Although it is widely accepted that “the legal system is both defined and constrained by the language that expresses it” (Beyer & Conradsen 1995: 147), increased globalization and growing mobility of people and commodities make it necessary to transfer legal texts across cultural and linguistic boundaries every day. Against this backdrop, the question arises as to how translators and interpreters mediating legal cultures are trained to undertake this challenging task. Contributions are therefore invited for a special issue of ITT on the training of translators and interpreters working in legal settings – whether these are (inter)national institutions, courts adjudicating legal disputes or private legal firms.
Legal translation currently features as a distinct field of specialization in most translator training curricula worldwide – conflated, in some cases, with course units on financial or commercial translation. The curricular presence of legal interpreting is, however, less consistent across different institutions. But while, in recent years, a growing number of specialized publications and conferences have fostered academic reflection on the idiosyncrasy and diversity of legal translation and interpreting, pedagogical practices in the field remain under-researched. Ultimately, it is necessary to formalize approaches to training that can address the needs of future professionals who will have to mediate a wide range of textual genres and communicative encounters – including but not limited to asylum applications, international trade agreements, marriage certificates or judgements, and corporate investment instruments.
Themes to be explored by contributors may include but are not restricted to the following:
• Legal translation/interpreting and academia: teaching, acquisition and assessment of legal translation/interpreting competences; legal translation as an undergraduate/postgraduate qualification; areas of law and genres to be taught; the involvement of translator trainers and legal professionals in legal translation teaching.
• Formal training in legal translation/interpreting as a requirement for professional practice; university accreditation vs. exam licensing accreditation.
• The contribution of placements and life-long learning to legal translator training.
• Ethics training for legal translators and interpreters and the contribution of professional associations to this aspect of training.
• Educating agents of the law working with legal translators/ interpreters on the complexity of this form of linguistic and intercultural mediation.
• Information resources and technologies for legal translators and trainers; development of new reference resources for translators and interpreters.
• Legal translation and interpreting training and new regulatory instruments. For example, Directive 2010/64/EU of the European Parliament stipulates that the quality of translation and interpreting provided in criminal proceedings should be sufficient to safeguard the fairness of proceedings. Accordingly, EU Member States should endeavour to create registers of suitably qualified professionals. What are the pedagogical implications of these developments?
Original, well-informed, research-based contributions should be between 6,000 and 10,000 words). Discussion should be supported where relevant by real life examples. Priority will be given to contributions that report on completed research. Papers will be refereed.
Schedule for Publication
15 February 2013 Deadline for submission of abstracts (around 500 words)
31 March 2013 Selected contributors notified of acceptance of abstracts
April-August 13 Authors write their papers
1 September 2013 Deadline for submission of papers
Sep 2013-Jan 2014 Review of first submission by board
1 February 2014 Notification of provisional acceptance of papers
February-April 2014 Submission of final articles by authors
1 May 2014 Deadline for submission of final versions of papers
March 2015 Publication
Dr Esther Monzó Nebot
Universitat Jaume I
Departament de Traducció i Comunicació
Av. Sos Baynat s/n
Dr Le CHENG
Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
City University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong SAR