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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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7. Translational Algorithm - 239


7. Translational Algorithm Having received the commission from the commissioner and having accepted it, one starts the process of translation. Translation is the process of calculating the meaning of the source text units and choosing significators for the target text which must be sufficiently equivalent to translandive ones. The aim of trans- lation of texts formulated in a language for special purposes is to communicate the message formulated in the source text to a given group of recipients communicating and understanding target language messages. “In other words a reliable translation is one that expresses the intended meaning and leads to the intended results” (Šarčević 2000b: 88). In order to achieve this purpose the translator translates the message formulated in the source language into the target language. The aim is realized using different strategies. The strategies consist of different types of steps; alternatively, translation is a series of steps consistent with the adopted translation strategy, which achieves a cer- tain aim. Choosing significators for the target text is the trans- fer/conversion of the assumed/calculated meaning of the source text translative units into target text translative units taking place at three levels: (i) terminological level, (ii) syntagmal level, and (iii) grammatical level. The terminological level refers to the choice of terms. The syntagmal level refers to the choice of (i) word collocations or word combina- tions (in Polish also in some theories called phraseological units), and (ii) formulaic expressions (fixed syntagmas). The grammatical level refers to the choice of the grammatical...

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