DIY Corpora: a pearl in the legal translator's sea of tools. Initial testing of a methodology to enhance the correspondence of legal translations with receiver expectations

Scott, Juliette R. (2011) DIY Corpora: a pearl in the legal translator's sea of tools. Initial testing of a methodology to enhance the correspondence of legal translations with receiver expectations. MA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    The legal genre is subject to stringent conformity requirements, as demonstrated by the proliferation of courses on legal writing for both lawyers and paralegal staff. Translations in the field must also be in line with this sublanguage and are likely to be evaluated by specialists.

    Whilst legal translators have a wide range of tools at their disposal, i.e. dictionaries, glossaries, termbases, parallel corpora, and online fora, they are rarely trained as lawyers, and they may be unsure of correspondence with certain target sublanguage conventions.

    This dissertation seeks to address this shortcoming by developing a methodology to leverage the benefits of specialised corpora. It comprises the targeted and controlled retrieval of corpus material from the Internet, and its subsequent consultation by means of an electronic concordance tool to resolve translators’ questions as they arise during the course of a translation.

    The formidable time constraints placed upon professionals mean that supplementary tools must give a palpable return on investment with a minimum additional workload if they are to be adopted.

    The methodology was trialled firstly through self-assessment and then by means of interviews with professional translators. In the first stage, practical tests were carried out in five legal sub-genres: memoranda and articles of association, joint venture agreements, non-disclosure agreements, private banking conditions, and terms and conditions of employment. The second stage led to the production of DIY corpora for software agreements, power purchase agreements, court proceedings relating to personal injury, and codes of ethics. The tests gave rise to positive results, showing that the time investment required is workable, and that the specialised corpora produced enabled concrete translation issues to be resolved. A significant level of interest in specialised corpora among professional translators has also been identified.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:25
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/2161

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