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Translation and Meaning

New Series, Vol. 1


Edited By Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk, Marcel Thelen, Gys-Walt van Egdom, Dirk Verbeeck and Łukasz Bogucki

This book contains a selection of articles on new developments in translation and interpreting studies. It offers a wealth of new and innovative approaches to the didactics of translation and interpreting that may well change the way in which translators and interpreters are trained. They include such issues of current debate as assessment methods and criteria, assessment of competences, graduate employability, placements, skills labs, the perceived skills gap between training and profession, the teaching of terminology, and curriculum design. The authors are experts in their fields from renowned universities in Europe, Africa and North-America. The book will be an indispensable help for trainers and researchers, but may also be of interest to translators and interpreters.
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Exploring and Developing Legal Translation Competence: Learning from the Old Dogs


Abstract: The need for well-trained legal translators is increasing globally (Obenaus, 1995; Šarčević, 1997; 2000; Asensio, 2003; Llopis, 2007). This is also true for South Africa, where government received an instruction through a high court ruling in 2010 to publish legislation in the other official South African languages, not only in English. This development holds far-reaching implications for the training of legal translators. The present paper focuses on legal translation competence, and relies heavily on Chesterman’s (1997) five levels of general translation competence. In a novice-expert paradigm, the aim of this paper is to determine the difference and extent of the perceived gap between experienced and inexperienced translators. Findings indicate that legal translator competence follows the same route of automatization as general translator competence; that both groups prefer faithful translation methods but for different reasons; that experienced translators are more aware of translation problems; that experienced translators consult sources more often and use a wider variety of sources; and that experienced translators are more aware of the need for accuracy and precision when translating legal texts.

Keywords: novice translator; expert translator; translator training; translation method; translation strategy; time on task; translation problems; doublets; triplets; quadruplets; word strings.

1. Introduction

Legal translation is a highly specialised form of translation and translators of legal texts are often confronted with unique challenges that require unique solutions. According to Cornelius (2010a), the difficulties presented by legal translation result from the specialised nature of the law,...

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