Theoretical and Logical Prerequisites for Legal Translation

Anna Jopek-Bosiacka


The main research aim is to look at how formal principles of legal theory and logic across national jurisdictions affect translation of legislative texts. In the analyzed institutional legal context, official legislative drafting guidelines comprise the canon of good/quality legislation, universal and binding for each legal system. One of my research tasks is to juxtapose Polish legislative drafting guidelines with the European Union drafting guidelines, as well as with selected common law bill drafting manuals to see how certain parameters affect the way we process legislative texts in translation, and how different legal cultures influence the way we interpret legal texts. The qualitative analysis encompasses the legislative recommendations as to the formulation of legal definitions, the use of conjunctions, negation, and the grammatical category of aspect, mood and tense. Attempts are also made to search for any cross-cultural patterns of the analyzed parameters of normative texts. Thus, the comparison of normative texts between legal cultures, first, allows to observe that the legislative guidelines from various legal cultures differ with respect to the compared domains, and secondly, that these differences affect translated texts and the process of legal translation as such, as a result of the global processes of “Europeanization”, standardization, unification and hybridization of the national legal/legislative discourses. The results show that law, as a system of norms, always actualizes in a particular language and a particular culture. The national perspective in legal communication, which also contains many universal elements, conditions the quality assessment of legislative translation. A good legal translation is supposed to reproduce normative patterns vested in national legal culture and system.

Cite as: Jopek-Bosiacka, JLL 7 (2018), 47–69, DOI: 10.14762/jll.2018.047


legal translation, legislative drafting guidelines, normative text, legal theory, logic, legislative style, legal culture, quality

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