Víctor González-Ruiz, Spain
Traditionally, legal translators in Spain have followed the writing patterns of their fellow national legal drafters (tried and tested texts full of formulaic language). There is an unwritten rule that a legal translation should literally convey what is said in the source text, which is often very convoluted. By implicitly following these norms, translations are unclear to lay readers.
By introducing plain language into legal translation, these norms can be challenged. Translators become aware of the need to be legally precise, without being incomprehensible. This is important when training new translators, as they build attitude and approach towards language and translation.
2. What is your presentation focus, and what are some of the key points participants will learn?
My poster session will focus on the view of the legal profession. Members are usually commissioned to translate legal texts. In my opinion, these professionals are the most difficult to convince about plain language. Past surveys stated that most regarded plain language as unsuitable for the law (and its translation). Some quietly acknowledged that texts written in plain language were clearer and easier to read.
At PLAIN 2013, I will show what law undergraduates at a Spanish university think about plain language. It is possible that, being young and less familiar with the legal clichés, students will support using plain language more eagerly than their practicing counterparts for legal translation.
3. What is the best plain language advice you can give, or have received?
Legal translation students: Be precise, simple, and follow the ordinary rules of grammar. That’s the best way to convey legal meaning into a target language.
Faculty of Translation and Interpreting
University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain .
Editor: Germaine de Peralta