Theory behind the
Normative Legal Dictionary
Key principles of the lexicographic theory behind the NLD.
Each state's legal system is a unique collection of rules, values and concepts so particular that legal translation must be set in context. Therefore, the Normative Legal Dictionary confines itself to the legal systems of the United States of America and the Argentine Republic, its purpose being to set up a straightforward referential system, to delve into the recesses of each legal system and, as a result, to attain greater clarity and precision in legal translation.
The Normative Legal Dictionary adheres faithfully to the source document. It thus seeks to bring the US reader to a self-contained understanding of the Argentine legal system and vice versa, yet without incurring in the imperfect assimilation of concepts that often results from functional approaches. To preserve the separation between both legal systems within a single language, the NLD makes use of vocabulary derived from English-speaking civil-law jurisdictions or those with two official languages, such as Louisiana and Puerto Rico.
|Law of Argentina
translated into English
of the US
|Law of the United States
translated into Spanish
Searching for specific terms takes much of the time required by translation work. To make this easier, the Normative Legal Dictionary presents its terms along with quotations supporting the translations provided, mostly as excerpts from authoritative sources such as laws, codes, rulings and legal literature, all duly referenced. The NLD aims at documenting the most established legal translations to shorten the time spent on comparative legal analysis.
Knowing how to translate a legal term is only the first step towards understanding it. Just as important, or even more so, is to place the term inside a conceptual network with interrelating terms: synonyms, classification systems, core and branching concepts, misleadingly similar terms, opposite concepts, institutional pairs, among others. With over 90,000 links, the Normative Legal Dictionary draws up a concept map to systematize the knowledge that professional legal translation requires.
Digitalizing a dictionary makes it exponentially more useful. In the digital age, a dictionary must support quick expansions and updates, hyperlink terms and concepts, minimize search time, prioritize development according to user needs, offer a portable database and provide a plataform that is both secure and accessible. Following this reasoning, the Normative Legal Dictionary combines lexicographic theory and digital technology in the service of legal translation.
English-to-Spanish legal dictionary
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