László Szabó: Success in legal translations into English

Success in legal translations into English

We sometimes hear that this or that legal text was written by a non-English native writer. Why do we say that? Because the text sounds weird, odd and off. The mother tongue of the non-native English writer just infiltrates into the English text, resulting in English worded sentences in more or less German, Hungarian (etc.) sentence structures, whatever the mother tongue of this person may be. When it happens, native English PM-s at translation agencies may well decide to give this person another job a bit later … as a last resort only … if ever.

How can we address this problem of being a non-native English writer, wanting to write authentic sentences? We may take the long way, learning the bits of legal English on the go. By reading authentic texts and taking notes, that is, gradually gaining experience and gradually developing our expertise. And losing clients along the way. Or we may take a shorter route. Familiarising ourselves with English for Law in a systematic, large-scale manner, and retaining our clients. This lecture gives an outline of the components of a good expertise in English for Law as well as how to attain this expertise and be successful as a non-native English legal translator.

BP17 Translation Conference - László Szabó legal translations into English

László Szabó

An in-house translator at a market-leading Hungarian translation company for 8 years, then freelance translator in law for Hungarian, U.K. and U.S. translation companies and law firms, mainly translating texts in law. A certified translator, having completed a law course from the University of London, then passed Test of Legal English Skills (TOLES) at its advanced level. He has been in this business for more than 15 years now, with a proven record of having translated 1.3 million words of legal texts for a single company since 2009. Full member of the European Legal English Teachers Association.

Practical details

This 50-minute session is scheduled for Saturday, 6 May, 2017.  You can attend this session by purchasing a 2-day pass to BP17, covering both Friday and Saturday.