Course/workshop for legal translation
Thread poster: Brittany Jones

Brittany Jones  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:46
Arabic to English
Feb 17, 2015

As I've gained about a year of solid translation experience, I have observed that in my language pair, the legal field is in rather high demand. It is a field that find rather interesting and would like to invest in.

I'd like to take a course to familiarize myself with how legal documents should be drafted (in English).

Other than the courses presented by ProZ, are there any other courses recommended?

Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance!


paula13  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:46
Member (2005)
Some options (and advice from an old lawyer-linguist) Feb 18, 2015


Law is an extremely rewarding area of specialization and I'm happy to see young new translators considering this field. I also think it's great that you're taking your potential specialization seriously and looking for ways to gain the necessary knowledge and training to do so. Kudos to you!

That said, legal translation is far from simple. I'm a lawyer/translator/law professor and there are areas of legal translation even I wouldn't venture in without studying them in depth first. You're going to need a lot more than just one course, or even a couple of courses, if you want to master legal translation and you should not focus only on writing and vocabulary-that won't cut it with certain texts (especially when procedural issues come into question).

You're going to need to understand how the Law works within the language pairs of your legal system and that of your target language (i.e. are you going from continental to continental or continental to civil or mixed?). If you don't master the concepts behind the terms, you'll render translations that are pretty useless to lawyers. There are several interesting courses on Coursera that might help you get an initial feel as to how the law works in certain countries. Stanford University and Yale Law School both provide free online courses on different legal topics. You might want to check those out as well.

My advice is to gain in-depth knowledge of your area of specialization in ontological terms first. The rest will naturally follow.

Best of luck!


Brittany Jones  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:46
Arabic to English
Great advice Feb 22, 2015

Hi Paula!

Thank you so much for your response and encouragement.

I have taking your suggestion and enrolled in a course with Coursera and will continue to search for more avenues to learn about the legal field.



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