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What novels to read in order to learn more business and legal English in context?
Thread poster: Reed James

Reed James
Chile
Local time: 11:08
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Oct 12, 2006

Hello. I'm always looking for new texts in order to acquire new terminology as well as to understand how these terms are used in context.

I've known for many years that fiction is a wonderful window on the world, and that it is essential for better comprehending the world in which we live.

I've found that books by Johnathan Grisham and Johnathan Kellerman take me places I would not normally know how to find or have access to.

Does anyone have any recommendations along these lines? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Reed


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DehaTranslation
Local time: 18:08
English to Turkish
+ ...
To learn more business and legal English in context context, ... Oct 12, 2006

To learn more business and legal English in context context, I can just recommend you to get some sample contracts from the net by googling key words, say, sample contracts English. (I already did one for you and found one website address under http://www.jian.com/software/business-contracts/sample-agreements/agreements.html wherein you can find may agreements ranging from confidentiality agreements to bilss of sale, which I hope will be satisfactorily beneficial for you. I hope that may be helpful for you.

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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:08
German to English
+ ...
No novels ;-) Oct 12, 2006

Actually, I'm just kidding (in a way). I think you're right about works of fiction opening up new fields - but only as a superficial introduction.

The problem is that it is usually questionable how much authority an author of fictional works can really have in such highly specialized fileds like finance and law. I suspect that very few are/were experts in their field before turning to more palatable fare.

Aside from gathering concrete experience in the field, i.e., just doing it, which I consider to be the very best way, I think that good (and still somewhat readable) sources include specialized newspapers and magazines, e.g., the Wallstreet Journal, or certain websites like FindLaw.com.

My two cents...

[Edited at 2006-10-12 14:18]


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Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 17:08
Swedish to English
+ ...
The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt & Jeff Cox Oct 12, 2006

This is an excellent book that I have used a lot with high-level students on Business English courses:

http://www.amazon.com/Goal-Process-Ongoing-Improvement/dp/0884270610

It may not be crammed with terminology, but it is very readable, easy to understand and will certainly help you to put business and management terminology into context.


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 11:08
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
I have bookmarked this link Oct 12, 2006

DehaTranslation wrote:


To learn more business and legal English in context context, I can just recommend you to get some sample contracts from the net by googling key words, say, sample contracts English. (I already did one for you and found one website address under http://www.jian.com/software/business-contracts/sample-agreements/agreements.html wherein you can find may agreements ranging from confidentiality agreements to bilss of sale, which I hope will be satisfactorily beneficial for you. I hope that may be helpful for you.


Thank you for the link. I have bookmarked it to later download some agreements and index them. Nothing like first-hand sources.

Reed


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María Teresa Taylor Oliver  Identity Verified
Panama
Local time: 10:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
On legal vocabulary acquired through entertainment... Oct 12, 2006

Sometime ago I actually realized that by reading John Grisham novels, I was learning terminology related to the US legal system. Terminology that I wouldn't otherwise have learned, because I don't translate legal documentation.

That was before all those crime shows (CSI, anyone?) and legal dramas started to appear on TV. And I love those, too, I've become an "expert" on those subjects

Of course, I wouldn't dare take on a legal translation assignment based only on my familiarity with the terms used on TV shows and John Grisham novels(*). But it doesn't hurt to absorb vocabulary that way. After all, it's much more fun to learn by reading a novel or watching TV than by reading dry, dull books, right?

(*) Jonathan Kellerman is good, too. And Patricia Cornwell, who became famous because of her Kay Scarpetta (an M.E.) series of books.


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patriciat
Local time: 08:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
Legal shows are a very good source Oct 12, 2006

Legal shows like Law and order and csi even Perry mason can help to acquire Legal terminology. Some weeks ago in one episode of Law and order trial by Jury. One of the plots in the show revolved around how a mistake of some new lawyer would cause the prosecution to have to do the "voir-Dire" all over again and I thought the situation explained very well what Voir Dire is. I think if you can watch it with subtitles is extremely helpful because there you can Learn the legal language in your target language too.

Thank you


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:08
German to English
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Scott Turow, Investopedia Oct 12, 2006

Scott Turow is a fiction writer and lawyer. He also wrote a non-fiction book about his experiences with the death penalty - he was on a committee here in Illinois working to overhaul our death penalty system after former Gov. Ryan put a moratorium on capital punishment.

I can also recommend A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr (a true story).

As for business/finance/investing terminology, a good source is http://www.investopedia.com/ They have articles and tutorials on a lot of topics, along with a good dictionary.


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:08
Member (2000)
Russian to English
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Erle Stanley Gardner Oct 13, 2006

Perry Mason isn't altogether "incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial" either (though maybe a bit dated).

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Thor Truelson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:08
Swedish to English
+ ...
Hmmm... Oct 13, 2006

Ish. I hope I never have to read a novel in which I learn a bunch of financial vocabulary : ( I already went to law school, so I learned that stuff the old fashioned way, but seriously, such a novel would not be a very interesting read. After reading Swedish and Icelandic legalese all day, the last thing I would want to relax with would be something which would make me think some more. The Cat In The Hat, or Mulberry Street are more my speed. Instead buy a constitutional law book of the sort first year law students use. Then maybe an econ text (Money and Banking?). Having read a couple of John Grisham books (The Firm and Pelican Brief) before I went to law school, I can say that reading his stuff did not further my legal vocabulary in any way that I could detect. Most of the stuff he discusses seems to be pretty much common knowledge that I would guess any layman would know. Grisham may do better in his works actually portraying the hum-drum of the legal profession, of course romanticized against a backdrop of extreme peril and calamity which would probably scare the crap out of a gnarly possee of LA Crips, never mind a few lowly attorneys. I don't know how you feel about true crime stories, but Ann Rule writes some good stuff. It's a side of the translation profession that maybe a lot of people wouldn't have to deal with (criminal law and forensic science), but it's page-turning stuff and she talks a lot about the American criminal justice system, the state of Washington in particular since she's from Seattle. The murderous dements that she has written about are a veritable who's who in the annals of American serial murder and mayham. Gary Ridgeway, Ted Bundy, Harvey Carrignan. Many, many others. Give Ann Rule a shot. That or some Seuss and let your brain rest.

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Tessy_vas
Germany
Local time: 17:08
Member (2006)
English to Greek
+ ...
John Grisham and David Baldacci Oct 21, 2006

You will definitely learn a lot from these two!
Tess


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