Findings from Teaching Legal Translation to Graduate Students



Year of publication 2014
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The paper presents reflections on teaching legal translation in a specialized course for Master's degree students at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. Following the country's accession to the EU and the opening of the Czech market, the volumes of legal translations have been growing and so has been the demand for translators of legal texts. The main concern of the paper is to identify the most effective methods of teaching legal translation to ensure that students who have finished the course are able to deal with the main legal genres. The paper describes the shift from the initial plans as to the structure and content of the course to the actual format, required by the students' insufficient knowledge of law and their overall attitude to fact checking and research into the underlying legal concepts. In translation training, emphasis is usually placed on linguistic aspects but legal translation proved to be different as it requires solid factual and conceptual knowledge. In translating law, one transfers not only words but also the underlying concepts with their legal implications. The question that follows from this fact is to what extent the basics of law should be taught in translation classes and how to balance the amount of legal theory, translation practice and linguistic instruction. The paper also attempts to identify the core legal concepts that a translator must master in order to be able to convey the intended meaning and legal implications in the target text. Finally, the paper comments on the students' feedback on the course format and the balance of the individual above-mentioned components.
Related projects: