En komparativ analyse af translatørers og advokaters oversættelser: Herunder indvirkningen af deres ekspertviden og tildelte makrostrategi

Lena Nørgård Madsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


By means of the qualitative method, this thesis examines how eight translations of extracts of the Danish Administration of Justice Act made by four translators and four lawyers differ. The thesis further discusses whether the expert knowledge of the translators and the lawyers and the translation macrostrategy (source-text or target-text orientation) to be employed by them have affected their translation choices. The reasons for the translation choices made, are examined in interviews conducted after the translators and lawyers had delivered their translation. The aim of the thesis is to gain an insight into a lawyer’s translation choices, thus possibly providing translators with inspiration of how to translate similar legal texts. The study focuses on four linguistic areas all of which are subjects discussed by the Plain Language Movement which began in the 1970s and aims at making legal language more accessible to laymen. These areas include language for special purposes (LSP) including terminology presented by Lord Woolf, the layout of law texts, passives and the modal verb “shall”. The thesis contains background theory on these linguistic areas, and the analysis of the areas examines the translation microstrategies applied by the translators and lawyers respectively. For the purpose of answering the research questions of the thesis, theories concerning the translation macro- and microstrategies presented by Anne Schjoldager and Lita Lundquist have been included in the analysis. In the light of the assignment of a specific translation macrostrategy to both the translators and the lawyers, they were asked during the subsequent interview which translation macrostrategy they would have preferred to use when translating the law text. 6 On the basis of the study’s analysis, the conclusion of the thesis is that the translation choices made by translators and lawyers differ. Also their respective expert knowledge affects their translation choices, meaning that the translators in this study were influenced by their translation theoretical framework, whereas the lawyers’ translation choices were affected by their legal knowledge. Finally, it is concluded that the assigned translation macrostrategies did not have an overall impact on the translation choices, but the degree of the influence of the strategies proved to depend on the specific areas to be translated.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages163