Book chapter

Legal history

ContributorsDullion, Valérieorcid
Published inA History of Modern Translation Knowledge: Sources, concepts, effects, Editors Lieven D'hulst & Yves Gambier, p. 397-400
PublisherJohn Benjamins
Publication date2018

Since language is the first instrument of the law, translation in its multiple forms is central to the intricate transfers that contribute to shaping it and changing it over time, as regards both actual institutions and theoretical views. Furthermore, some legal rules (intellectual property laws, regulations on official language use or on the professional status of court interpreters, etc.) are enacted in order to govern translation practices, defining the framework in which the latter take place. In these two respects, legal history can be a source of knowledge about translation. This contribution underlines the relevance of a historical perspective on translating law and regulating translation. It touches on changing concepts such as “official translation” and indicates the various lines along which translation studies research has started exploring legal history, from cultural impact to professional status. Finally, it points to some gaps and blanks in the historical study of translation within legal communication.

  • Legal translation
  • Legal history
  • Cultural transfer
  • Official multilingualism
  • Translation policy
Citation (ISO format)
DULLION, Valérie. Legal history. In: A History of Modern Translation Knowledge: Sources, concepts, effects. [s.l.] : John Benjamins, 2018. p. 397–400. doi: 10.1075/btl.142.55dul
Main files (1)
Book chapter (Published version)

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