Legal Interpreting and Translating: A Research Guide
FCIL Librarian, University of Iowa
Although the guide is specific to the Iowa Library System, the guide offers a nice bibliography of legal translation titles and a list of glossaries and dictionaries in 20 languages from Europe, Asia ,and Africa. Particularly useful are the links to online legal glosssaries from state courts covering the following languages: Arabic, Armenian, Cantonese, Chinese, German, Hindi, Hmong, Korean, Laotian, Punjabi,Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Urdu and Vietnamese.
Hap tip to Ben Jones for pointing out that these are unofficial translations.
Japan’s Ministry of Justice has a new Website that offers unofficial English translations of thousands of Japanese statutes and regulations. The site provides bilingual versions of the laws and regulations. It also includes lexicographic notes explaining the translation of difficult terms. Here is an example of Article 1 of the Copyright Act of 1970:
Article 1 The purpose of this Act is to provide for, and to secure protection of, the rights of authors, etc. and the rights neighboring thereto with respect [copyrightable] works as well as performances, phonograms, broadcasts and wire-broadcasts, while giving due regard to the fair exploitation of these cultural products, and by doing so, to contribute to the development of culture
The site’s bilingual dictionary is a wonderful resource that not only provides translations, but also links to statutes and regulations that use a specific term or phrase.
Edizione Giuridiche Simone has made available a collection of Italian language dictionaries free of charge. The Law Dictionary (Dizionario giuridico) includes annotations to legislation. Other dictionaries inclide canonical law, political philosophy and the Historical Dictionary of Italian and European Law (Dizionario storico del dritto italiano ed europeo). These dictionaries are searchbale free of charge, but all content is in Italian. Grazie mille ai nostri amici dell’ EGS.
Speaking of bilingual information… In the latest issue of Law Library Journal, Dennis Kim Prieto of Rutgers Law Library offers a timely and useful article on bilingual English-Spanish dictionaries. He reviews the latest lexicographic research to undercover criteria by which to assess bilingual legal dictionaries. The annotated bibliography at the end of the article will prove useful to acquisitions librarians as they make decisions about which dictionaries to buy. Dennis’ article is a welcome addition to the understudied area of legal lexicography, especially in foreign languages.