The Translation of Legal Contracts: Towards a More Pragmatic Outcome
Publication Type
Original research
  • AbdelKarim Daraghmah
  • Nabil Alawi
  • Maram Fakhouri

This study falls into two parts. The first part aims at demonstrating how pragmatic and functional considerations are important in legal translation. The corpus the researchers relied on consisted of nine translated versions of three authentic contracts. A Real-Estate Contract, a Contract of Lease and an Employment Contract were commissioned to be translated by three professional translators certified by the Palestinian Ministry of Justice asking them to translate these texts the way they would usually deal with legally binding, official documents. The second part explores the relevance of Vermeer\'s Skopos theory to the translation of contracts through a small pilot study that compares the work of translation students with a broad, theoretical background and that of a professional translator uninformed about theories of translation. A group of graduate students of translation and applied linguistics and a professional translator were assigned to translate a \"Power of Attorney\" legal text from English into Arabic. They were all asked to translate the same text into a different context where it would be performing a new function. This study demonstrates how standardized legal language features can still be tamed to serve the ultimate goal of successfully communicating the message across languages as intended and as commissioned. Unlike previous studies that were devoted to systemizing and mathematizing legal translation, this study focuses on communicative and functional approaches to contractual translation between English and Arabic.

JJOLL(Jordan Journal of Modern Languages and Literature Vol. 2 No.1, 2010, pp. 1-28 )
Publisher Country
Publication Type
Both (Printed and Online)