Category: Legal linguistics

“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

“Legal texts are translated in vaster quantities than books and in more varied directions. Dreary as it may seem to all but legal eagles, the translation of law is a prerequisite for the construction and maintenance of a global society. Without it, business and diplomacy would come to a stop. But there’s something important to learn from it. Law is the very model of an untranslatable text, because the language of the law is self-enclosed, and refers to nothing outside of itself. In practice however, laws do get translated, because they must.”

 

David Bellos, Is that a fish in your ear? Translation and the meaning of everything, p. 224

In the field of legal translation, “the challenge is to show the ‘courage of creativity’ within the restraints of the law. This demonstrates the need for a flexible methodology offering creative techniques to translate legal texts and ultimately improve the quality of legal translations. In the age of increasing employment of computer programs also in the legal translation process, the creativity debate is a unique incentive to further strengthen a transdisciplinary approach to the translation task and to develop creative strategies to adequately meet the many and difficult problems arising in legal translation. Concretising the novel understanding of creative freedom in translating legal texts will make the modern legal translator increasingly aware of his creative potential and show him how to make the most of his opportunities to be creative.”

 

Source: S. Pommer, No Creativity in legal translation? Babel 54/2008, 355-368, 367,

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/

 

The Transius Centre will hold a Symposium on Corpus Analysis in Legal Research and Legal Translation Studies on 3 June 2016.

As part of this symposium, speakers will discuss how to make corpus analysis more accessible and fruitful in applied research. The advantages and challenges of using different types of corpora and analytical methods will be examined from various interdisciplinary angles.

The symposium will be preceded by a seminar on corpus querying and statistics for corpus linguistics led by Dr Aleksandar TRKLJA (University of Birmingham) in the afternoon of Thursday 2 June. The aim of this seminar is to introduce participants to basic principles and methods of corpus linguistics for the study of interdisciplinary issues in monolingual and multilingual contexts.

For more details please visit the following website:

http://transius.unige.ch/en/conferences-and-seminars/corpus-symposium-16/

Registration is now open. Please note that there is a limited number of places to participate, and that they will be attributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Source:  http://transius.unige.ch/en

THE TERMS “SUBJECT TO”, “NOTWITHSTANDING” OR “WITHOUT PREJUDICE”: WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

I was recently reading this interesting article by Andrew Nickels about the clauses “subject to”, “notwithstanding” and “without prejudice” and it got me thinking how useful the clarification of these terms would be for the purposes of legal translation.

Every legal translator has encountered one or all of these terms in a contract or some other legal document they had to translate, either to or from English. These shorthand expressions prove to be useful tools in saving time when it comes to drafting a contract and that’s why lawyers and legal practitioners use them often.

What do they really mean though in plain English? Are they always used correctly? 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

 

Eleventh Conference on Legal Translation, Court Interpreting and Comparative Legilinguistics (Legal Linguistics) / The 17th International Roundtable for the Semiotics of Law

 

The Institute of Linguistics at Adam Mickiewicz University will hold an international conference devoted to language and the law. The aim is to provide a forum for discussion in those scientific fields where linguistic and legal interests converge, and to facilitate integration between linguists, computer scientists and lawyers from all around the world. The conference will be held over 3 days, from 24th to 26th June (Friday-Sunday) 2016 in Poznan, Poland. Papers are invited on the following topics:

 FORENSIC LINGUISTICS IN GENERAL

  1. (comparative) forensic linguistics
  2. forensic phonetics
  • forensic authorship attribution
  1. forensic stylistic
  2. linguists as expert witnesses
  3. linguistic features of forgeries and counterfeits of public documents

LEGAL TRANSLATION AND COURT INTERPRETING

  1. legal translation;
  2. court interpreting;
  • teaching legal translation and court interpreting
  1. certified translators and interpreters in legal proceedings
  2. mistranslation and misinterpreting in legal context

LEGAL LANGUAGES AND LEGAL DISCOURSE

  1. legal linguistics
  2. history of legal language
  • legal terminology
  1. legal genres
  2. EU legal language
  3. analysis of legal discourse
  • structure and semantics of statutes and other legal instruments;
  • development of legal languages
  1. legal and linguistic interpretation of texts formulated in legal language
  2. teaching legal language
  3. speech style in the courtroom
  • comprehensibility of legal instruments
  • Plain Language Campaigns
  • linguistic aspects of cross-examination
  1. technicality in legal language

HISTORY OF LAW AND LEGAL SYSTEMS

  1. history of legal systems
  2. comparative study of legal systems
  • common law versus civil law countries

LAWS ON LANGUAGES

  1. language rights
  2. linguistic minorities and linguistic human rights
  • language and disadvantage before the law

 

 

Source: http://www.lingualegis.amu.edu.pl/?main_data=legi2016&lang=en

Sixth International Conference on Law, Language and Discourse

Haifa, Israel, 1-4 August 2016

 

Theme: The development of legal language and its interpretation; linguistic and pragmatic aspects of the evolution of the synchronic understanding

 

The conference addresses issues that concern the current development of theory and method in all the intersections of language with different aspects of law and legal discourse from various legal traditions, languages, and nations.

The topics include, but are not limited to:

Legal language and discourse:
– Intercultural differences in the features that make legal language a sublanguage
– Courtroom language and interpretation
– Plain language movements

Interpretation in religious and historic systems of law: 
– Jewish Rabbinic courts and the Halachah
– Jewish Halachah and the Bible
– Roman ecclesiastical courts and Catholic Canon law
– Sharia courts and the Quran and Sunnah
– Law, precedent, and application in historic legal systems

Language as evidence:
– Authorship attribution problem
– Copyright issues
– Forensic phonetics

 

 

More information on: http://lld6.haifa.ac.il/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1797&Itemid=239&lang=en

 

“It is generally accepted in the general public that the legal language spoken in court and written in legal documents is hard or even impossible to understand. Studies show that there are indeed some differences between ordinary and legal language (in particular, in vocabulary and the standards of drafting). However, legal language must appear incoherent to the general public for another reason – in addition to the words used, and their grammatical structure. Legal language must appear incoherent not just because of what is said in this language but also because of what goes in it without saying: the professional legal knowledge presumed, as a rule, in legal texts. This knowledge is presented explicitly only rarely but typical legal texts can be thoroughly understood only if it is regarded as implicit in them.”

 

Professor Le Cheng (Zhejiang University)


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