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Language Varieties Between Norms and Attitudes

South Slavic Perspectives- Proceedings from the 2013 CALS Conference

Edited By Anita Peti-Stantic, Mateusz Milan Stanojevic and Goranka Antunovic

This volume brings together thirteen articles presented at the 27 th International Conference of the Croatian Applied Linguistics Society held in Dubrovnik in 2013. The authors explore four groups of issues: stability and change at the intersection of the standard and other varieties; language policy and language attitudes in relation to the status of L1 and L2; bilingualism and multilingualism; translation solutions reaffirming and/or establishing the norm. The articles focus on the contemporary Croatian and Slovenian sociolinguistic situation, relating it to the current situation in Europe.
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Identifying translation-relevant information in legal texts

Abstract

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In translating legal texts it is essential to consider that legal language is system-bound, i.e. that it is embedded in a given legal system and that the translatability of legal texts directly depends on the relatedness of the legal systems involved in translation. In the process of identifying the legal system underlying a text, several language segments can function as signposts, for example, system-bound concepts, phenomena such as word pairs/strings typical of legal English, but also culturally specific idiomatic expressions. For instance, when in a contract text the term consideration is used, the translator should recognise it as a key concept in contracts under Common Law and thus allocate the text to the Anglo-American legal system. Similarly, if reference is made to the Law of Obligations in a contract, this should be understood as a signal that the contract is governed by continental law. It also needs to be considered that the legal system underlying a text indirectly determines its extent and the text elements that are considered obligatory or recommendable in a given legal culture (boilerplate clauses). Legal texts drafted in a lingua franca, nowadays mostly English, pose specific problems if they uncritically adhere to the norms and conventions of the Anglo-American legal culture which may be irrelevant to the legal transaction. Therefore, in order to be able to translate legal texts in accordance with a given skopos, the translator should be well acquainted with the major legal families, their differences and common traits and their impacts...

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