Pleonasms in Legal English

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Pleonasms—the use of more words than are necessary to convey meaning—in oral and written forms of English legal jargon often take on a single meaning. They consist of synonyms taking the form of doublets (e.g. “terms and conditions” or “null and void”) or triplets (e.g. “give, devise, and bequeath”), which in many cases can be […]

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Mexico Heads towards Linguistic Independence

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Intense debates have taken place to decide whether the Spanish language should be regulated by the Royal Spanish Academy, which, as you may know, is based in Spain and does not include many regionalisms or current uses in existence in its (very) numerous varieties. Historically, many thinkers, philosophers, writers, and translators have considered the Royal […]

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House Taken Over: Displacing the Machines

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In this post, “House Taken Over” is not in reference to the famous story by the renowned writer and translator Julio Cortázar. Rather, it refers to the feeling experienced by human translators in the age of machines. Just as the characters in Cortázar’s story feel displaced by an invading entity, human translators feel displaced by […]

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How Do Translation and Interpretation Differ?

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There is a common misunderstanding about those who work in the field of translation and interpretation. Sometimes these professionals are referred to using the umbrella term ‘translators’, and are believed to be linguists capable of providing all kinds of linguistic services simply because they possess a very advanced knowledge of a foreign language. This assumption […]

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What Is a Controlled Natural Language?

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Translators frequently have to confront issues that are often the result of problems existing in the source text we are translating. Some of the most common of such errors include omissions, the use of structures that are difficult to understand, and even the use of abbreviations only known by the person who wrote the original […]

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Do You Need a College Degree?

A few months ago, a lovely acquaintance who wants to be an interpreter, asked me whether she needed a college degree to succeed as a (court) interpreter. We hadn’t really thought about this, as college is such a natural step in most professionals’ lives, but the question is more than valid and merited some more […]

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