Minimal Unit of Legal Translation vs. Minimal Unit of Thought
The chapter features a theoretical viewpoint on an elusive notion of a ‘minimal unit of translation’ which is believed to underlie a technical mastery of translation in general and legal translation, in particular. Consequently, it is hoped to bear relevance to the core legal translation studies issues. However, no essential conceptualization has been undertaken to-date regarding a ‘unit of legal translation.’ This slows down the postulating of such crucial concepts for the legal translation theory and practice, as equivalence and semantic invariant, legal meaning nature and structure, practicable legal translation quality assessment criteria, and other vital issues. The legal translation theoretical framework may eventually benefit from the in-depth observations of several cases reviewed with a view to extrapolating them further on and using in larger legal translation data analysis. Some regularities of the English–Russian legal languages switch, describing respective techniques employed, are also elaborated on and discussed in detail.
It is highlighted in the paper that intercultural communication is the transmission of “verbal messages across a cultural linguistic border” (Jakobson) .To cover the entire field of intercultural relationship and sufficient conditions for translation one should specify the variables that constitute the invariant for translation and necessary condition to satisfy the classification of a certain message as a translation in relation to another message. Close analyses of some lexical units of secondary nomination on sociolinguistic and cultural axes make us believe that they are real examples (prototypes) of integral elements of intercultural discourse and they represent some mental maps or frames of norms and values of this or that culture. As different languages classify the world and the human experience differently it is pointed out that the dividing lines do not exist in reality but only in the language. The last is linked to reality through conceptual representation. It reflects the problem and relativity of transformation of realities into conceptual classification. The mental object is precise. But the difficulties begin when we have to apply our mental objects to realities that do not correspond exactly to our mental schema. To compile lexical entries of culturally specified units it is necessary to show how languages encode a particular experience of the world or how extra linguistic reality is interpreted. Language and culture may produce differences in cognitive processes which affect conceptualization. The existence of some ambiguity and misunderstanding makes interlocutors look up into dictionaries or reference books to see and comprehend the difference between source and target cultural items. The forthcoming analysis is based on some theoretical principles that provide a frame of reference for it. Among them cognitive approach should be mentioned first of all.
«Bankruptcy» Concept Within the Legal Linguistics Coordinates: Russian–English–French Approximations
The article addresses the notion of bankruptcy as perceived by speakers of current Russian, English and French languages both lawyers and participants in professional communication from other trades. Semantic structure of the term is identified based on its lexicographic and regulatory definitions.
The project we present – Russian Learner Translator Corpus (RusLTC) is a multiple learner translator corpus which stores Russian students’ translations out of English and into it. The project is being developed by a cross-functional team of translator trainers and computational linguists in Russia. Translations are collected from several Russian universities; all translations are made as part of routine and exam assignments or as submissions for translation contests by students majoring in translation. As of March 2014 RusLTC contains the total of nearly 1.2 million word tokens, 258 source texts, and 1,795 translations. The paper gives a brief overview of the related research, describes the corpus structure and corpus-building technologies used; it also covers the query tool features and our error annotation solutions. In the final part we make a summary of the RusLTC-based research, its current practical applications and suggest research prospects and possibilities.
This volume investigates advances in the field of legal translation both from a theoretical and practical perspective, with professional and academic insights from leading experts in the field. Part I of the collection focuses on the exploration of legal translatability from a theoretical angle. Covering fundamental issues such as equivalence in legal translation, approaches to legal translation and the interaction between judicial interpretation and legal translation, the authors offer contributions from philosophical, rhetorical, terminological and lexicographical perspectives. Part II focuses on the analysis of legal translation from a practical perspective among different jurisdictions such as China, the EU and Japan, offering multiple and pluralistic viewpoints. This book presents a collection of studies in legal translation which not only provide the latest international research findings among academics and practitioners, but also furnish us with a new approach to, and new insights into, the phenomena and nature of legal translation and legal transfer. The collection provides an invaluable reference for researchers, practitioners, academics and students specialising in law and legal translation, philosophy, sociology, linguistics and semiotics.
Legal Translation In The Law Terminology Coreference Perspective
The article revisits a sustainable phenomenon inherent in languages for special purposes (domain-specific sublanguages) – multiple nomination of concepts exemplified by the legalese and correlating with cognitive representations of domain-specific knowledge. This phenomenon profiles an obvious problem area in special translation theory. Synonymy is treated in line with Yu.D. Aprecian’s concept whereby lexical units are regarded as semantically related if and when they appear referentially identical, i.e. co-referential. Co-reference gives rise to complexities in perceiving and comprehending legal texts in English–Russian translation. An interdisciplinary paradigm is applied for singling out an earmarked direction within the modern Translation Studies – Domain-Specific Translatology. A new name to once customary ‘special translation theory’ draws translation researchers to focus on profound studying of professional translation/interpreting across domain-specific fields, i.e. expert communication area, with the view of analyzing problems aggravated by the terminological co-reference available both in the source-language and target-language as well.
The chapter explores the semantics and pragmatics of the Russian temporal syntactic phraseme ‘X to X,’ (a construction characterized by a semantically restricted set of lexical items able to fill in its syntactic variables) which expresses either the speaker’s surprise at the fact that events go as planned (surprising punctuality interpretation) or the speaker’s surprise at the fact that unplanned events go as if they had been pre-planned (surprising fateful coincidence interpretation). While the construction is not unique, and occurs in other languages, its preferred interpretations are language-specific. The chapter demonstrates differences between Russian and English outlooks on time, based on their fundamental differences in linguistic worldviews. According to one of the central key ideas of the Russian linguistic worldview, events are difficult for human subjects to control, as they are commonly controlled by outside forces, such as fate, and therefore surprising punctuality interpretation prevails in Russian. English, which does not view punctuality as something out of the ordinary, favours the surprising fateful coincidence interpretation of this syntactic phraseme. The idea of fate in relation to temporality is also found in other languages, as demonstrated by Bernard Charlier’s research on Mongolian temporality in his chapter in the current volume.
This article aims at describing several challenges typical of legal texts remarkably complicated for perceiving and comprehending even within the legal profession. One of the challenges associated with legal texts comprehension appears to be an interdisciplinary phenomenon attributable to languages for special purposes at large - multiple alternative nomination which we name the terminological co-reference trap. Legalists, legal practitioners and legal translators when confronted with the said phenomenon in the English-Russian interaction have to fix non-routine communication gaps. Examples drawn from various legal branches allow for validating a few theoretical assumptions regarding the issues under analysis.