Conference – Legal Discourse: Forms and Functions, Shanghai 2013

The Third International Conference on Law, Language and Discourse – Legal Discourse: Forms and Functions is to be held at Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University from 3-6 June 2013.

The Third International Conference on Law, Language and Discourse (LLD3), associated with Multicultural Association of Law and Language, invites theoretical studies, applicational cases, and relevant work-in-progress papers related to the theme – “Legal Discourse: Forms and Functions”, including, but not limited to:

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Book review – Found in Translation

I feel sure that most readers who are translators will already have heard about the book Found in Translation by Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche, but just in case any haven’t, and for all those who are not translators…

I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here, because a whole raft of reviews of this excellent paperback can now be found on the Internet. Just a few details, hopefully to pique your interest.

The idea behind the book was to raise awareness of the profession of translator and that of interpreter. It sets out to demonstrate how translation affects all aspects of our existence, from saving lives, protecting rights, war and peace, business, religion, pleasure and the senses, the arts and sport, to technology.

It includes a few law-related items too: stories about interpreting for the police and for the courts, interpreting for war criminals…

Here is a link to the book’s website:

As the authors have said – once you’ve read it yourself, do buy it as a Christmas present for the non-translators you know. Let’s try to finally turn translation and interpreting into ‘visible’ and respected professions!

Signage changes in Quebec

The major brands Walmart, Costco, Best Buy, Gap, Old Navy and Guess are taking legal action against the Government of Quebec. This follows language requirements issued by Quebec’s language watchdog, the Office québécois de la langue française, according to which firms either need to have a generic French name or to add an explanatory byline in French.

The legal issue revolves around this being simply a new interpretation of an old law¹, whereas according to the retailers, no new legislation has been passed.

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What exactly is document review?

On the same subject as last week’s post From Louboutin to lawyer-linguists?, this guest post from Andrea Kaluzny is a tongue-in-cheek account as well as a great insight into the subject of document review, which is a particularly widespread practice in the United States.  As well as being a contract attorney providing multilingual support for litigation, Andrea is committed to volunteer work in several areas including, amongst others, animal welfare and human rights.


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e-learning – FR/PT notarial practice, company/business law, law of obligations,& family law

Tradulínguas, based in Lisbon, Portugal, and organizers since 2005 of online training and webinars, as well as in-person translation workshops and conferences, are offering three e-learning courses for translators working from French into Portuguese. The first is entitled “Notarial Practice”, the second “Civil Law: Obligations and Family”, and the third “Company and Business Law”.

The trainer is Dr. Francisco Telhado, qualified both in law and translation, who works with the Court of Justice of the European Union and has also been a freelance translator for many years from French to Portuguese in various fields, especially in law.

The brochures about the courses can be found here (Notarial Practice) as well as here (Civil Law: Obligations and Family) and here (Company and Business Law).

Regarding disclosure, I have no commercial relationship of any kind with the company Tradulínguas, and provide the above details purely for information purposes.

From Louboutin to lawyer-linguists?

A recent article in the magazine The Economist has highlighted a need for legal translators and linguists to work in ‘discovery’ (reviewing large quantities of documents and data to see which are relevant for a case). Indeed the article goes so far as to say at the end that some aspiring lawyers could do well to redirect their careers towards language-based positions.

Using some recent high-profile cases such as those involving the French couture houses Christian Louboutin and Yves Saint-Laurent, and Samsung v. Apple, the article points to a growing market for “cultural and linguistic experts”.

You can read the whole article here.

What do you think? Could this raise the profile of legal translation and linguistic/intercultural input?

You might also be interested in this guest post about translating during the document review process – When we are asked to translate useless materials…