5.2 Way

| August 4, 2020

Catherine Way. (2015). A Discourse Analysis Approach to Legal Translator Training: More than words. International Journal of Law, Language & Discourse 5(2), 39-61.

Abstract: Legal translation trainees are frequently not experts in the field of Law. This poses considerable problems for legal translator trainers when attempting to introduce their trainees into the legal discourse community, requiring them to translate texts which are completely alien to their prior experience and social practices. In this paper we propose a discourse analysis methodology adapted from Fairclough’s model ([1992] 1996) which provides trainees with the tools to develop a structured analytical process when approaching the translation of legal texts. Traditionally translation classes revolve around the text to be translated, and more specifically the terminology which poses problems for the trainees. In this model trainees are guided through a step-by step procedure which firstly situates the text within the social process and social events which surround it. By locating the text within the discursive practice (production, distribution, consumption) the trainees become familiar with the internalized social structures and conventions governing the text, allowing them access to what Fairclough (ibid.) calls “members resources”. When this information is combined with the social practice in which the text participates, seemingly obscure elements in the text become immediately clearer. The process in then also applied in the Target Language and Target Culture to discover whether parallel discursive and social practices exist, thereby leading to parallel or similar texts. Only then will the translation process proper commence.

Keywords: legal translator training, discourse analysis, discursive practice, social practice, structured analytical process


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Category: Volume 5