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academic research help please - legal translation
Thread poster: Eva Middleton

Eva Middleton  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:55
German to English
Jul 11, 2006

Hi folks,

I have the chance of doing academic research and hopefully eventually gain a Ph.D. - my main problem is that, whilst I very much enjoy research, I've only ever done it for law.
I don't have a linguists degree or even one in a related subject, and at the moment I'm both having a difficult time working out the exact thing I want to research (something related to legal translations - but it all goes fuzzy when I try to narrow it down :/) and finding other people's translation-related research papers. I think if I could see what other people have done, I could work out what I want to do much better than I can at the moment. Do you know of any good databases? Or could someone offer their personal experience?


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Aisha Maniar  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:55
Member (2003)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Taught programmes Jul 11, 2006

Hi Eva,
A lot of UK universities now offer "taught programmes" whereby a student can enrol for a master's programme with the intention of turning that piece of research into a PhD, thus giving you the benefit of taught classes and guidance on research methods, different fields you could research into and also the guidance of a specialist to direct you towards research you might be interested in and more support than you might expect with a straightforward PhD.
Alternatively, you could apply for a master's degree in Translation and then continue on to a PhD, expanding on your research for that. It's worth finding out how much of a possibility that is from the university you apply too. Also see how much expertise their translation staff have in legal translations as some department are quite literary theory/arts-based.
At most universities, you can access past doctorates/master's dissertations in person in the library. I don't think that many universities make them available on-line (at least in the UK for translation studies). Universities libraries are also a great place to start researching.
Good luck, Aisha


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Mariusz Kuklinski  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:55
Member
English to Polish
+ ...
Stick to what you're best in Jul 11, 2006

Eva Middleton wrote:

Hi folks,

I have the chance of doing academic research and hopefully eventually gain a Ph.D. - my main problem is that, whilst I very much enjoy research, I've only ever done it for law.
I don't have a linguists degree or even one in a related subject, and at the moment I'm both having a difficult time working out the exact thing I want to research (something related to legal translations - but it all goes fuzzy when I try to narrow it down :/) and finding other people's translation-related research papers. I think if I could see what other people have done, I could work out what I want to do much better than I can at the moment. Do you know of any good databases? Or could someone offer their personal experience?




I seriously advise you to to select the topic of your thesis around what you are already best in rather than open a new field, particularly when your ideas ARE fuzzy. You are only young once, so economise the time and effort.

Alternatively, if you persist, get some internship or a practice with the European Commission, as close to their translation teams as possible, have a look at their work and talk to them there. BTW - how many foreign languages do you speak? See my point? To feel your topic you should have some experience in the field, as you don't have it starting from the scratch doesn't make much sense.

Good luck
Mariusz


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Eva Middleton  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:55
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
not starting from scratch Jul 11, 2006

Mariusz Kuklinski wrote:
BTW - how many foreign languages do you speak? See my point? To feel your topic you should have some experience in the field, as you don't have it starting from the scratch doesn't make much sense.

Good luck
Mariusz


Ahem - I actually speak four languages. I work in two. I have been working as a legal translator for 4 years and have a degree in Law with German and French Law. I dare say I do have experience in the field of legal translations.
The university are happy to have me - they say they really welcome practitioners, rather than people who come from a purely academic background.


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LuciaC
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:55
English to Italian
+ ...
One example Jul 11, 2006

I remember reading something written by Dr. Jacqueline Visconti (a linguist at the Univ.of Birmingham) about comparative linguistics in the legal field, like this:

http://webhost.ua.ac.be/tisp/viewabstract.php?id=703

and here are the hits on some other pieces of her work
http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q="jacqueline%20visconti"%20legal&btnG=Search&meta=

Although I believe she specializes in Italian, you might find ideas in the bibliographies of her articles.

All the best,
Lucia

[Edited at 2006-07-11 18:06]


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Eva Middleton  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:55
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Jul 11, 2006

Thank you Aisha, some good ideas there. I'll see what's on offer locally - it's hard though when you're tied to one place due to family etc.

Lucia, that's just the kind of material I was looking for, thank you very much! I had a quick glance - it looks really interesting.


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