This course is open only to students registered for the Translation 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 2, we will deal with law in action and translate the documents used in civil and criminal law procedures. Will also study a procedure brought before the European Court of Human Rights. 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 5 EC x 28 hours=140 hours
Seminars: 26 hours
Preparation of tutorials, assignments and annotated translations: 70 hours
Two written translation tests: 6 hours
Study of compulsory literature: 38 hours
Weekly assignments on comparative law and translation theory and short translations (50%).
Two written translation tests (one Dutch to English; one English to Dutch)
You can resit assignments that were a fail.
Inspection and feedback
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized
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.
This has to be filled out by the key-user of the department.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
Coordinator of Studies: P.C. Lai
Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof