Back in June 2015 I attended the Transius Conference on legal and institutional translation hosted by the University of Geneva.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be summarising some of the main points made by speakers based on notes taken at the conference. The idea is to convey a rough flavour of the main ideas presented at the conference. This is the second blogpost in the series…
The internet as a coining-tool for legal terms: an opportunity for academia to step in
The internet provides translators with numerous resources; in fact more tools than ever before, including easily accessible legal bilingual corpora and legal bilingual dictionaries. However, the internet doesn’t always provide guaranteed solutions to terminological issues. Terms become decontextualised, which can result in mistakes. Most of the information that goes online isn’t actually checked by experts and provides wrong equivalents. Those wrong equivalents are ‘coined’ (in the sense that other people start using them) and then become widely used. Orozco-Jutoran gave some examples from English to Spanish translation such as malicious intent which has been wrongly translated in end user license agreements, diluting the legal meaning in the target text, and possibly even opening up the possibility of the clause being declared invalid by the courts. Orozco-Jutoran argues that academia needs to step in to help contextualise such translated terms. She went on to present a project entitled Law10n. The project combined legal expert knowledge, linguistic expertise and a pragmatic approach to translation to produce a searchable database of terms in English and Spanish in the field of end user license agreements. More information about Law10n can be found at http://grupsderecerca.uab.cat/tradumatica/en/content/law10n-research and the database is directly accessible at http://lawcalisation.com/.