Developing Legal Translation Competence: An Integrative Process-Oriented Approach

. Comparative Legilinguistics - International Journal for Legal Communication (2011)


Building on previous holistic multicomponent paradigms of translation macrocompetence, a legal translation competence model is presented which avoids certain conceptual duplications in the light of professional practice, and incorporates distinctive legal thematic elements. Beyond component description, it is argued that the integral development of legal translation competence requires specific interdisciplinary methodologies for practical problem solving. The integrative approach proposed in this paper is process-oriented, and focuses on the legal translation-specific know-how within the key methodological or strategic subcompetence controlling all other subcompetences. Translation and legal knowledge are inextricably linked throughout the translation process, from the initial skopos analysis and legal macro-contextualization until the final revision stage. This approach, intended as a meta-reflection continuum between competence acquisition and reinforcement, and between formal training and professional practice, has proved effective for the systematization of problem-identification, problem-categorization and problem-solving patterns. Finally, some implications for legal translation training are outlined by way of conclusion.

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