A Critical Comparative Analysis of Online Tools for Legal Translations  

by Patrizia Giampieri 

In the current fast-paced digital world, legal translators are often confronted with a vast array of online resources that they can hardly use or understand. This paper aims to outline some of the pitfalls arising from the Internet for legal translators and the shortcomings of some online tools. In particular, it will analyse and compare online dictionaries, fora, and institutional and professional monolingual websites. In this way, it seeks to shed light on how an online search of legal terms (or better, equivalents) can become time-consuming or, if not carried out properly, confusing. Accordingly, the paper highlights the usefulness of aligned bilingual corpora, providing that the texts composing the corpora are reliable. This paper will argue that without proper training on how to use such corpora and on how to dissect the overwhelming information available on the Internet, both professional and inexperienced translators may have difficulties finding suitable legal equivalents. Finally, the paper urges that practitioners call for major interventions at the level of EU language databases, given the wide spectrum of translation mismatches demonstrated throughout. 

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