Foundations of Legal Translation and Methodology of Legal English translation

Degree course: 
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Seat of the course: 
Como - Università degli Studi dell'Insubria
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (50 hours)

Students in the Bachelor of Arts in Languages are strongly advised to attend the seminars on topics related to translation and specialised languages offered as part of the orientation activities:
-Course on basic translation skills
-Course on the critical use of specialised sectorial languages
-Laboratory on translation professions and approaches.
The historical evolution of legal languages is the subject of a specific course of the three-year degree in Interlinguistic and Intercultural Mediation ("Comparative Legal Terminology"). Where the need arises, based on the composition of the student population, the basic notions of this course will be opportunely and briefly taken up again during the lessons.

Final Examination: 

The methods for verifying learning consist of
-a written test for attenting students exams in January-February,
-an oral test in the other cases,
with the attribution of the final grade in thirtieths, concerning the entire program of the course.
The tests will include theoretical questions for the theoretical module and translation of a legal terms and short texts from English for the practical module.
For the evaluation of learning, the final grade is expressed out of thirty and takes into account the accuracy and quality of the answers (50%), the capacity for critical evaluation and argumentation (30%), as well as the ownership of language (20% ).

Voto Finale

The course aims to provide students with the cultural and methodological tools to deal with the translation of legal texts. At the end of the course students are expected to have learned the theoretical tools of legal translation and the first foundations of the practice.

The course is therefore divided into a theoretical and a practical part: the first is aimed at illustrating the problems of legal translation and the main legal concepts of contract law and public law from a comparative perspective; the second part is intended to provide the methodological and procedural tools to deal with the legal translation of certain documents.

The course is divided into a theoretical part and a practical part.
Theoretical part
The theoretical part is aimed at illustrating
• the peculiarities of legal language,
• the theories of legal translation in relation to the type of texts,
• problems related to translation in the European multilingual context
• the peculiarities of the common law legal lexicon and English as a vehicular language,
• the legal concepts of the contractual discipline in a comparative key
• the legal concepts of public law in a comparative key

Practical part
The practical part intends to provide the methodological and procedural tools to deal with the translation of contracts and other documents, as analyzed in the theoretical module.
The practical part provides for the analysis of translation examples of legal text.


The course takes place in the first semester through a total of 50 hours of lessons.
Teaching is articulated differently in the theoretical part and in the practical part
In the theoretical part:
- ex cathedra lessons to illustrate the topics of the course, with the support of power-point presentions containing summary sheets of the key concepts of the course
- analysis of materials that will be made available to students and discussed in class, in order to allow those in-depth analysis necessary to take a critical perspective towards the whole subject
In the practical part:
- concrete examination of the problematic aspects posed by the translation of some specific legal terms, illustrated also through the use of synoptic tables
- translation of materials and in particular of some contractual models.
The lessons involve the students who will be invited to actively intervene in the discussion, in order to stimulate reasoning, critical analysis and communication-relational skills.

Office hours after lectures by appointment via email