Book reviewNew Approach to Legal Translation The Hague-London-Boston: Kluwer Law International, 1997. xiii + 308 pp. ISBN 90 411 0401 1 .
Reviewed by Dinda L. Gorlée and Louise W. Rayar
Innsbruck/The Hague | (Maastricht)
Table of contents
This book is a milestone in the interdisciplinary nature of legal translation of authentic written instruments of the law. Since translating legal texts hinges equally on two disciplines, translating and legal studies, it should support research for legal translators. It should fulfill readers' (translators' or jurists') wish to learn more about specialpurpose [ p. 384 ]translation. This book does all that. It has produced a nuanced, non-judgmental art of legal translation, and includes the earliest publications on legal translation (text and bibliography: Gorlée and Rayar 1998). This New Approach to Legal Translation rests firmly on prodigious archival work, but it is also the free activity of a rigorous and adventurous mind. One of the advantages of the book is that it is in the English language while also drawing on numerous German (and other languages) original texts which escape many readers unfamiliar with Germanic (and other) languages (see earlier volumes such as Kielar 1976, Vogel 1988, and Weisflog 1996). This is the case for the study examples (Chapters 5-8, entitled "What All Translators Should Know about Legal Texts", "Creativity in Legal Translation", "The Translation of Multicultural Instruments", "Legal Problems in Legal Translation", "The Future in Legal Translation") and also, importantly, for the case of the translational study examples (Chapters 1-4, entitled "Translation Theory and Legal Translation", "History of Legal Translation", "Legal Translation - An Act of Communication within the Mechanism of the Law", "The Changing Role of the Legal Translator").