Compendium of legal translation courses offered by universities (2016)

Red Glossy Pictogram "Education"This post updates and replaces my 2012 compendium. As I haven’t found this kind of guide elsewhere, my aim is to give you a flavour of the legal translation, legal linguistics and legal interpreting courses available at universities worldwide.

Please contact me via the sidebar if you know of others that I have not included here.

Most are on-site courses, but a number involve distance learning to varying extents, or timetabling that is accessible to professionals, such as at weekends.

The information below has been taken from the relevant university websites and direct correspondence. If any details are incorrect, I would be happy to change them upon request from the institution concerned.

I have listed the courses in alphabetical order of their location.

Aarhus, Denmark – Master’s Degree in International Business Communication (profile translator/interpreter)

The Master’s programme offered by Aarhus School of Business is accredited by the European Master’s in Translation network. Delivered in Danish, it includes compulsory core courses on translation theory, practice and research. The programme also includes electives in several fields, including legal translation (blended learning format, 1 semester, 10 ECTS, between Danish and English/French/Spanish/German). Legal areas covered are contract law, family law and criminal law.

Barcelona, Spain – Master’s Degree in Legal Translation and Judicial Interpreting

The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona offers a grounding in “two closely related facets of legal and judicial work, namely (written) translation and (oral) interpreting. The programme also provides an opportunity to see at first hand how professional legal translators and judicial interpreters work, through the fieldwork leading up to the Master’s Dissertation”.

Genoa, Italy – Master e Corso di Perfezionamento in Traduzione Giuridica

The Università degli studi di Genova offers a distance learning course. “I percorsi a distanza in ‘Traduzione Specializzata in Campo Giuridico’ sono corsi di alta formazione post-laurea che hanno come obiettivo la formazione di traduttori specializzati nell’ambito del linguaggio giuridico, destinati a operare nel settore della traduzione giuridica (enti pubblici, agenzie di traduzione, organismi internazionali, aziende)”.

Geneva, Switzerland – Master in Specialised Translation with a focus on legal translation

The Université de Genève offers a specialised translation MA with “in-depth training in legal translation. The curriculum presupposes excellent mastery of foreign languages and prior knowledge of translation (end-of-BA level), and employs proven methods and state-of-the-art IT tools. The market-oriented course content puts particular emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches”.

Hong Kong – BA (Translation) – JD Double Degree

At the Chinese University of Hong Kong, offered jointly by the Department of Translation and the Faculty of Law, the BA (Translation) – JD double degree is “a highly flexible option designed to prepare students to qualify as practising lawyers while leaving the door open to other career choices along the way”.

Hong Kong – MA in Legal Translation

The Open University of Hong Kong “aims to provide students with professional skills in legal writing, legal translation and bilingual drafting. Upon successful completion of the programme, students should be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the common law system and the general concepts in constitutional & administrative law, criminal law, contract law, company law and property law. They should also be equipped with the techniques to translate different types of legal documents to meet the challenges arisen as a result of Hong Kong’s transformation from a monolingual to a bilingual legal system”.

Leeds, UK – MA Arabic/English Translation

The MA at the University of Leeds’ School of Language, Cultures and Societies includes translation theory and practical translation techniques across a variety of text types, with the opportunity to tailor the MA to your own needs, for example with modules on translation for international organisations and on legal translation.

London, UK – Translation (Business and Legal) MA

The course offered by Middlesex University London, is “designed to provide students with the opportunity to gain an insight into the needs of a professional translator in a globalised world where businesses, institutions and governmental organisations require more translation work”. The “Business and Legal Translation” option includes specialised business or law modules alongside translation modules.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada – Graduate Certificate in Legal Translation

The Graduate Certificate in Legal Translation offered by the School of Continuing Studies at McGill University is “designed to equip students and working professionals in the legal and business communities to draft, write and translate documents in multilingual office environments. With access to digital tools, modern techniques and experienced instructors, you’ll emerge with the knowledge and practical skills to make an immediate contribution to your organization of choice”.

Moscow, Russia – Master of Arts in Legal Translation & Interpreting

The Master of Arts in Legal Translation and Interpreting (MALTI) at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia “responds to the high demand for translators and interpreters in the field of Law”. It comprises a professional specialization track that provides for training in the legal field of translation and interpretation, and a research track which trains students for access to the doctoral field of Comparative Linguistics and Specialized Translation Studies.

Paris, France – Lawyer-linguist double diploma / juriste linguiste

ISIT (Institute of Intercultural Management and Communication / Institut de management et de communication interculturels, formerly the Institut supérieur d’interprétation et traduction), offers a Lawyer-Linguist program organized in partnership with leading law schools. ISIT provides language and intercultural training as students complete a law degree program at another university. ISIT works in partnership with the Faculté de Droit Jean Monnet – Université Paris Sud and with Paris II Panthéon-Assas University.

Poitiers, France – Master  juriste linguiste

L’objectif de ce diplôme, proposé par l’Université de Poitiers, “est la formation de juristes-linguistes, ce qui explique la parité observée entre les enseignements de droit et ceux de langues. Les langues enseignées sont l’anglais, l’espagnol et l’allemand; langues qui offrent, tant dans l’Union européenne que sur le plan international, les plus fortes possibilités d’emploi. Cela permet de préparer des juristes trilingues (formation notamment exigée dans les concours communautaires et dans les organisations internationales”.

Poznań, Poland – MA Translation

Adam Mickiewicz University offers an MA in English Philology with a specialisation in English-Polish translation which includes modules on the translation of contracts, the Institutions of the European Union, translation for business and commerce, translation for government and administration, and intellectual property protection. Poznań is well known for its annual legal translation and legilinguistics conference – now in its 11th year (see the various posts in this blog for further details).

Riga, Latvia – MA in Legal Linguistics

The MA in Legal Linguistics at Riga Graduate School of Law aims to study “the law and the language, providing lawyers and linguists with relevant interdisciplinary knowledge in both areas. Creating, interpreting, translating and editing a legal text implies multiple sources of knowledge, in particular legal knowledge and linguistic knowledge. The interdisciplinary approach employed by the Legal Linguistics programme enables comparative legal and linguistics analysis in multilingual, national and international contexts.” You can consult more details of the various modules by clicking here. As the course is currently suspended, do express your interest now to make sure that this groundbreaking programme comes back!

Trieste, Italy – Master in Traduzione Giuridica

The Master’s at the Università degli studi di Trieste begins in January of each year. The course currently in progress, within a mixed faculty (a rarity) – the Department of Legal Sciences, Language, Interpreting and Translation Studies – is run in Italian and includes modules on private law, constitutional law, criminal law, European law, comparative commercial law, legal language, legal translation (English, French, Spanish, German, Croatian). See also here.

Vancouver, Canada – Legal Interpretation and Translation Certificate (Mandarin Chinese/English)

Simon Fraser University offers a certificate which includes: Canadian law; Chinese law; legal language and legal terminology management; legal translation; consecutive interpreting; sight translation; simultaneous interpreting; professional ethics and conduct; freelancing and career development: as well as field practice involving supervised field trips to various courts and official institutions.

Warsaw, Poland – Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies in Translation and Interpreting

This postgraduate programme at the University of Warsaw’s Instytut Lingwistyki Stosowanej teaches translation skills in the field of legal and court translation, as well as preparing for the profession of a sworn translator, with courses in both theory and practice. Classes are conducted at weekends. Lawyers deliver lectures on legal systems associated with a given language.

Zagreb, Croatia – Lifelong learning programs for Lawyer-Linguists and in Legal Translation

The Centre for Language and Law, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb offers: 1) one-semester courses on: English-Croatian,  German-Croatian, French-Croatian and Italian-Croatian legal translation (30 hrs per semester), and 2) a training program for Croatian lawyer-linguists consisting of the following courses: Introduction to EU law and institutions, Introduction to legal translation and terminology, Introduction to EU database searches, Croatian for lawyers and legal translators, and English, German, French and Italian legal translation (120 hrs). Participants (both legal practitioners and linguists) are awarded certificates after successful completion of the course.


Greece, Corinth CanalN.B.: I have not included in the above list any courses on  forensic linguistics, which as an emerging and dynamic field merits its own compendium. Coming soon!


One thought on “Compendium of legal translation courses offered by universities (2016)

  1. Pingback: Around the web – April 2016 | A Smart Translator's Reunion

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