Category: Legal linguistics

The call for proposals for “Jurilinguistics III: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Language and Law” has been extended to 18 March.

If you work in the fields of legal translation/interpreting, and have something interesting to say about them, the training of legal translators, or terminology resources in those fields, do consider submitting a paper. The last two editions in Seville were great. The third edition will be in Cambridge later this year (1-2 October 2020). Jurtrans will be there, and hopefully I’ll be presenting a paper.

Launching a new series of interviews with legal translators and experts in the field of legal translation, we have an interview with Eleni Nanaki, Attorney at Law LL.M – author and publisher of the bilingual legal glossaries in the ius et translatum series who talks to us about challenges in legal translation as seen by an international lawyer…Continue Reading..

The Crépeau Centre, in collaboration with the Network of Jurilinguistics Centres, has just announced the programme for the 12th Summer Institute of Jurilinguistics to be held at McGill University’s Faculty of Law on  15 June 2018.

summer institute of jurilinguistics

Continue Reading..

“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:

“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:


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



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:

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.




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


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