“Interpreting is a highly complex profession, one that requires skill, expertise and a flair for language. The process of transferring information from one language to another is not a mere transfer of words or phrases, but a transfer of meaning, of context and intent. The common misguided theory that bilingualism equates to the basic skills an interpreter needs is best demonstrated within our legal environment. Words on their own can be meaningless and dry, but it is the contextual knowledge of their use that the interpreter needs to understand.
Many people who speak only one language tend to imagine that the different languages are essentially different sets of labels to be attached to the objects spoken about, similar to a bilingual dictionary, where words of one language are matched, simply and neatly, with those of another: substituting one word for another. However, to be done well, interpreting requires not only linguistic sophistication, but also knowledge of the cultures associated with the language in question, and the world-views and cultural life styles reflected in the linguistic structure. The Glossary published by the Legal Interpreting Service in 1985 proved to be much sought after and successful. In response to requests from interpreters and legal practitioners, this updated, revised and enhanced Glossary has been developed and translated into 13 languages and published as a multilingual glossary. This Glossary is by no means a substitute for the training, experience, and expertise of interpreters working in the legal area, it is
intended as a professional resource, which will assist interpreters in their often complex and responsible tasks.
To this end, the Glossary lists legal terminology used by people concerned with the development of our laws and their application to the community in a variety of contexts. The terms and definitions contained in this Glossary have been developed in consultation with representatives from various legal and quasi-legal sectors. We wish to thank everyone who contributed so generously of their time and expertise and in
particular the teams of professional translators who undertook the complex task of rendering the terminology into …”
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