Book review: Guide pratique de la traduction juridique (F. Houbert)08 July 2019 - by Helene Walters-Steinberg
Frédéric Houbert’s Guide pratique de la traduction juridique
is intended for university students and translation professionals. It provides
a clear overview of issues related to legal translation and includes an index,
a glossary and a detailed bibliography.
In the first part of the book, Frédéric Houbert presents the
main characteristics of legal language in English and in French and the
specificities of legal translation from English to French. In the second part,
entitled “Culture and legal translation”, he focuses on specific topics such as
the translation of culture-bound terms and the translation of film titles containing
legal expressions, . Finally, the last section of the book, is a selection of
16 legal documents translated with commentary, providing a practical illustration
of the points mentioned in the rest of the book.
I very much enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it
to all those who are interested in legal translation from English to French or
French to English. Its practical focus, with the commented translations at the
end of the book and the many examples provided for each point, makes it quite
suited to translation professionals who are starting to specialise in the field
of legal translation or who would like to refresh their knowledge on the topic.
Application exercises are provided at the end of each chapter, although unfortunately
the answers are not provided, which reduces their utility somewhat.
The author has also compiled an excellent dictionary, which is a good addition to
this volume. While the Guide pratique de la traduction juridique sheds
some light on the complexities of legal translation and culture, the Dictionnaire
de terminologie juridique works as a quick reference for legal terms and
concepts, as it provides numerous explanations with translation suggestions.