Research models and methods in legal translation
LINGUISTICA ANTVERPIENSIA, NEW SERIES (12/2013) -Themes in Translation Studies
Journal of translation and interpreting studies published by the Department of Translators and Interpreters of Artesis University College Antwerp
CALL FOR PAPERS (see also: www.lans-tts.be)
Guest editors: Łucja Biel (University of Gdańsk, Poland) & Jan Engberg (Aarhus University, Denmark)
This special issue of LANS TTS intends to track recent developments in legal translation studies triggered by new methodologies and to test the explanatory power and potential of such approaches to uncover the nature of legal translation.
One such promising new approach is represented by corpus-based methodologies and their combination with other methods, for example, critical discourse analysis. Corpora have been intensely applied in linguistics as an empirical and data-driven approach which allows for reduced speculation and offers the potential to verify hypotheses systematically on large collections of texts. Corpus-based methodologies have changed the way we handle data but, above all, have shifted attention from the study of words to the study of patterns, emphasizing that language use is highly patterned and that such patterns are cognitively motivated (Stubbs, 2004). Legal language, which is notorious for its formulaicity, standardization, petrification and rituals, seems to be well suited for this type of analysis. Corpus-based methodologies have also been embraced by Translation Studies, although relatively little research involves legal translation. The main focus is on the hypotheses of translation universals – distinctive features of translation resulting from constraints unique to the translation process, researched on comparable corpora (Baker, 1993), which have not satisfactorily been tested on legal translation. What also seems appealing is the textual fit of translations, that is, how translated law and other legal texts differ from non-translated language. Parallel corpora may be applied to address topics such as term/phraseme distinction, recurrent patterns, translation strategies and techniques and variability/stability of equivalents in legal translation.
Equally important is the systematic description of actual translation practice, translation process and professional aspects of legal translation. This trajectory covers process studies of legal translation, involving Think-Aloud Protocols (TAPs), keystroke logging or eye-tracking software, which may help map different stages of the translation process, understand cognitive processes in the translator’s mind and improve the translation process and product by developing adequate resources. Translation practice is also researched through workplace studies and ethnographic approaches.
Another trajectory of research is legal translation in multilingual and institutionalized settings, which, as emphasized in the literature, is a rare object of study within Translation Studies. In the enlarged European Union, legal translation participates in the construction of new societies, having a social, cultural and political dimension. Owing to its unprecedented multilingualism, institutionality and hybridity, EU translation has challenged some central concepts of Translation Studies with its fluid and non-final source texts, concurrent drafting and translation, collective translation processes, and the replacement of source text and target texts by authentic language versions. The translation process is complicated by the fact that EU law is still developing and that its supranational conceptual network relies on national conceptual systems (cf. Kjær 2007). Kjær argues that translation of EU law should become an independent research field with its own theoretical framework because traditional theories of legal translation are inadequate to account for it (2007). Does legal translation require a new theory in such settings? Another pertinent question is how EU law influences the language of national law at the conceptual, syntactic and textual level and how it can be tested empirically.
These are just a few topics which may be addressed. We invite proposals that investigate patterns and processes of legal translation from a new angle and contribute to mapping current developments and projecting future trajectories of research into legal translation.
We invite proposals dealing with one or more of the following topics:
· Corpus-based studies of legal translation: potential and limitations, translation universals, parallel corpus studies on strategies and techniques, etc.
· Differences between legal translation and comparative law.
· Legal translation and discourse analysis.
· Legal translation as knowledge mediation.
· Theory of legal translation in multilingual settings.
· Semantics of legal concepts and translation.
· Process studies of legal translation.
· Workplace studies of legal translation.
· Intertextuality and interdiscursivity in legal translation.
· Legal term/phraseme distinction; multi-word terms, phraseology and recurrent patterns in translation.
· Emergence of new globalizing genres through translation.
· Any other innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to legal translation.
Baker, M. (1996). Corpus-based translation studies: the challenges that lie ahead. In H. L. Somers & L. Harold (Eds.), Terminology, LSP and Translation. Studies in Language Engineering in Honour of Juan C. Sager (pp. 175-186). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Kjær, A. L. (2007). Legal translation in the European Union: A research field in need of a new approach. In K. Kredens & S. Goźdź-Roszkowski (Eds.), Language and the Law: International Outlooks (pp. 175-186). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
Stubbs, M. (2004). Language Corpora. In A. Davies & C. Elder (Eds.) Handbook of Applied Linguistics (pp. 106-132). Oxford: Blackwell.
Practical information and deadlines
Acceptance of proposals: 1 July 2012
Submission of articles: 1 February 2013
Acceptance of articles: 30 April 2013
Publication: November-December 2013