Some reading for legal translation

These are just a few of the books, blogs, dictionaries and short articles that have helped me progress in legal translation. I haven’t included law text books, which undoubtedly have a place too.

1. Books

A systematic approach to translating contracts in English – Rob Lunn

A manual of style for contract drafting – Ken Adams

Clarity for Lawyers – Mark Adler and Daphne Perry

Legal Translation – Deborah Cao

Legal Translation Outsourced – Juliette R. Scott

Legal writing in plain English – Bryan Garner

Plain English for Lawyers – Richard Wydick Sample contracts – from filings w/ SEC

2. Short articles

Some tips for improving Spanish to English legal translations – Daniel Kaplan

Should translations be literal? – Rob Lunn

The Case for Plain-Language Contracts – Shawn Burton

Translating contracts, with link to 2004 ITI Bulletin article – Ken Adams

Translating English-Language Contracts: A Q&A with Ruth Gamez and Fernando Cuñado – Ken Adams

What exactly is legal translation? – Juliette Scott, Words to Deeds blog


3. Blogs

John O’Shea JurTrans

Juliette Scott / Words to Deeds

Ken Adams

Law, Language and Translation at the European Court of Justice – Karen McAuliffe

Lola Gamboa (in Spanish)

Leon Hunter

Margaret Marks – Transblawg (including on ‘shall’)

Rebecca Jowers

Rob Lunn

Ruth Gamez and Fernando Cuñado – Traducción Júridica (in Spanish)

4. Spanish dictionaries and books

Spanish Law for Notaries: An Overview of the Spanish Legal System and a Practical Guide to Spanish Documents and Transactions – Javier Perez-Manglano

Spanish-English Dictionary Of Law And Business – Thomas West

Diccionario de términos jurídicos – Enrique Alcaraz Varó & Brian Hughes

Diccionario jurídico – Juan Manuel Fernández Martinez

5. French dictionaries and books

Council of Europe French-English Legal Dictionary

Vocabulaire juridique – Gérard Cornu

6. Law text books

There are many texts books out there for the laws of England and Wales and each publisher has their own version. They can be dense, dull and difficult to read. The books below are the ones I’d recommend to anyone studying law for a GDL or to become a better translator. Pick up the latest version, or browse eBay for a second hand copy.

Introduction to the English Legal System (by Martin Partington) – A good place to start.

Contract Law (by Catherine Elliott and Frances Quinn) – Excellent summaries of key cases and an all-round good read.

Casebook on Contract Law (by Jill Poole) – For anyone who would like to delve deeper into contract case law.

Modern Land Law (by Martin Dixon) – Great examples and well explained.

Principles of Equity and Trusts (by Alistair Hudson) for a lighter read of what is understandably one of the trickier areas for out-of-English translators to work on. Combine your reading with the excellent YouTube mini-series by Marcus Cleaver.