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Legilinguistic Translatology

A Parametric Approach to Legal Translation


Aleksandra Matulewska

With the purpose of making the process of legal translation accessible to investigation, the author resorts to the parametrization of translational reality as an inalienable component of her translational theory being proposed here for consideration. The aim is to propose a more precise theory of legilinguistic translation which compels the author to clearly distinguish primitive terms and postulates. These latter specify the image (model) of the reality in question in terms of relevant dimensions used to characterize a set of translational objects and relations. The dimensions secure a systematic examination of the translation reality and process. In order to illustrate the practical application of the parametrization in legal translation, the discussion concerning this translation approach is limited to certain selected types of legal communicative communities which is amply exemplified. The research is based on data and information gathered during an in-depth case study of translations and parallel text corpora mainly in the field of civil law including insolvency and bankruptcy law.


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4. Calculating Translandive Text Meaning - 151


4. Calculating Translandive Text Meaning 4.1. Introductory remarks on meaning in translation As long as we know, there have been different approaches to transla- tion. Initially, the word-for-word translation was considered transla- tion proper. Then, translators started noticing that this method has deficiencies and may result in distortions in the meaning and nearly always results in target texts being difficult to follow. Cicero, was one of the first translators known at present to notice that there is an alter- native for word-for-word translation as analysing his translations he admitted that there are some passages in quibus non verbum pro verbo necesse habui reddere, sed omnium verborum vimque servavi.24 Saint Jerome of Stridonium noted that non verbum e verbo sed sensum exprimere de sensu (to express not word by word, but sense by sense), which means that the sense of the translated message is more im- portant than words. Martin Luther, in turn, opted for conveying the message in an understandable way. Therefore his approach to the translation of the Bible, published first in 1522, was revolutionary in a way, as he applied what we call now a target-oriented translation in order to make the text of the Bible comprehensible for everyday Ger- mans25. More recent theories of translation put emphasis on the mean- ing, function and effect. 24 “And I did not translate them as an interpreter, but as an orator, keeping the same ideas and the forms, or as one might say, the ‘figures’ of thought, but in language...

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