The colleagues from the IATE and Terminology Management section (European Parliament) often collaborate with young researchers and translators, particularly with students of the University of Luxembourg. In the framework of this collaboration, a specialised subject called Terminology in the EU is offered as part of the Master in Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Context. So far, students have received three courses during this semester, the last lesson being delivered by Ms. Violina Stamtcheva on Terminology in EU legal translation.
During her lesson, Ms. Violina Stamtcheva explained to the students the importance and complexity of terminology in the drafting and translation of EU legal texts. She also provided examples of legal translation problems in a multilingual environment and provided an overview of the typical features of legal language and legal terminology. In order to translate a legal document, Ms. Stamtcheva explained that it is necessary to know not only the target language, but also to have a rich knowledge and understanding of the relevant legal systems, since the same term can mean completely different things depending on the country. This is due to the differences in the legal systems. For this reason, Ms. Stamtcheva highlighted that translators should always be careful and very attentive when translating this type of documents.
Students also found interesting to learn that every-day-words can have a specialized meaning when used as legal language. For example, an apparently straightforward word like cheese can have very different meanings, such as “a reflecting surface which is formed by part of a cylinder bounded by parallel plates perpendicular to the axis of the cylinder” (IATE, domain: administrative law). And this is only one of the specialized meanings of the word cheese!
There are a lot of similar examples with every-day-words that can be found in IATE!
The lesson delivered by Ms. Stamtcheva was very engaging and useful for students of the University of Luxembourg. Thanks to these collaborations, students get a glimpse of legal translation and terminology issues, which can help them decide whether or not to become a legal translator. All students are looking forward to receiving further lessons on the role of Terminology in the EU.
Written by Sofia Pimonova – study visitor from the University of Luxembourg. Studying a MA in Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts. She is also enrolled in a MA in Applied Linguistics and Linguodidactics at Tambov State University named after G. R. Derzhavin (Russia). BA in German Philology, she is also a teacher and a translator of German. Russian Mother Tongue, fluent in German and learning English and Chinese. Follow her blog about how is the life and her studies in Luxembourg.