Vocabulary for interpreting in legal and business settings
Thread poster: Hannah Burrow

Hannah Burrow  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:21
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Jan 12

Does anyone know of any good resources for improving French and Spanish vocabulary, specifically with a view to interpreting in legal and business settings?

Any help appreciated, thanks!


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:21
French to English
Terminology sources Jan 12

There are lots of sources when translating but for interperting, you obivously need to have the understanding and the relevant bi/tri-lingual terminology at your fingertips. Unfortunately, as you no doubt already know, you cannot just sit down and decide to learn lists of terms out of context and hope to recall them when you need them. You need to do that in a context where the understanding and the terminology will go hand-in-hand in some active learning process. That takes time.

You need to learn about how the legal systems differ. It is only with relevant understanding and experience that can be achieved. A number fo terms simply have no equivalent and you need to udnerstand why and find a solution. If you're standing up with your mouth open unable to find that solution, you could find yourself in a very tight spot. So what should you do?

Read and undertake some active formal learning. There are some excellent MOOCs around. Even the free ones will give you some excellent insights. Choose introduction courses on the system, then move into specific areas of interest. You probably already know a lot of the business/legal terminology already. Translating terms and conditions can help you become familiar with contractual terminology. In my view, there is no escaping some form of study over a certain period of time. You will be "competing" with people who have law degrees and with others who are actually qualified lawyers with hands-on experience and who are completely bi-lingual. But with sufficient work and investment, mostly in terms of time, you can acquire a number fo skills. Do bear in mind the level of the comeptition you will be up against and that in order to be a serious contender, you need to be able to show that you have acquired relevant knowledge and skill.

The other main difficulty will be using that in interpreting. I don't know how much interpreting experience you already have but bear in mind that many lawyers are fine speakers. Some just think they are. That does make the competition tough though. Build on the interpreting skills and experience you already have and formalizes the whole thing with continued study. I think that you can find online courses and seminars on the subject too. ProZ sometimes runs webinars on this type of subject, although mainly for translating, less so for interpreting.

[Edited at 2018-01-12 12:45 GMT]


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Hannah Burrow  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:21
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jan 16

Many thanks Nikki, this is very helpful

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Vocabulary for interpreting in legal and business settings

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