Different Texts for Different (Legal) Languages: In Search of a New Approach

Michela Canepari


This article, which is based on an ongoing research project, explores new methodologies that could make the approach of students and “ordinary” (non-specialists) speakers to the language of the law more stimulating, thereby helping them achieve a better understanding of this specialized language. At present, as testified by the constant growth of plain English and fight the fog campaigns, there is a strong need for a more exhaustive understanding of this language, with which every individual is obliged to interact in his/her life, regardless of his/her status and/or profession. This article thus exploits audio-visual materials and comics that translate intersemiotically the language used in various types of texts (articles, codes, contracts etc.), or that attempts to reproduce the language spoken by specialists in the courtroom. By so doing, it demonstrates the intrusion of legal language in everyday life and suggests the need for an increased awareness of the modus operandi of this language. Furthermore, this paper argues for the need of a new generation of expert translators, who should be able to translate interlinguistically (from one legal language into another), intralinguistically (from specialized to plain language), interculturally (from one legal system to another) and – at least in part – “intersemiotically” (from the verbal code to multimodal and multimedia codes). This paper therefore provides some strategies and puts forward some suggestions that might become useful in the formation of such new professional figures, simultaneously anticipating further research in the field. 

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v11i6.15787

Copyright (c) 2019 International Journal of Linguistics

International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email: ijl@macrothink.org

Copyright © Macrothink Institute ISSN 1948-5425

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'macrothink.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.