Curriculum, language and the law

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Dubrovnik, 18-21 Sept. 2008

Organizing Committee:
Ludger Kremer, University of Antwerp (Belgium)

Peter Sandrini, University of Innsbruck (Austria)

Lelija Sočanac, University of Zagreb (Croatia)

Susan Šarčević, University of Rijeka (Croatia)

María del Carmen Acuyo Verdejo

University of Granada (Spain)
Translation in Linguistic Minorities Settings:

The Case of English Informative Texts for Immigrants
As a result of an increasing internationalisation of the world, people travel much more than ever, whether for pleasure or in search of a better life. As to the latter, we can affirm that everyone is witnessing the continuous and increasing immigration flows taking place within the European Union, due basically to the free movement of goods, people and capital established in the European Treaties.

Since the last decade, however, an increase in the number of immigrants coming from third world countries and countries other than the European ones has brought about new challenges and some changes in the profession of translator and interpreter, in the sense that they have become more an intercultural mediator rather than a mere linguistic mediator. Up to now, immigration policy has always been a domestic issue regulated by any single member State within the European Union. Nowadays, a new regulation has emerged which directly affects the legislation of all member States. Within this legislation the role assigned to the translator is paramount.

Within this context, we would like to argue in this paper the main features of English language as a lingua franca for the great majority of this specific readership in Spain. To begin with, and after a brief survey of the main approaches existing in translation literature in this particular field to date, the author will deal with an analysis of an English legal informative text for immigrant women published by the Andalusian Regional Government from phraseological and terminological points of view.

Janet E. Ainsworth

Seattle University (USA)
Linguistic Ideology versus Linguistic Practice: The Cognitive and Cultural Challenge

of Code-Switching to English-Only Rules in American Workplaces
This paper considers the role of linguistic ideology in driving legal doctrine in American employment discrimination law. Specifically, I will examine the rules adopted by some American employers requiring that employees speak exclusively in English on the job. Multi-lingual employees who have been fired for violating such employment policies have attempted to argue these so-called “English only” policies violate American laws prohibiting discrimination against workers based on their ethnicity or national origin. They have, however, found a chilly reception in US courts for these claims of discrimination. In part, this is due to the ideology of language incorporated into the fabric of legal doctrine and practice, including the belief by lawyers and judges that languages are transparent media for representing reality. Judges presume therefore that, since all languages are commensurate with one another as means of interpersonal communication, it cannot be a disadvantage to a fully bi-lingual employee to be made to select one language over another while on the job. Multi-lingual employees, by that reasoning, are not disadvantaged by being required to express themselves in English alone. This paper argues that the law in this area fails to account for the linguistic research on bilingual communication. By ignoring the cognitive aspects of bi-lingual code-switching, the law falsely assumes that employees are making deliberate and unnecessary choices about their manner of expressing themselves when they code-mix and cod-switch on the job. By ignoring the social and cultural context of language use by multi-lingual speakers, these courts fail to understand the degree to which code-switching by bilinguals serves as a rich resource for encoding identity and meaning.

Adela Bahenska

Charles University, Prague (Czech Republic)
International Legal English Course: Challenges and Lessons Learned
The purpose of this paper is to share the experience of designing and teaching International Legal English (ILE) Course (using International Legal English textbook by Amy Krois-Lindner and TransLegal, CUP) to law school students and to graduate lawyers in a course offered as part of lifelong learning.

It explores the practical aspects of course planning, such as the time required, the participants’ entry knowledge of English, selection of topics etc. The paper also touches on the general content focus of the above textbook and how the choice of topics matches the requirements of Czech law students and legal practitioners’. It discusses the issues of ‘International English’ in English language teaching and in particular the issues international legal English represents for teaching. The contribution also compares planning and teaching such a course for undergraduate students and for adults. This section will focus particularly on the difference of entry knowledge of English, the difference in knowledge of legal content, the issue of transfer (both positive and negative in case of adults) and also the psychological difference in terms of active skills.

The paper further discusses the potential of using blended learning approach in such a course and the possibilities of localizing ILE course in terms of the things that would need to be done in order for the course to better comply with the needs of students in other than English speaking countries where all the participants share the same language and the teacher of the course is a speaker of the language spoken by the participants. In other words, what can the teacher do to make sure that the participants will be able to apply the vocabulary and the skills when talking about their legal system?

Martina Bajčić

Faculty of Law, University of Rijeka (Croatia)
The Search for Croatian Equivalents for EU Terms in Competition Law
With the establishment of the Croatian Competition Agency in 1997 in light of Croatia's preparation for accession to the European Union and the ongoing negotiation process, the relevant EU Competition legislation had to be translated into Croatian. Since the subject matter concerned is a rather fledgling field in Croatia, linguists and lawyers encounter difficulties in understanding and translating competition terminology and are plagued by discrepancies in the existing translations and legal documents.

The paper attempts to identify relevant competition terminology (antitrust, cartel, market distortion, restraints on competition, abuse of a dominant position, concentration etc.) and to propose adequate equivalents in Croatian which are most frequently used, as shown by the example of the Decisions of the Croatian Competition Agency published in the Official Gazette. Finally, the ultimate aim is to avoid further terminological inconsistencies in the field of competition and to enable both lawyers and undertakings to easier understand the relevant laws and regulations, especially those who will have to deal with this important issue in the near future. To promote user reliability a bilingual display of both English and German terms with Croatian equivalents is provided.

Carmen Bestué

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain)
The Translator as the New Contract Drafter: An Analysis of Computer Contracts
The Spanish legal system belongs to the Roman and Germanic legal family and has a long tradition of its own that makes it very different from other legal systems, such as those belonging to the common law family. However, common law legal terms and entire clauses have found their way into Spanish computer contracts. Drawing on Nord (1989 y 1997) and Šarčević (1997), this paper analyses contracts between large foreign corporations and Spanish consumers, focusing on the role of translation. The analysis illustrates how legal institutions are transferred into these documents – and hence, into Spanish law – and how new drafting practises based on translation arise. Special attention is paid to the translation techniques used in culturally-bound terms, specifically in the field of damages, and some examples of Spanish, French and international equivalents will be presented. The paper concludes with some insights on the role of translators in the creation of this new hybrid genre.

Vijay K. Bhatia

City University of Hong Kong (China)
Intertextual and Interdiscursive Patterns in Legal Discourse
One of the most important aspects of legal discourse, which discourse analysts have often forgotten to take seriously, is that it is highly intertextual and interdiscursive in nature, and perhaps more so, in the context of its application to everyday real life social situations, often referred to as ‘case descriptions’ in legal terminology. Many of the currently available analytical studies, including some of my own (Bhatia, 1982, 1993), on the construction and interpretation of legal discourse have focused on individual legal texts, with some reference to context in general, and sometimes to intertextuality; however, in professional legal practice, such texts are rarely interpreted on their own; more often than not, these specialized forms of discourse, in particular, legislative, judgments, and cases, are understood and interpreted in the context of what Scollon (1998) refers to as ‘critical sites of engagement’, which are highly specific to legal practice and culture. This important relationship between the discursive and the professional aspects of legal practice thus seems to be crucial for a rigorous and comprehensive understanding and analysis of legal discourse (Bhatia, 2004). After a brief overview of legal discourse in academic and professional contexts, this paper will highlight the nature and function of intertextuality and interdiscursivity in legal genres, suggesting a framework for its analysis in the context of some of the constraints imposed by professional legal practice and culture.

Łucja Biel

University of Gdansk (Poland)
Legal Translation Strategies versus Established Equivalents:

On the Role of Convention in the Field of Company Law
The paper will analyse SL-oriented and TL-oriented equivalents in legal translation, using the corpus of company-law texts and Cognitive Linguistics tools. Attention will be paid to the asymmetry of EN>PL and PL>EN strategies and inconsistency in the use of strategies within a single text. These phenomena may be partly accounted for by established equivalents, convention, and intertextuality. An equivalent of a legal term should generally have a specific reference to the right legal system/knowledge base from which its meaning emerges. For it to function properly, there must be some convention (agreement) in the speech community as to what it refers to. Equivalents have their own life: they may be adopted by a speech community, used repeatedly and become entrenched as cognitive routines. Such an equivalent is called an established equivalent, in fact it may be either SL-oriented or TL-oriented. It is a matter of convention in the speech community how SL knowledge structures are accessed through a TL term. Entrenchment may be achieved thanks to available translations of major legislation; legal language being highly intertextual. Some equivalents are so entrenched that translators rarely attempt to use other equivalents and if they do, they pose a risk of being regarded as incompetent or unaware of the existing discourse.

Dragana Bjelić – Barbara Pisker – Vesna Vulić

Polytechnic of Požega, Požega (Croatia) – –
The Concept of Reasonable Time in Court Proceedings in Croatia
The right to be tried within a reasonable time is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of our country. The Republic of Croatia ratified the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in 1997.This Convention is one of the first documents which uses the term reasonable time.

When discussing the term reasonable time the question imposed is what is considered to be a reasonable time and how to determine it, since the concept of reasonable time differs from person to person.

The question is to what extent has the legislator by using this term in fact contributed to the length of legal proceedings since the term reasonable time leaves enough space to every individual to interpret it in his own way.

On the other hand the imperative of modern society is to ensure unambiguous, specific and understandable language by using transparent and indisputable terms.

Our goal should be to reach the legal system where all our personal rights would be protected promptly and efficiently. Is the term reasonable time supporting this goal?

François Blais

Centre for Legal Translation and Documentation Ottawa (Canada)
La normalisation de la common law en français au Canada
Ma présentation porte sur La normalisation du vocabulaire français de la common law au Canada. Cet important travail de normalisation représente tout un défi parce qu’il convient de tenir compte du contexte particulier du Canada, bilingue et bijuridique où la compétence législative est partagée entre le gouvernement fédéral et les provinces. Ce travail qui est financé par le ministère de la Justice du Canada, est effectué par le Centre de traduction et de documentation juridiques ainsi que trois autres centres de jurilinguistique et le Bureau de la traduction. La francisation de la common law est au cœur de l’application du bilinguisme et du bijuridisme au Canada et constitue un élément important du développement de la communauté minoritaire de langue française du Canada.

J’ajouterai également un mot sur le nouveau programme de maîtrise en traduction juridique destiné aux juristes qui désirent se spécialiser en traduction, révision ou rédaction juridique.

Antonia Blasina Miseri

Università Popolare Trieste (Italy)
Aspetti linguistici e legali del plurilinguismo in Croazia: il caso dell’italiano
La Croazia, un paese piccolo ma molto articolato linguisticamente, non soltanto per la presenza di diversi dialetti croati, ma anche per la coesistenza di diverse comunità autoctone alloglotte che parlano la lingua dei propri avi, diversa dalla lingua ufficiale dello Stato croato.

Nel mio intervento intendo occuparmi della cospicua presenza della comunità italiana, considerata attualmente “minoranza”, che risiede soprattutto sulla costa del territorio istro-quarnerino, sino a Fiume e che conta attualmente circa 20.000 persone, che abitualmente utilizzano l’italiano come lingua materna.

Porrò l’accento sugli aspetti legati alla contaminazione linguistica avvenuta nel corso dei secoli per l’inevitabile contatto tra i parlanti italiani e croati, sulle diverse forme dei dialetti istro-veneti e istro-romanzi e sulla relativa ed interessantissima produzione letteraria in lingua italiana e in dialetto. Verrà analizzato anche l’aspetto legale, l’attuale posizione della lingua italiana e della sua comunità all’interno della Croazia, con particolare riguardo alle zone considerate bilingui, alla rappresentanza al Parlamento croato, alle leggi speciali per la tutela delle minoranze riguardanti l’istruzione, la segnaletica bilingue, le associazione culturali, la stampa.

Maja Bratanić – Vedrana Ilijevski

University of Zagreb (Croatia) –
Croatian Euroterm – the Case for National and EU Terminology Harmonization in the Field of Law
Euroterm, the Croatian bilingual terminology database, has been created in accordance with the standard practice of EU member states to establish a terminological resource resulting from the process of translating the EU acquis into their respective official languages and, conversely, translating the harmonized national legislation into EU languages – nowadays, most commonly English. Croatian Euroterm is thus, a (to a certain extent random) collection of English-Croatian terminology pairs drawing on the existing terminological resources (the Croatian edition of Eurovoc and other EU terminology glossaries) as well as on individual terminological and translation solutions of a number of translators taking part in this demanding task. In other words, the Croatian Euroterm database is growing along with the process of translation and cannot always be one step ahead of translators' needs, although ideally it would be, for the sake of the best possible terminology standardization and harmonization.

With Croatia’s accession to the EU, Euroterm will become an integral part of IATE, the EU's multilingual term base. Additional problems arise from the fact that IATE itself is not free of polysemy and multiple classifications of single terms, and from the limitations posed by Eurovoc, the indexing language used for both, internal IATE and Croatian Euroterm.

Further difficulties in legal terminology harmonization are connected with conceptual overlapping with national legal concepts.

The paper illustrates the problems stated above on the examples of EU legal terminology in the Croatian Euroterm and proposes long term procedures for its more systematic standardization.

Cecile Brich

Leeds University (UK)
Foucault and the Construction of Subjectivity in the Criminal Justice System
Foucault was one of the first to attempt to analyse the distribution of discourse in the criminal justice system. Specifically, he suggested that verbal exchanges in the context of police interrogations, interviews with psychologists, and, finally, criminal trials play a crucial part in constituting subjects as criminals. He argued that criminals are constructed as such by the discourses which they are induced to hold about the workings of their minds. In the context of these discussions, he also presented examples of defendants displaying resistance to procedural expectations.

However, Foucault’s writings on discursive practices in judicial settings rest chiefly on a review of statutes and codes of practice, counterbalanced by only anecdotal evidence of practice on the ground. In this paper, I will present an assessment of the accuracy of Foucault’s analysis in the light of subsequent scholarship, and consider the extent to which, for all their speculative weaknesses, Foucault’s original insights may still usefully inform contemporary forensic linguistic research.

Dragica Bukovčan

Police College, Zagreb (Croatia)
Binominal Expressions in the German and English Language of Criminal Law
Binominal expressions (germ. Wortpaare) of different types, to be found in the general language and in the languages for special purposes, are characterized by syntactic stability, sometimes lacking the identical syntactic structure in another language but preserving the original concept which is very important if two languages and legal systems are to be compared. Binominals have relatively simple syntactic structure: they consist of two words belonging to the same grammatical category (in most cases two nouns) joined by “and” / “or”. In the LSP they can be defined as conventional phraseological chunks used by a limited group of professionals. The paper focuses on some frequently occurring binominals in two different legal systems in the field of criminal law used as the basis for the analysis of their common linguistic and terminological features.

Elisa Calvo Encinas – Juan Miguel Ortega Herráez

Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) –
Functional Approach to Legal Translation Teaching: Combating Literality
According to Šarčević (1997) the era of modern translation began when translators were released from their commitment to reproduce the source text (ST), thus ending the predominance of retrospective translation and sheer fidelity to the source text. As a result, translation became receiver-oriented, marking the starting point of perspective translation approaches. Perspective translation is also closely related to the more general notions of "functional equivalence" and the skopos approach to translation.

As translation trainers in two different Translation Schools in Spain, similar difficulties arose when trying to transmit these translation approaches to our specialized translation students. Despite our efforts to orientate translation processes towards its target communicative context and receiver, students do not dare making non-literal translation decisions and tend to remain attached to the word-for-word rendition. Consequently, their translations are frequently trapped in microtextuality (terms and expressions) and do not reach macrotextual (document function and overall meaning) and extratextual (target receiver, communicative setting, legal effect) levels.

In order to combat this, a series of tasks were designed to overcome that focus on ST words and concentrate instead on the intent and effect of both the ST and target text (TT) under the light of its receiver and the corresponding communicative context, thus applying non-literal translation strategies. This paper presents some of these examples and reflects on the usefulness of such practice cases.

Elena Chiocchetti – Isabella Stanizzi

Europäische Akademie Bozen (EURAC) (Italy) – istanizzi}
Kriterien zur Normung oder Harmonisierung von mehrsprachiger Rechtsterminologie
Im Kontext mehrsprachiger Rechtskommunikation liegt der korrekte und kohärente Gebrauch der Terminologie einer einheitlichen Interpretation des Textes zu Grunde. Das gilt sowohl innerhalb eines Staates als auch auf internationaler Ebene. Vor diesem Hintergrund soll, anhand konkreter Beispiele aus zwei Projekten, Einblick in die Kriterien zur formalen Festlegung terminologischer Äquivalenzen im Recht gegeben werden.

Im ersten Projekt werden Begriffe der italienischen Rechts- und Verwaltungssprache ins Deutsche übersetzt. Ziel ist die Schaffung einer einheitlichen Rechtssprache für den Gebrauch im zweisprachigen Land Südtirol. Die hierzu berufene Terminologiekommission hat die Aufgabe, Rechtsbegriffe zu normieren; d.h., bei vorgegebenem italienischen Wortlaut die entsprechende deutsche Fassung verbindlich festzulegen. Relevante italienische Rechtsbegriffe werden erfasst, beschrieben und ins Deutsche übertragen. Dabei werden die anderen deutschsprachigen Rechtsordnungen vergleichend analysiert.

Das zweite Projekt setzt sich das Ziel, der terminologischen Vielfalt und Unsicherheit in den Texten der Alpenkonvention entgegenzuwirken, indem die wichtigsten Begriffe in den vier offiziellen Sprachen Deutsch, Französisch, Italienisch und Slowenisch von einer Expertengruppe verglichen und formal festgelegt werden. Aufgabe dieser „Harmonisierungsgruppe“ ist es, Übersetzungsfehler zu beseitigen, Klarheit zwischen Synonymen zu schaffen und möglichst eindeutige Definitionen zu validieren. Für jeden Begriff werden jeweils vier innerhalb der Alpenkonvention äquivalente Termini in den vier Sprachen festgelegt und eine gemeinsam abgestimmte Beschreibung des Begriffsinhalts geliefert.

Beide Projekte zeigen klare Gemeinsamkeiten hinsichtlich der angewandten Normungs- bzw. Harmonisierungskriterien, trotz unterschiedlicher Ausgangssituationen und ähnlicher – aber doch nicht gleicher – Ziele. Folgende Entscheidungsgrundlagen werden erläutert und anhand von Beispielen aufgezeigt:

1) Anlehnung an bereits konsolidierter Terminologie

2) Streben nach größtmöglicher Transparenz der Termini

3) Berücksichtigung bereits festgelegter Termini

4) Bewusstes Ablehnen potentiell zweideutiger/ unklarer Termini

5) Gebrauch von Anmerkungen und Erläuterungen.

Diese Kriterien garantieren die größtmögliche Klarheit und Einheitlichkeit des festgelegten Bestandes an Termini, sichern einen homogenen Qualitätsstandard und fördern so die Langlebigkeit und Akzeptanz der erzielten Ergebnisse von Seiten der Benutzer.

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