‘Official’ English translations of Spanish statutes: Rob Lunn, whose blog I’ve only been following recently, has a guest post on Juliette Scott’s From Words to Deeds – a rewrite of an earlier post of his (see interesting comment there). He has written about his experience of the MA in legal translation course at City University in London, for example here, and this links to one of his concerns with the online translations: what approach were the translators told to take, how much information did they have, for whom were they required to be translating? This leads to a succinct account of the problems faced by legal translators:
So, this dilemma of having to choose what legal language to use does come up, and it is something that needs to be taken into account by both the outsourcer and the translator. Where this decision is left to you as the translator, this would probably mean translating into the legal language of the jurisdiction that you normally do, being careful to not unnecessarily use terms from other systems. And while you’d probably turn down jobs that are specifically for other legal systems, it would be an interesting challenge to try to translate into a “neutral”, international or European legal English. Although a true neutral legal translation would probably be impossible to achieve as you’d always have to base it on one particular native English system, be that common or civil, or UK or US based, which is what seems to end up happening in most cases. If not, where would you get the terminology from? Bar inventing it.
Rob has also blogged about his legal dictionaries.
Among these, he mentions a dictionary I have myself as an ebook: Louisiana Civil Law Dictionary, (2011), Gregory W. Rome and Stephan Kinsella. It’s interesting to see the language used in Louisiana to describe civil law. You can look inside the book at amazon, and the Kindle edition is only EUR 7.21 in Germany.
Incidentally, I do not keep a full blogroll here. I follow more blogs on Google Reader than I list in my blogroll. And sometimes I forget to add the ones I like, or alternatively the blog I was following seems to have died before I got round to linking it here. But many other translators’ blogs have good up-to-date blogrolls if you need more to follow.