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Help about Legal translation
Thread poster: manuela83
manuela83
Italian
Nov 15, 2007

Hi everyone!
I'm writing my thesis on legal translation from English into Italian but I was wondering if you could suggest me some books to read about this topic, 'cause I really don't know how to start this work
Every advice is welcome
Thanxa lot.


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Marco Ramón  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 04:26
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Simplify Nov 15, 2007

is the word that comes to mind when I heard "legal translation". I honestly believe that lawyers "compose" twisted paragraphs only to justify the need to use lawyers to decipher. Thankfully there is a trend to simplify:

http://essayinfo.com/articles/a09.php

Is one of the many writings on the topic.


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 04:26
German to English
A good book Nov 15, 2007

I have found "Legal Translation Explained", by Enrique Alcarez and Brian Hughes to be an excellent introduction to legal translation. It's available from St Jerome Publishing.

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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:26
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Narrow your focus Nov 15, 2007

This is a very broad field. Italian law differs from US law (which in turn differs from law in other English-speaking countries). For that matter, Italian law differs from Swiss law and it is likely that there are terms used differently in Italy and in the Italian-language versions of Swiss law.

So I recommend looking at some specific area of law that interests you (e.g., probate, criminal law, bankruptcy, civil procedure).
You can then look at what you can find about translating in that field. A good law library may have texts about comparative law. Such a textbook would tell you how Italian bankruptcy law differs from American bankruptcy law (or whatever field you chose). You can then decide how to address these differences in translation.

In American schools, it is common to have a thesis advisor with whom you discuss your thesis prior to writing it. If you have access to such a person, you might discuss this and any other ideas that other people suggest with him/her.


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
A very good resource Nov 15, 2007

Kim Metzger wrote:

I have found "Legal Translation Explained", by Enrique Alcarez and Brian Hughes to be an excellent introduction to legal translation. It's available from St Jerome Publishing.


That's exactly the book I was going to recommend. If I remember correctly, most of the examples they give involve English, Spanish, and French, but a lot of the general principles would apply to Italian as well.


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 04:26
German to English
Legal Translation Explained Nov 15, 2007

Yes, Steven

It's an outstanding book, indeed, with an introduction to the Anglo-American and British legal systems and a thorough discussion of linguistic considerations. English terms are glossed in Spanish, French and German.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:26
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thanks Kim! Nov 16, 2007

Thanks for the excellent book recommendation Kim! I ordered a copy from this site in the U.S.:

http://intransbooks.com/book_story/St._Jerome_Publishing/1900650460

Here are some good on-line articles:
http://www.gala-global.org/en/resources/CcapsKahaner_EN.pdf?PHPSESSID=678cafd0b00d257e0a01cc61d5734ff9

http://www.dsg.unito.it/gaius/data/papers/Thesis_summary.pdf



Kim Metzger wrote:

I have found "Legal Translation Explained", by Enrique Alcarez and Brian Hughes to be an excellent introduction to legal translation. It's available from St Jerome Publishing.


[Edited at 2007-11-16 00:48]


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Haiyang Ai  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:26
English to Chinese
+ ...
Translation Studies Nov 16, 2007

Hi manuela83, this website has some references on translation studies.
http://www.benjamins.com/online/tsb/





----------------------------------
English-Chinese Translator
www.chineservice.com

[Edited at 2007-11-16 06:17]


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manuela83
Italian
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Nov 16, 2007

THANX A LOT, your help has been precious.
I found the "Legal translation book" on St. Jerome website
http://217.199.184.112/page.php?id=230&doctype=Translation%20Practices%20Explainedion=3
I have a thesis advisor, but she’s not expert about this topic.
Have a good day


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Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 02:26
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Whoa! Nov 17, 2007

Marco Ramón wrote:
I honestly believe that lawyers "compose" twisted paragraphs only to justify the need to use lawyers to decipher.


I have a bunch of friends (and a family member) who studied law at the UANL, ITESM, UNAM, and Ibero and can definitely tell you, after sharing some of their misery, that many lawyers would much rather not have to write twisted paragraphs. Although Mexican law is one ugly hellhole to deal with sometimes, law in general gets more and more complicated as more and more cases bring in more and more details and the need for more specificity. IMO, it's inevitable - at least up to a certain extent and depending on the nature of the language being used.

But back to the topic at hand - Manuela, my first recommendation would be to follow Paul's advice. The more you focus on a narrow, specialized subject, the more you will be able to go into it in detail and write a good thesis. In fact, this is probably the first suggestion that springs up worldwide when anyone is writing a thesis. Also, and I'm not saying Kim's help isn't great, because it is - make sure you expand your bibliography. Maybe talking to someone who currently studies law (if you happen to know anyone who does) could give you some extra ideas. Then it's simply the standard thesis procedures: read, make notes, use references (i.e. quotes) throughout your work, start with an outline first (I've never actually done that, but that's just me), etc.


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Margaret Marks
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:26
German to English
de Franchis Nov 17, 2007

If you are translating English into Italian, the de Franchis legal dictionaries from English to Italian and vice versa are superb encyclopaedic works. Dizionario Giuridico.

Margaret


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Andrea Piu  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:26
English to Italian
+ ...
Link and books Jan 10, 2011

Recently, I decided to improve my skills and try to learn more about this field.
I have to say that it depends on the type of legal translation you want to specialise in.
Here a useful link:
http://www.unilibro.it/find_buy/findresult/libreria/prodotto-libro/argomento-linguaggio_giuridico_.htm
And here are some books I bought on December:
- Formulario commentato di contrattualistica commerciale Inghilterra-Italia. Ediz. bilingue di Corradini Gianni
- Il documento legale anglosassone. Con floppy disk, di Abate Salvatore
- Teoria della traduzione giuridica. Fra diritto comparato e «translation studies» di Megale Fabrizio

I hope this helps.


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