Alternative oversættelsesforslag af de britiske og amerikanske domstole: En terminologisk undersøgelse på baggrund af en komparativ analyse

Sandra Pedersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This dissertation examines alternative translation strategies to Gyldendal’s dictionaries’ translations, where such translations are not applicable due to differences in the British, American and Danish legal systems respectively. The purpose of the dissertation is to contribute with alternative applicable translations through the terminological database i-­‐Term. To achieve this purpose, a comparative analysis is carried out, examining the differences and equalities between the legal systems in the United Kingdom, the USA and Denmark in order to determine how the primary differences between the systems are contemplated with in Gyldendal’s translations of the courts. The comparative analysis establishes that there are fundamental differences between the British, American and Danish legal systems in terms of structure and division. Initially, the American legal system is structured in two parts; a federal system and fifty individual state systems. Furthermore, the British and the American state system(s) have first instance court on several levels in the court hierarchy that distinguishes them from the Danish system, which only has first instance courts on the first level in the hierarchy. A third distinct feature of the British system and the American state system is the clear division between civil and criminal cases within the courts. On the basis of the comparative analysis as well as legal scholars such as Šarčević and Newmark it is concluded what constitutes an applicable translation; it is brief, grammatically correct, semantically motivated and adapted to its context. Through a terminological analysis of nine selected British and American terms, it is established that several of Gyldendal’s strategies do not conform to the definition of an applicable translation. As an example, a cultural equivalent is only advisable, when the courts share essential characteristics. When it is applied without consideration to the differences between the legal systems, the receiver can be mislead in terms of the essential differences in the systems, which is the case in some of Gyldendal’s translations. Furthermore Gyldendal has applied a translation label in several cases, which does not represent the British legal system, and thereby is misleading. Consequently my strategies vary from Gyldendal’s strategies, producing different, applicable translations, with a focus on the differences in the systems as well as the demands for an applicable translation. I have applied a cultural equivalent with explicitation as a supplementary strategy in several cases to comply with the differences in the systems. In addition, I have applied the strategy functional equivalent where I have assessed that no cultural equivalent exists. These strategies have resulted in translations which comply with the differences in the systems as well as the demands for an applicable translation. The dissertation has thereby produced a terminological database, which presumably is useful for students, translators, lawyers and other interested parties.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages102