal traditions around the world being so variable, it is easy to see how translating legal documents from one language to another would be no mean feat. Even if you do happen to speak both languages, you also need to understand, and be able to reproduce the respective forms of legalese with an extremely high degree of technical accuracy.”

William Robinson, Associate Research Fellow at IALS, spoke about the complexities of the EU drafting process, highlighting the important role of translators in the overall process.

Stephen Neale, Professor of Philosophy and Linguistics, examined the question of ‘interpreting’ the meaning of words and highlighted the importance of context in coming up with good and bad faith interpretations of what legal words actually mean. He pointed out that judges, often considered to be the final arbiters of what the law ‘means’ often don’t have a strong grasp of linguistics, and gave some examples of ‘weird’ outcomes in cases where the judges appeared to go against the ‘common sense’ meaning of the words. His assertion is that there is a set of heuristics we use all the time to figure out the common sense meaning intended by others and that intrinsically we all know when an ‘interpretation’ is in bad faith.

Jerome Tessuto provided a data-driven analysis of how writing styles and language conventions from one country can influence those of another, by looking at the impact of English arbitration legislation on Singapore’s arbitration legislation.  He pointed out that while deontic modality, and the use of shall in particular, is on the decline in English legislation because of the impact of the Plain Language movement, his data revealed that it was still important in Singaporean legislation, though an audience member who was a legislative drafter from Singapore pointed out that recently that has begun to change.

 

 

“Why is legal language so complicated? Legislative drafters and linguists compare notes”

Dealing with legal language all day long, legal translators are definitely aware that it is complicated stuff. This workshop, to be held in London by the Institute of Modern Languages Research at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies on 29.6.2016, takes a look at how the viewpoint of the linguist can be co-opted to help legislative drafters produce better quality texts (and hopefully make legal translation an easier process too).

 

More information: http://www.sas.ac.uk/support-research/public-events/2016/why-legal-language-so-complicated-legislative-drafters-and-lin-1

A ‘Forum on Quality in Legal Translation’ is being organised on 6 June 2016 by the Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw and the DGT Field Office in Poland as part of the #TranslatingEurope project and is one of a series of Translating Europe Workshops taking place in all EU Member States. The forum will look at quality in legal translation from three perspectives: the academic, market and training perspectives, with panels moderated by experts in the field of legal translation.

The draft programme is available at: http://translatingeurope.blog.ils.uw.edu.pl/draft-programme/

Organisers:

The Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw

The DGT Field Office in Poland

Keynote speakers:

Prof. Fernando Prieto Ramos, University of Geneva

Prof. Hendrik Kockaert, KU Leuven.

Quality in Legal Translation

The Academic Perspective moderated by Dr Anna Jopek-Bosiacka

The Market Perspective moderated by Dr Agnieszka Biernacka

The Training Perspective moderated by Dr hab. Łucja Biel

Source: http://translatingeurope.blog.ils.uw.edu.pl/

 

TransLaw 2016, Tampere, Finland – preliminary programme

Last year we reported on the announcement of a conference to be held in Tampere, Finland, entitled “Translation and Interpreting as a Means of Guaranteeing Equality under Law”.

You can read our post about the conference here.

The conference’s preliminary programme has now been released and there are a few talks that look really worthwhile from the viewpoint of legal translation.

For example, it might be interesting to find out how legal translators are certified in different countries (“Certifying legal translators – a comparative approach”). On the second day there is a talk entitled “Background knowledge of the legal systems involved as a precondition for successful translation”, which refers (i) to teaching methods for legal translation in Norway and (ii) to JurDist, an online course on legal translation for legal translators who translate from Norwegian into English, French, Spanish or German. Later the same day there’s another talk entitled “Translating deontic modality in legal texts”. Given current general trend in English towards simplifying the language of the law, this talk should provide an up-to-date picture of the subject of how the verb ‘shall’ can and should be used to express an obligation. The majority of other talks refer to legal interpreting in police and courtroom settings.

Registration for this conference closes on Monday, 4 April. For further details, including fees and accommodation, visit their website.

 

By: Eva Angelopoulou

The German Society for Forensic Linguistics (GSFL) has just announced an event indirectly relevant to legal translation which explores issues of language, evidence, multilingualism and the law, and court interpreting.
Continue Reading..

Late announcement:

The University of Geneva is hosting a talk tomorrow on  “The complexities of legal translation in the drafting of bilateral treaties between Italy and English-speaking countries”. The Speaker is Dr Rocco LOIACONO (The University of Western Australia/Curtin University). The talk is at 12:00 hours in Room 6077 of the University’s Uni Mail building in Geneva tomorrow Wednesday 2 March.

This is part of the Transius Talks Series which addresses various aspects of legal translation.

 

Source: Transius network

 

By Eva Angelopoulou


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