Page Header





In legal translation, one of the major challenges is the translation of legal concepts, which may be attributed to the fact that translation of legal texts entails translation not only from one legal language into another legal language, but primarily from one legal system into another legal system. It is generally acknowledged that the incongruency of the SL and TL legal systems makes it impossible for the elements of one legal system to be automatically transposed into another. For this reason, the translation of legal concepts is characterized by the existence of near, partial, and non-equivalents. There are many words, which although perceived as linguistic equivalents, conceptually and/or referentially constitute only partial or non-equivalents. In what follows, I wish to investigate, whether the approximation of serious, transnational criminal offences in the European Union (EU) leads to the demise of the incongruency of legal terminology. The paper encompasses three major parts, of which the first introduces the existence of the incongruency of legal terminology, the successive part expounds the intricate mechanisms that lead to the approximation of criminal laws, and the final provides a comparative analysis of the approximated legal concepts relating to chosen serious criminal offences revealing its consequences on legal translation.


legal traslation; legal concepts; legal systems; non-equivalents, partial equivalents; legal terminology

Full Text:


Blekxtoon, Judge Rob and Wouter van Ballegooij (eds.), 2005. Handbook on the European Arrest Warrant. The Hague: T·M·C·Asser Press.

Brand, Oliver, 2009. Language as Barrier to Comparative Law, in: Frances Olsen, Alexander Lorz and Dieter Stein (eds.), Translation Issues in Language and Law. New York: Palgrave Macmillan,p. 18-35.

Cao, Deborah, 2006. Translating Law. Clevedon·Buffalo·Toronto: Multilingual Matters Ltd.

Cotterrell, Roger, 2004. Law in Culture in Ratio Juris No.1,p. 1-14.

Cotterrell, Roger, 2006. Comparative Law and Legal Culture, in: Reihmann, Mathias and Reinhard Zimmermann (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press,p. 709-739.

Cotterrell, Roger, 2009. The Struggle for Law: Some dilemmas of Cultural Legality in International Journal of Law in Context. Cambridge University Press,p. 373- 384.

Craig,Paul and Gráinne de Búrca, 2008. EU Law: Text, Cases, and Matters. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cruz, de Peter, 1999. Comparative Law in a Changing World. London, Sydney: Cavendish Publishing Limited.

Curran, Vivian (ed.), 2002. Comparative Law: An Introduction. Durham: Carolina Academic Press.

Curran, Vivian, 2006. Comparative Law and Language, in: Reihmann, Mathias and Reinhard Zimmermann (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 675-709.

Fennelly, Nial, 2007. The European Arrest Warrant: Recent Developments, in Era Forum vol.8, no. 4, p. 519-534.

Gordley, James, 2006. Comparative Law and Legal History, in: Mathias Reihmann and Reinhard Zimmermann (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, p. 753-775.

Gotti, Maurizio, 2008. Cultural Constraints on Arbitration Discourse, in: Bhatia, Vijay K., Christopher Candlin, and Maurizio Gotti (eds.), Legal Discourse in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts: Arbitration Texts in Europe. Bern: Peter Lang AG.

Groot, René de, 1987. Problems of Legal Translation from the Point of View of a Comparative Lawyer, in: Netherlands Reports to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law, The Hague: T.M.C. Asser Institute, p. 1-19.

Górski, Adam and Andrzej Sakowicz, 2008. Geneza i istota europejskiego nakazu aresztowania. In: Piotr Hofmański (red.), Europejski Nakaz aresztowania w teorii i praktyce państw członkowskich. Warszawa: Wolters Kluwer, p. 17-53.

Jopek-Bosiacka, Anna, 2003. Legal Discourse as Cross-Cultural Communication. Nieopublikowana praca doktorska napisana pod kierunkiem A. Duszak. Poznań: Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza, Wydział Neofilologii, Instytut Filologii Angielskiej.

Jopek-Bosiacka, Anna. 2006. Przekład prawny i sądowy. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.

Kielar, Barbara, 1973. Angielskie ekwiwalenty terminów prawno-ustrojowych. Warszawa: PWN.

Kischel, Uwe, 2009. Legal Cultures-Legal Languages, in: Frances Olsen, Alexander Lorz and Dieter Stein (eds.), Translation Issues in Language and Law. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 7-18.

Lyons, John. 1968. Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Legrand, Pierre, 2005. Issues in the Translatability of Law, in: Bermann, Sandra and Michael Wood (eds.). Nation, Language and the Ethics of translation. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.

Matulewska, Aleksandra, 2006. Lingua Legis in Translation: English-Polish and Polish-English Translation of Legal Texts. Frankfurt am Mein, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien: Peter Lang.

Mitsilegas, Valsamis, 2009. EU Criminal Law. Oxford and Portland, Oregon: Hart Publishing.

Pieńkos, Jerzy, 1993. Przekład i tłumacz we współczesnym świecie. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.

Pieńkos, Jerzy, 1999. Podstawy juryslingwistyki: język w prawie - prawo w języku. Warszawa: Muza S.A.

Rosen, Lawrence, 2006. Law as Culture: An Invitation. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Sapir, Edward, 1966. Culture, Language and Personality; in: Mandelbaum, D.G. (ed.), Selected Essays. Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press.

Smith, Sylvia A.,1995. Cultural Clash: Anglo-American Case Law and German Civil Law in Translation, in: Marshall Morris (ed.). Translation and the Law. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, p. 179-200.

Snell-Hornby, Mary, 1988. Translation Studies An Integrated Approach. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Snell-Hornby, Mary, 2006. The Turns of Translation Studies. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Sager, Juan C., 1990. A Practical Course in Terminology Processing. John Benjamins Publishing Company. Amsterdam/Philadelphia.

Šarčević, Susan, 1997. New Approach to Legal Translation. The Hague. Kluwer Law International.

Wacks, Raymond, 2009. Understanding Jurisprudence: An Introduction to Legal Theory. New York: Oxford University Press.

Wronkowska, Sławomira, 2005. Podstawowe pojęcia prawa i prawoznawstwa. Poznań: Ars boni et aequi.

Zweigert, Konrad and Heinrich Kötz, 1998. An Introduction to Comparative Law. (translated from the German by Tony Weir). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

PRESSto2AMUR - export


Abstract - 147 PDF - 103



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Grażyna BEDNAREK

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.