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This article examines the phenomenon of pluricentrism in language for legal purposes. The purpose of the research is to discuss the coexistence of different language varieties resulting from the existence of pluricentric languages in a legal context, and how this can affect translation decisions. The research focuses on English and German. The authors apply the comparative method to identify differences and similarities in legal terminology, in order to develop the resulting didactic implications for legal translation courses. The methods used in the article encompass: the analysis of comparable texts, the terminological analysis of research material (comparative law methodology), the theory of skopos, and an analysis of the relevant literature. The research material mostly consisted of civil law documents of countries where the languages under discussion are spoken. The research hypothesis is that if a given language is an official language in more than one country, the legal languages are not uniform and vary in respect to national legal language variants (similar to general language), and consequently there is a risk of making an error. Thus the students of translation studies must be made aware of the resultant differences in order to solve translation problems more efficiently and to reduce the number of errors in specialised translation. The analysis of the source text through the prism of terminology should be related to the legal system of the country concerned. Students of translation courses should be aware of the semantic differences between legal terms in order to find proper equivalents.
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pluricentrism, polycentrism, language variants, legal language, teaching translation