Category: Book Review

Ius et Translatum: English-Greek / Greek-English Legal Glossary – A review

Marta Chromá has written that “legal translation implies both a comparative study of different legal systems and an awareness of the problems created by the absence of equivalent concepts, legal institutions, terms and other linguistic units. As pointed out by Kischel … ‘the question in legal translation is not which translation is right, but more modestly, which one is less wrong’”[1].Continue Reading..

The end of absence: Reclaiming what we’ve lost in a world of constant connection

Michael Harris, Current Press, 2014

Harris explores the implications of living an ever-connected world, where we have constant access to the internet. Looking at the physical, psychological and emotional effects of ‘dependence’ on the internet, he explores what he sees as a unique turning point in history, when there are people still alive from the pre-internet age who remember what it was like to live without the internet. He also examines whether it is possible to re-experience that absence by going offline.

What’s all this got to do with translation? Near the end of the book, Harris quotes the work of Noga Arikha, historian of ideas and goes on to say that, “I think Arikha, like all people alive in this moment, is engaged in an act of massive translation. We are the few translators of Before and After. It’s a privileged thing to be a translator, but not an easy thing.

Never a truer word spoken!

An interesting insight a few days before International Translation Day

The book definitely makes for an interesting read.

This book review of “Legal Translation and the Dictionary” is taken from Although referring to Czech legal translation it raises many interesting issues for legal translation in general
Continue Reading..

by:  C. J. W. Baaij
Nine distinguished contributors, all leading experts and scholars in multilingual EU Law making, legal translation studies, comparative law or European (private) law, explore and analyse the legal translation praxis within EU legislative institutions appropriate for the purpose of legal harmonization, and examine both the potential and limitations of legal translation in the context of the developments of a single but multilingual EU Legal language. Among the many issues that arise for in-depth analysis in the course of the discussion are the following:

  • defining ‘drafting quality’
  • translating legal concepts beloning to specific legal systems
  • EU Policies on harmonization of national contract laws
  • legal uniformity vs. uniformity of interpretation and application
  • the effect of full harmonization clauses
  • proportion between general language vocabulary and legal terminology and
  • role of English in the EU and the aims of the EU institutions.

The book concludes with a synthesis of the findings and reconmmendations of the various contributions. Most of the chapters were originally presented at a conference organized in January 2011 by the Amsterdam Circle for Law & Language (ACLL) and the Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL).



List of Contributors.

List of Abbreviations.


Chapter 1: The Significance of Legal Translation for Legal Harmonization Cornelis – J.W. Baaij.

Chapter 2: Legal Harmonization Through Legal Translation: Texts that Say the Same Thing? – Ingemar Strandvik.

Chapter 3: ‘Co-revision’: Legal-Linguistic Revision in the European Union ‘Co-decision’ Process – Manuela Guggeis and William Robinson.

Chapter 4: Coping with the Challenges of Legal Translation in Harmonization – Susan Sarčević.

Chapter 5: A Dictionary for Legal Translation – Marta Chromá.

Chapter 6: The Influence of Problems of Legal Translation on Comparative Law Research  – Gerard-Rene´ de Groot.

Chapter 7: Understanding Legal Languages: Linguistic Concerns of the Comparative Lawyer  – Jaakko Husa.

Chapter 8: English as a Legal Lingua Franca in the EU Multilingual Context – Barbara Pozzo.

Chapter 9: Conclusions- Cornelis – J.W. Baaij.


Table of Legislation.

Table of Cases.



August 2012,  ISBN 9041137963
ISBN 13: 9789041137968
256 pp. Hardcover

Legal Translation in Context:  Professional Issues and Prospects

Borja Albi, Anabel / Prieto Ramos, Fernando (eds)


What does it take to be a legal translator? What is expected of legal translation professionals in the public and private sectors? Following recent developments in the field, there is a need to take stock of professional settings, skills and related training needs. This volume offers a systematic overview of the diverse professional profiles within legal translation and the wide range of communicative situations in which legal translators play their roles as mediators. Contexts of professional practice have been classified into three main categories, which give shape to the three parts of the book:

(1) legal translation in the private sector;

(2) legal translation for national public institutions; and

(3) legal translation at international organizations. Practical concerns within each of these settings are analysed by experts of diverse backgrounds, including several heads of institutional translation teams. Commonalities and differences between contexts are identified as a means of gaining a comprehensive understanding of this multifaceted and dynamically changing profession.



  • Legal Translation: The State of Affairs
  • Jan Engberg: Comparative Law for Translation: The Key to Successful Mediation between Legal Systems
  • Francisco Vigier/Perla Klein/Nancy Festinger: Certified Translators in Europe and the Americas: Accreditation Practices and Challenges
  • Anabel Borja Albi: Freelance Translation for Multinational Corporations and Law Firms
  • João Esteves-Ferreira: Challenges of the Freelance Legal Translator: Lifelong Learning, Ethics and Other Key Professional Issues
  • Juan Miguel Ortega Herráez/Cynthia Giambruno/Erik Hertog: Translating for Domestic Courts in Multicultural Regions: Issues and New Developments in Europe and the United States of America
  • Leo Hickey: Translating for the Police, Prosecutors and Courts: The Case of English Letters of Request
  • Ramón Garrido Nombela: Translating for Government Departments: The Case of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-Operation
  • Jean-Claude Gémar: Translating vs Co-Drafting Law in Multilingual Countries: Beyond the Canadian Odyssey
  • Susan Šarčević/Colin Robertson: The Work of Lawyer-Linguists in the EU Institutions
  • Xingmin Zhao/Deborah Cao: Legal Translation at the United Nations
  • Alexandra Tomić/Ana Beltrán Montoliu: Translation at the International Criminal Court
  • Muriel Millet: Legal Translation at INTERPOL
  • Fernando Prieto Ramos: Legal Translation at the World Trade Organization
  • Olivier Pasteur: Technology at the Service of Specialized Translators at International Organizations.


Peter Lang, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2013

Series: New Trends in Translation Studies – Volume 4

Year of Publication: 2013

ISBN 978-3-0343-0284-5


English legal terminology: Practice on selected legal texts, edited by C. Stamelos is available in Greek from Nomiki Vivliothiki Press.Continue Reading..

I recently had the chance to meet with Hellenic Supreme Court Judge, Argyris Stavrakis at a conference in Athens. Stavrakis is the author of “Modern Greek Legal Language and Terminology” (Νεοελληνική Νομική Γλώσσα και Ορολογία) currently in its third edition and available from P. N. Sakkoulas Press in Greek.

Stavrakis himself has said that he was inspired to write the book “because of the poor use of modern Greek in quite a few legal texts,” something that professional GR/EN legal translators will be quite familiar with.  Continue Reading..


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