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Researching Language and the Law

Textual Features and Translation Issues

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Davide Simone Giannoni and Celina Frade

This volume reflects the latest work of scholars specialising in the linguistic and legal aspects of normative texts across languages (English, Danish, French, Italian, Spanish) and law systems. Like other domains of specialised language use, legal discourse is subject to the converging pressures of internationalisation and of emerging practices that destabilise well-established norms and routines. In an integrated, interdependent context, supranational laws, rules and procedures are gradually developed and harmonised to regulate issues that can no longer be dealt with by national laws alone, as in the case of the European Union. The contributors discuss the impact of such developments on the construction, evolution and hybridisation of legal texts, analysed both linguistically and from the practitioner’s standpoint.

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Issues in Translation and Interpreting 155

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Issues in Translation and Interpreting PATRICK LEROYER / KIRSTEN WØLCH RASMUSSEN Accessing Discursive Data Types in Legal Translation Dictionaries: The Case of Sans Préjudice de 1. Introduction Legal translation as a textual activity is to a large extent a recon- struction of the constitutive discourses of the law across culturally- bound national legal systems. Thus, legal translators need intercultural knowledge of the textual conventions shaping legal discourse and of matching translation strategies (Kjær 1997; Sørensen 1999; Nielsen 2000; Acuyo-Verdejo 2004; Wagner 2004; Grass 2009). Bilingual legal dictionaries should help the translator by providing fast and easy access to this type of discursive information. Tarp (1999) claims that dictionaries are most useful at word level and, to a lesser extent, at the level of phraseological units. In his view, at sentence level the usefulness of dictionaries is strongly limited, while it is almost inexistent at text level. In this chapter, we will refute this claim, which seems to rely on a lexicographic approach restricted to printed dictionaries or to e- dictionaries that reproduce printed dictionaries. Building on the methodology introduced in Leroyer/Rasmussen (2004), we will analyse legal translation issues at text level within the framework of a case study. Our evidence comes from a corpus of legal texts in French and from a translational corpus of aligned legal texts in Danish and French. It also draws on a selection of mono- and bilingual specialized dictionaries, including the EU’s multilingual term base. We will make the case for...

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