I am very satisfied of Sara’s professional and timely translation. I will recommend her services to anyone who would ask in the future.
Mariella Z., Private Client (United States)
Legal English, the specialised language used by lawyers in their documents, has recently become a lingua franca at global level both in business and legal fields. However, its lengthy sentences, expressions, nominalizations and passive verbs have contributed to the growth of its negative connotation, which is embodied in the word legalese.
My academic and professional experience as legal translator and proofreader from English into Italian and from Italian into English for Italian law firms and private clients from the United Kingdom and the United States allowed me to accept the challenge and cope with such obscure and ambiguous language, often irksome even for field specialists.
Below you find an extract from a notice of closure, which is a clear example of such long, complex and verbose sentence structure.
[…] che al difensore competono le facoltà e i diritti che la legge riconosce all’indagato a meno che essi siano riservati personalmente a quest’ultimo e che l’indagato ha le facoltà ed i diritti attribuiti dalla legge tra cui in particolare: di presentare memorie istanze, richieste e impugnazioni; ad ottenere l’assistenza di un interprete se straniero; a conferire con il difensore se detenuto; di ricevere avviso e notificazioni; di togliere effetto, con espressa dichiarazione contraria, all’atto compiuto da difensore prima che, in relazione allo stesso sia intervenuto un provvedimento del giudice; di richiedere a proprie spese copia degli atti depositati; di presentare istanza di patteggiamento; di rendere dichiarazioni alla Polizia Giudiziaria ed al Pubblico Ministero; di presentare istanza di oblazione dei casi in cui è consentito dalla legge; di avere notizie sulle iscrizioni a suo carico.
[…] the counsel is entitled to have the powers and rights that the law recognises the person under investigation has, unless they are personally reserved to the latter and that the person under investigation holds the powers and rights assigned by the law, in particular to file petitions, defences, requests and appeals; get interpreter support if foreign; confer with the counsel even if in jail; receive notices and notifications; make the act filed by the counsel ineffective before an intervening measure is undertaken by the judge; request at their sole expense a copy of the documents filed; file a plea of no contest; make representations to the CID or the Public Prosecutor; file an out-of-court settlement request for all legal purposes; be notified of any criminal charges registered against themselves.
Moreover, during my academic path I had the chance to focus on the translation of EU legislation.
Language versions (translations) in all the official 24 languages need to be equivalent not only to the source text but also one to the other. Equivalence means also to reproduce the overall arrangement of the EU text, paying attention to structural elements such as layout, paragraphs, headings, articles and sentences breaks to facilitate uniformity.
Grammatical conformity needs to be applied throughout the document, capitalisation included. Rules between English and Italian are quite different, as you can see in the example below.
Presidents of the European Parliament -> Presidenti del Parlamento europeo
Protocol on the Application of the Principles of Subsidiarity and Proportionality -> protocollo sui principi di sussidiarietà e proporzionalità
Italian and English have also different ways to address to articles and paragraphs.
Article 5(3) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) -> L’articolo 5, paragrafo 3, del trattato sull’Unione europea (TUE)
Article 12(b) TEU -> L’articolo 12, lettera b, del TUE
Article 4b -> Articolo 4 ter