Legal translation

Wolff, Leon (2011) Legal translation. In Malmkjaer, Kirsten & Windle, Kevin (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Translation Studies. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

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Legal translation theory brooks little interference with the source legal text. With few exceptions (Joseph 2005; Hammel 2008; Harvey 2002; Kahaner 2005; Kasirer 2001; Lawson 2006), lawyers and linguists tend to tether themselves to the pole of literalism. More a tight elastic band than an unyielding rope, this tether constrains — rather than prohibits — liberal legal translations. It can stretch to accommodate a degree of freedom by the legal translator however, should it go too far, it snaps back to the default position of linguistic fidelity. This ‘stretch and snap’ gives legal translation a unique place in general translation theory. In the general debate over the ‘degree of freedom’ the translator enjoys in conveying the meaning of the text, legal translation theory has reached its own settlement. Passivity is the default; creativity, the ‘qualified’ exception (Hammel 2008: 275).

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ID Code: 87804
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Legal translation theory, Linguistics, Law, Legal text
ISBN: 9780199239306
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Oxford University Press
Deposited On: 28 Sep 2015 00:32
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2016 08:48

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