What exactly is comparative law?

Continuing with my mini-series “What exactly is…” (following on from What exactly is forensic linguistics? and What exactly is a lawyer-linguist?), today let’s take a brief look at the subject of Comparative Law.

The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law* describes the discipline as “time-honoured but not easily understood in all its dimensions”. According to Michael Bogdan**, comparative law may be defined as “the comparing of different legal systems with the purpose of ascertaining the similarities and differences“.

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Glossary – US Patent & Trademark Office

Knowing that quite a few translators work on patents, I thought this glossary from the United States Patent and Trademark Office might be of use.

Personally, I’m not too keen on the visual presentation of the glossary, but it certainly seems useful.

There are also a number of videos providing introductions to various procedures and terms (such as “specimen”, “applicant”, “drawing” and “basis”) used by the Office. You can access a list here. Beware – not all computers will play the videos and some of the links appear to be broken. :-(

Legal considerations – machine translation and copyright

This guest post is published under a GNU version 2 licence, and comes from the Open Translation Tools Manual (more about that in a forthcoming post). It was written by Ed Bice in 2009, with modifications by Thom Hastings also in 2009. Despite being 3 years old, I think it brings up some very interesting topics for discussion. I look forward to reading your comments!

American copyright law considers a translation a derivative work. As such translators must obtain permission from the copyright or derivative right holder of the source language text. With regard to online translation, we expect that as Machine Translation (MT) and Hybrid Distributed Translation (HDT- strategies combining human and machine translation) come of age significant changes will need to be made to the legal framework to accommodate these technologies.

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Quantifying the cost of poor quality in translation – sour cherries

The Directorate-General for Translation of the European Commission has made available a report written late last year, as part of the ‘Studies on translation and multilingualism’ series, on Quantifying Quality Costs and the Cost of Poor Quality in Translation. The document can be downloaded in PDF format here.

Items such as prevention of poor quality, evaluation, and clarification of original texts may be of interest to those of you procuring translation as well as to translators. Some case studies from ‘real life’ have been given.  One interesting example relates to protective measures on the import of sour cherries which accidentally became “sweet cherries” in the initial German version.

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Lexique des termes juridiques

This is a fantastic little tome for all those dealing with French law. Published by the highly respected legal publisher Dalloz, and currently in its 20th edition, the Lexique des termes juridiques is really useful to have on hand. The visual layout is very clear too.

Here is what the publisher says about the new edition to be published this month:

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