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Lingua Fracas: Legal Translation in the United States and the European Union

Griffin, David T. 2016. Lingua Fracas: Legal Translation in the United States and the European Union. Boston University International Law Journal 34 (2) , pp. 355-382.

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Legal translation is a complex process requiring a translator to be fully proficient not just in multiple languages, but also in both translation theory and the legal systems involved in a given text. Despite this, legal translation in the United States is completely unregulated. The European Union, by contrast, is committed to producing an equally authentic version of all of its major documents in each of its twentyfour official languages, and, as a result, has developed a highly specialized system for performing legal translations. In this Note, I examine translation theory, both in general and in the legal context, and look at the United States’ and European Union’s systems as they currently exist. Finally, I consider what the United States can learn from the European Union’s policies, as well as how those policies could influence a proposal for an American federal court translator certification program.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Boston University School of Law
ISSN: 0737-8947
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 February 2018
Date of Acceptance: 22 July 2015
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 08:14

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