EU Legal Translation: Past, Present and Future?

This talk will be a practically oriented overview of major challenges and quality parameters in institutional legal translation in the European Union institutions.

EU legal translation is subject to a complex array of political, procedural and institutional factors and it challenges some central translation concepts, such as a source text and a target text, a translation process, and equivalence. Subject to frequent switches between working languages, a fusion of legal cultures and complex drafting practices, EU legal texts are hybrid and so are their translations, for which translators are often unjustly blamed.

EU translation differs in many ways from typical legal translation and is subject to much higher institutional standardization. Translators who work with EU texts or texts intended for EU institutions should know institutional procedures, style guides, resources and tools; as well as when and how to use them. We will also overview recent developments in the EU to discuss how they may affect the language and translation policy in the future.

Speaker: Łucja Biel is Associate Professor at the Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw, Poland. She is Deputy Editor of the Journal of Specialised Translation and Secretary General of the European Society for Translation Studies. She has been an English-Polish legal translator since 1997 and an expert for the Polish Normalization Committee. She holds an MA in English/TS (Jagiellonian University of Kraków), PhD in Linguistics (University of Gdańsk), Diploma in English and EU Law (University of Cambridge) and a School of American Law diploma (Chicago-Kent School of Law and UG). Her research interests focus on legal translation, translator training and corpus linguistics. She has published over 40 papers in this area, e.g. in The Translator, Meta, JoSTrans, and Fachsprache, and is the author of the book Lost in the Eurofog: The Textual Fit of Translated Law (Peter Lang, 2014).

Date: Friday 3 February 2017 (5.30-7.30 pm) at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR, UK.

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