Legal translation qualification
Thread poster: picko924

picko924
Local time: 01:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 6, 2007

Hi,
I am thinking of doing a translation course this year in order to broaden my knowledge and skills and refine my technique. I have been working as a translator for about 4 years part time and have a degree in Modern Languages and various translation qualifications as a result of short courses which have been quite general in nature. Now I am thinking of specialising in legal translation because it seems to me that a lot of the work I have had to reject recently has been legal in subject matter. I am right in thinking that there is quite a lot of work in this sector? Would a qualification in this field be a worthwhile investment?
Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.


 

Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:24
German to English
+ ...
Plenty of work if you're good at it. Jun 6, 2007

Check out the Legal Translation M.A. at City University London.
It's a 2 year part-time course, so you can go on working as you do it.
http://www.city.ac.uk/languages/courses/legal_translation.html

Application deadline is 1st July.
See you there?


 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:24
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
You can also learn on the job Jun 6, 2007

That is, to do a translation course you have to pay. If you, instead, find yourself a job in a lawyers' office, you will learn all the terminology by spending a year there, and you will get paid as well. Just a suggestion.

Astrid


 

picko924
Local time: 01:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
City Course - is it any good? Jun 6, 2007

Victor Dewsbery wrote:

Check out the Legal Translation M.A. at City University London.
It's a 2 year part-time course, so you can go on working as you do it.
http://www.city.ac.uk/languages/courses/legal_translation.html

Application deadline is 1st July.
See you there?


 

picko924
Local time: 01:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
City Course Jun 6, 2007

I have been looking at this course on the internet and the first four modules seem very interesting to me although I would like to cut down on costs if possible. Are then any modules that are more useful than others?

 

Doroto
Local time: 08:24
English to Chinese
+ ...
that should be right. Jun 7, 2007

I used to be a full time legal translator in your UK law firm, Clifford Chance.

I don't think you need to take such a course, rather, you may need to learn some things about law.

You may need to get prepared in law and then find a position in a law firm and after one year, you will be great if you are a good learner.


 

Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:24
German to English
+ ...
On the job training Jun 7, 2007

I don't know anything about the course Victor suggested, so I cannot comment on that. I, myself, teach courses in legal terminology, but there is only so much one can learn in the limited amount of time in class.

Short of actually taking (some) courses in law itself, I do tend to agree with Astrid, that being immersed in the subject, i.e., working with it daily, is probably one of the best ways of learning the nuances of legal terminology.

Good luck!icon_smile.gif


 

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:24
German to English
Check out the Legal Translation MA Jun 7, 2007

I'd second what Victor wrote and check out the 2-year, part-time Legal Translation MA at City University. I just wish that this sort of course had been available 20 or 25 years ago...

While it's certainly possible to get a good grounding in legal translation working for a law firm, unfortunately working for a law firm is in itself no guarantee of becoming a good translator, and there are plenty of ex-law firm translators that nobody in their right mind would touch with a barge pole (same also applies to many ex-accounting firm and many ex-bank translators, sadly).

One of the benefits of a part-time MA course like the City one is that you can work at the same time, with the possibility of applying what you've learned. You'll also get a much broader picture of the law and legal translation (though not really criminal law, which would be a course unto itself).

And to be perfectly honest, it would look really good on the notepaper...

Robin


 

NataliaLVila  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 12:24
English to Spanish
+ ...
muchísimo estudio- A lot of studying! Jul 3, 2007

I think that doing good translations in the legal field requires a lot more than just a working year or 2 years at uni.

I am at the University of Buenos Aires, in Argentina, and I had to take almost the half of the course of studies for Argentine students of law. We also have 4 hard levels of annual subjects on specialized legal Translation and other 4 annual levels on US and UK law systems.

Now, I am coming to the end of the course and I can see that a lot of knowledge on the law is required to do good tranlations. Otherwise, you run the risk of making huge mistakes on the concepts hidden behind an apparently simple term.

At my university you get a Sworn Translator degree, and getting it requires a lot time and effort and, in order to graduate in 5 1/2 years, it is almost impossible to study and work full time simultaneously.

Of course, this course gives you a high level of specialization in law.

I don´t want to sound too pesimistic, it is simply the way the legal field works here and that´s why I think that a 2 year part time course may not be enough and you yourself will feel the need to learn more about the legal systems afterwards.



[Editado a las 2007-07-03 13:08]


 


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