This course is open only to students registered for the Translation in Theory and Practice specialization.
Translating legal texts is a difficult, but fascinating exercise. The legal translator has to overcome the same problems that any translator faces. But in addition, legal texts are often complicated and difficult to understand for the layman, which is what the legal translator often is. Then there are the fundamental differences between the legal system of the Netherlands and the Common-law legal systems of England and its former colonies (to complicate things: there are considerable legal and therefore also legal-linguistic differences between these systems). Legal translators have to work accurately and errors may have dire consequences. They also need to be creative, as there are very few good bilingual legal dictionaries.
The aim of this Legal Translation course, and of the second-semester Legal Translation 2 course, is to provide you with the knowledge and skills that you need to translate legal texts from Dutch to English and vice versa. We will explore three legal situations in which the services of translators are often needed, and explore the law, translation theory, and language needed to translate the documents used in these situations. In Legal Translation 1, we will focus legal instruments (aktes), documents whose purpose it is to serve as evidence. We will deal with legislative texts; vital records in the law of persons and family law; and contracts and notarial instruments (sale, financing and transfer of an apartment). After you have completed both courses you will have a professional starting qualification in legal translation.
Knowledge and understanding of the law of the Netherlands, the United States, and English and Wales, insofar as these are relevant for the legal translator.
Knowledge and understanding of methods of comparative law, insofar as these are relevant for the legal translator.
Ability to apply your knowledge and understanding of law and comparative legal methodology to pre-translation analysis of legal texts.
Enhancement of your knowledge of translation theory, in particular with regard to legal translation.
Ability to analyse and solve theoretical and practical translation problems.
Skill in translating legal texts from English to Dutch and vice versa; the translations should be marketable.
Further improvement of your oral and written proficiency in Dutch and English.
The timetable is available on the website of the MA Linguistics.
Mode of instruction
Total course load EC x 28 hours= hours
Seminars: 26 hours
Preparation of tutorials, assignments and annotated translations: 160 hours
Study of compulsory literature: 94 hours
- Three translations with a critical introduction and annotations (100%). You can resit failed assignments that were a fail.
Students are entitled to view their marked examination within a period of 30 days, following publication of the results of a written examination.
Blackboard will be used for:
- Presentation of course information, notification of changes to the course, and course materials.
Barker, D. (2014). Law made simple. Abingdon: Routledge.
Janssen, L. (2016). Nederlands recht begrepen. The Hague: Boom Juridische Uitgevers.
Caspel, R.D.J. van, & Klijn, C.A.W. (2012). Fockema Andreae’s juridisch woordenboek. Groningen: Noordhof
Garner, B.A. (2014). Black’s law dictionary. Eagan, MN: Thompson West.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
Coordinator of Studies: P.C. Lai
Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof