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1Peter Sandrini Legal Translation and Terminology 30/11 - 2/12, 2007 Zagreb Principles of terminology for legal translators Peter Sandrini.

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Presentation on theme: "1Peter Sandrini Legal Translation and Terminology 30/11 - 2/12, 2007 Zagreb Principles of terminology for legal translators Peter Sandrini."— Presentation transcript:

1 1Peter Sandrini Legal Translation and Terminology 30/11 - 2/12, 2007 Zagreb Principles of terminology for legal translators Peter Sandrini

2 2 Biographical Notes Research Areas  Terminology  Translation of Legal Texts  Globalization  Localization of Websites  Translation Technology  Languages DE IT EN Position: Assistant Professor at the University of Innsbruck, Austria www.petersandrini.net

3 3Peter Sandrini Overview Part 1  Basic concepts of Terminology  What makes Legal terms special?  How can we compare legal terms? Part 2  How to compile a legal terminology collection?  Terminology management  Legal Terminology databases

4 4Peter Sandrini What is a term? A word that is used in specific contexts for a specific meaning Designation of a defined concept in a special language by a linguistic expression (ISO 1087) Examples

5 5Peter Sandrini Concepts A concept is an abstract idea or a mental symbol (unit of thought), typically associated with a corresponding representation in a language or symbology, that denotes all of the objects in a given category or class of entities, interactions, phenomena, or relationships between them (knowledge unit).

6 6Peter Sandrini What is an object? ISO 1087: object: Any part of the perceivable or conceivable world

7 7Peter Sandrini Semiotic triangle in terminology Suonuuti, Heidi (1997): Guide to Terminology. Nordterm 8

8 8Peter Sandrini Functions of Terminology knowledge content (cognition and knowledge)‏ object, concept transfer term (communication)‏ representation of object/concept Terminography (Termbanks)‏ Knowledge-based Systems Information&Documentation

9 9Peter Sandrini What is terminology Terminology: interdisciplinary field of study, which analyses the concepts and objects of a special subject field and the representations assigned to them, studies the systematic recording of concepts and representations as well as the relations between them.

10 10Peter Sandrini Without Terminology – no Knowledge Without Knowledge – no Terminology Discipline = Specialized Knowledge

11 11Peter Sandrini What is a legal term? Read the Text (n° 1) and highlight all legal terms Judgement on case c440/00 Kühne&Nagel

12 12Peter Sandrini What is a legal term? A term that is used in a legal context for a specific meaning terms are representations of legal knowledge units (concepts)

13 13Peter Sandrini Context Semasiological approach: terms depend on linguistic context onomasiological approach: terms are independent of linguistic context, but Terms are defined by concept systems and legal terms are defined by a legal frame of reference or a legal context (intertextuality) Division between LGP and LSP

14 14Peter Sandrini What is a legal concept? legal knowledge units result from a process of discussion, public debate, legislation with the aim of regulating the interaction of humans (civil law) or of controlling people's behaviour (penal law)‏ or from the abstraction of the general features from a large number of „real-life-situations“ (entities, interactions, phenomena, or relationships between them)‏ concepts originate from a system of moral values, and thus are part of a culturally rooted knowledge system, the legal system

15 15Peter Sandrini There is no legal term outside a legal system

16 16Peter Sandrini System-Bound Terms (CAO's distinction)‏ Legal System-Bound Words  Words associated with the legal profession (lawyer, attorney, solicitor, barrister, advocate, etc.)‏  Words associated with courts (Magistrate's Court, High Court, hierarchy of courts, etc.)‏  Words associated with areas of Law and Institutions (law of obligation in Civil Law, equity in English Law, etc.)‏

17 17Peter Sandrini Peculiarity of legal communication Independent communicative settings hence legal concepts as part of a legal system Prescriptive character hence prescriptive concepts and importance of definitions Transdisciplinarity hence terms from different subject fields with a distinctive legal meaning alongside typical legal terms Plurality of addressees hence in many cases easy understandable general- language terms but with a strict legal definition

18 18Peter Sandrini Legal definitions Definitions are system-bound They have the purpose to clearly differentiate concepts Link concepts to other concepts Open definitions in law

19 19Peter Sandrini Open definitions “No vehicles are permitted in the park” Open-textured concepts

20 20Peter Sandrini LEGAL Definition: (STATUTES OF CALIFORNIA)‏ 653k: Every person who possesses in the passenger's or driver's area of any motor vehicle in any public place or place open to the public, carries upon his or her person, and every person who sells, offers for sale, exposes for sale, loans, transfers, or gives to any other person a switchblade knife having a blade two or more inches in length is guilty of a misdemeanor. For the purposes of this section, "switchblade knife" means a knife having the appearance of a pocketknife and includes a spring-blade knife, snap-blade knife, gravity knife or any other similar type knife, the blade or blades of which are two or more inches in length and which can be released automatically by a flick of a button, pressure on the handle, flip of the wrist or other mechanical device, or is released by the weight of the blade or by any type of mechanism whatsoever. "Switchblade knife" does not include a knife that opens with one hand utilizing thumb pressure applied solely to the blade of the knife or a thumb stud attached to the blade, provided that the knife has a detent or other mechanism that provides resistance that must be overcome in opening the blade, or that biases the blade back toward its closed position. Bill SB 274, clarifies the definition of a one-hand opening knife so they are not wrongly classified as switchblades. Bill SB 274 clearly states: For the purposes of this section, switchblade knife means a knife having the appearance of a pocketknife and includes a spring-blade knife, snap-blade knife, gravity knife or any other similar type knife, which can be released automatically by a flick of a button, pressure on the handle, flip of the wrist or other mechanical device, or is released by the weight of the blade or by any type of mechanism whatsoever. Definition of Switchblade knife does not include a knife that is designed to open with one hand utilizing thumb pressure applied solely to the blade of the knife or a thumb stud attached to the blade, provided that the knife utilizes a detent or other mechanism that (a) provides resistance that must be overcome in opening the blade, or (b) biases the blade back toward its closed position. In order to ensure that only legitimate one-handed opening knives are covered, SB 274 narrows the language to only allow knives to fall under the exemption from the switchblade law if that one-handed opening knife contains a detent or similar mechanism. Such mechanisms ensure there is a measure of resistance that prevents the knife from being easily opened with a flick of the wrist. Moreover, a detent or other mechanism is prudent and a matter of public safety as it will ensure that a blade will not inadvertently come open.

21 21Peter Sandrini Uncertainty Causes for Indeterminacy of legal concepts:  Social and moral value system in law  Deliberate indeterminacy  Coincidental indeterminacy fair use, negligence, reasonable person, good faith, bona fide, emergency Wichtiger Grund, Ermessen, Zumutbarkeit, Treu und Glauben, Verhältnismäßigkeit Buon costume, diligenza, interesse pubblico, misura notevole

22 22Peter Sandrini Conceptual differences DE „klar und verständlich“ EN „clear and comprehensible“ IT „chiaro e comprensibile“

23 23Peter Sandrini Ideal of Univocity One term = one concept Meaning that a term always refers to one concept and thus always has the same meaning, is unambiguous and precise Bi-univocity the context is represented by one term only and this term refers exclusively to this concept

24 24Peter Sandrini Polysemy lexical ambiguity, i.e., the ambiguity of an individual word that can be used - in different contexts - to express two or more different meanings External polysemy Internal polysemy

25 25Peter Sandrini External Polysemy LGP-words can be used as legal terms representing a specific legal concept Ordinary Meaning vs. Legal Meaning the LGP-meaning of the word used as a legal term should be disregarded or at least be used only as a starting point. Problem for the communication with non-legal experts (Beispiel Leihe Darlehen) General assumption: every term used in a legal text refers to a legal concept

26 26Peter Sandrini Internal Polysemy A legal term represents more than one legal concept in different legal settings  terms used with different definitions in specific areas of law, e.g. penal, administrative or civil law Importance of knowing to which legal branch the text belongs

27 27Peter Sandrini Relative univocity a term refers to one concept in a specific context it is defined for a specific purpose in a legal context

28 28Peter Sandrini Equivalence Conceptual correspondence  Onomasiological approach  Identity of content Equivalence in Linguistics  Semasiological approach  Identical usage in texts and language

29 29Peter Sandrini Criteria of equivalence definition (intension and extension)‏ position in concept system (conceptual context) but not:  language-based features e.g. textual usage geographical restrictions style

30 30Peter Sandrini Equivalence The preeminent goal of descriptive terminology is to describe relations between the concepts of a defined subject field and to identify the terms in two or more languages which designate one concept. [Cole 1993:400] Conceptual correspondence where two terms can be considered equivalent when all concept characteristics overlap, i.e. in cases of conceptual identity (Arntz/Picht 1991:155)‏

31 31Peter Sandrini Equivalence in legal terminology Two languages to designate one concept = multilingual legal system Terms and concepts from different legal systems = no conceptual equivalence Comparison of concepts leads to translation options

32 32Peter Sandrini Literature on Legal Terminology Introductions on Terminology  Budin, G; Wright, SE (2001): Handbook of Terminology Management. John Benjamins, Amsterdam.  Arntz, R.; Picht, H.; Mayer, F.: Einführung in die Terminologiearbeit. Hildesheim: Olms Legal Terminology  see literature list


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