Coactivity: Philology, Educology / Santalka: Filologija, Edukologija, Vol 20, No 2 (2012)

Legal Language in Intercultural Communication

Violeta Janulevičienė
Sigita Rackevičienė


This paper addresses the considerable role of legal translation in intercultural communication. Effective intercultural communication requires sufficient language skills and also extensive knowledge of the cultures involved, which encompass official social behaviour norms, enshrined in the corresponding legal systems. The basic legal terms often pose substantial difficulties even for experienced translators and, hence, to communication, because these terms nominate concepts that are inherently linked with culture, moral values and legal tradition of a given country. In intercultural communication the most widely used legal English is permeated by Anglo-Saxon legal system and concepts which have little or no equivalents in Romano-Germanic or other continental law countries. The authors present a comparative analysis of the translation strategies employed by the compilers of two main English-Lithuanian law dictionaries (V. Bitinaitė „Mokomasis anglų-lietuvių kalbų teisės terminų žodynas“ and O. Armalytė, L. Pažūsis. „Anglų-lietuvių kalbų teisės žodynas“) in translation of the English-Welsh law terms defining abstract common law terms, some specific English-Welsh legal professions and the English-Welsh court names. The findings of the analysis reveal the difficulties which the dictionary compilers have to cope with when translating culture-bound terms and the strategies chosen by them for problematic translations. The research also highlights the role of the legal language translator as the key figure in facilitating different cultural background comprehension of the legal terms and, what is even more important, specific aspects of legal systems; the latter being necessary for efficacious intercultural cooperation.

Article in: English

Article published: 2012-12-05

Keyword(s): legal terminology; culture-bound terms; legal translation; translation strategies; equivalence.

DOI: 10.3846/cpe.2012.16

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Coactivity: Philology, Educology / Santalka: Filologija, Edukologija ISSN 2351-714X, eISSN 2335-7711
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