“Stepping Stones and Stumbling Blocks to Spanish-English Legal Translation”

In March I was invited by the European Commission’s Spanish translators at the Directorate General for Translation (DGT) to give a conference on Spanish-English legal translation in Brussels and in Luxembourg. The conference is being published in three issues of puntoycoma, Boletín de los traductores españoles de las instituciones de la Unión Europea, and in the event it may prove of interest, the first installment entitled “Aciertos y desafíos en la traducción jurídica español-inglés” is available here:

http://ec.europa.eu/translation/spanish/magazine/documents/pyc_152_es.pdf

In this article I examine four aspects of Spanish-English legal translation: “Traducciones que sí ‘encajan'” (concepts of Spanish law that fortunately have a close “functional equivalent” in Anglo-American law); “Traducciones (dudosas) generalmente aceptadas” (a controversial topic concerning generally accepted renderings that are actually mistranslations in certain contexts); “Traducciones inventadas” (a look at a couple of invented translations that, nevertheless, appear in Internet publications and elsewhere; and “Traducciones imposibles” (which addresses  the problem of translating legal terms that have no corresponding concept in Common Law).

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