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Law Library of Congress Hosts Event, Releases Guide on Legal Translation

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The following is a guest post by Constance A. Johnson, a Legal Research Analyst at the Law Library’s Global Legal Research Center.  Connie is not new to In Custodia Legis; her recent contributions include Water Rights at Star Island and Human Rights Day Event: Save the Date!.  Enjoy!

On Wednesday, March 28, 2012, I attended a two panel event that the Law Library of Congress co-hosted with the American Society of International Law (ASIL), a gathering billed as a pre-conference event for the annual ASIL meeting.  The topic was “Conveying Meaning,” a fitting tribute to the theme of ASIL’s 106th annual meeting – “Confronting Complexities.”  The lively sessions covered “Best Practices in Legal Interpretation and Translation,” and “Legal Language and Legal Publishing: Where to Find Authoritative Translations for Legal Research.”  The presenters in the second panel, Francisco Macias, George Sadek, and Sayuri Umeda, are all members of the Law Library’s staff.

In connection with the presentations, the Law Library has released a new publication, Translation of National Legislation into English. This guide, prepared by the staff of the Law Library’s Global Legal Research Center, is a reference tool for locating translated materials from thirteen nations: Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, and the Russian Federation; international organizations; and international courts and tribunals.  For each country, there are links to online resources or citations to the paper versions of the official publications, in addition to similar information about unofficial sources with translations.  The pages on international organizations cover sources for online versions of national legislation, some of which are in translation.  The section covering international courts and tribunals describes websites of major courts that provide databases of their case law and other information, much of which is in English.

The Law Library anticipates that this new publication will aid researchers who are looking for foreign law materials to take advantage of the wide array of websites and printed sources available.

Comments (2)

  1. Very good and very useful work. Thank you. Just a few days after your panel, the French legal portal ‘legifrance’ opened several pages dedicated to the translations of the French Law into foreign languages (with a special emphasis on English, German, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and Chinese)

    For the English one, it’s here :

    Hope this could help.

  2. “I cannot speak English”
    I always think about this.
    Even if I became able to talk about the conversation every day,
    It is not learned “a technical term” of the Library of Congress now.
    I am thankful for the translation service.
    In this way,
    Fusion of the knowledge is carried out with the world,
    I think that the world should become the better course.
    I think that the nationality does not matter
    The earth “one nation”
    There is an American area, and there is a Japanese area
    I think so.

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