Course title:

Legal Translation


Tutor: Atanas Manchorov, Ph.D.


Mode of delivery: seminars

Course place and status within the program

Plovdiv University, a required course

Competence expectations


Students expand their knowledge by translating texts in all professional branches of the discipline. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Deal with and comprehend source and target texts across multiple fields of law.

2. Ensure translation fidelity.

3. Produce target texts fulfilling the expectations of the target text reader

4. Resolve problems related to cross-cultural traps in legal translation.

5. Use library and electronic resources (guides, sample documents, etc.) to complete assignments.


Aims and objectives of the course


This course has the following aims and objectives:


Personal: improved language and translation proficiency

greater insight into key theoretical issues in the field of legal translation

performing analysis and problem-solving tasks

identifying current trends in the legal systems of source and target texts

making decisions of language, style, and translatability


Interactive: team-working, communication skills


Weekly organization of topics & reading assignments




1. Constitutional Law

2. Administrative Law

3. Citizenship, Rights and Freedoms

4. Commercial Law

5. Construction Law

6. Contract Law

7. Copyright Law

8. Environmental Law

9. Health Law

10. Inheritance Law

11. International Law

12. Litigation and Proceedings

13. Property Law

14. Tax Law


Course requirements


1. Attendance. Attendance is mandatory. For the fourth and each subsequent unexcused absence, the final average will be lowered by 1 point. The options listed below are considered acceptable reasons for excused absences:

  • serious illness;

  • illness or death of family member;

  • university-related trips;

  • major religious holidays;

  • other circumstances you find to be reasonable cause for nonattendance.

2. Make-up opportunity. When there is an excused absence, students must be given the opportunity to make up missed work and/or exams. It is the student's responsibility to inform the instructor of the absence preferably in advance, but no later than one week after it.

3. Classroom behavior, decorum, and civility. Acts of classroom incivility will not be tolerated. Students are expected to be polite and respectful while attending the course of lectures or participating in class discussions.

4. Academic integrity. Plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated, and those suspected of academic dishonesty will face disciplinary proceedings in accordance with published Plovdiv University guidelines.


Mode of assessment


Type of assessment: regular practical work

final exam (B-E translation and E-B translation)




Books on Language and Law


Baaij, C. J. W. The Role of Legal Translation in Legal Harmonization. The Hague: Kluwer, 2012.

Berk-Seligson, Susan. The Bilingual Courtroom: Court Interpreters in the Judicial Process. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2002.

Bhatia, Vijay, Christopher Candlin, and Maurizio Gotti, eds. Legal Discourse in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts: Arbitration Texts in Europe. Bern: Peter Lang, 2003.

Bhatia, Vijay, Christopher Candlin, and Jan Engberg. Legal Discourse across Cultures and Systems. Hong Kong: Hong Kong UP, 2008.

Bosiacka, Anna Jopek. Legal Communication: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. Warsaw: UP, 2010.

Cao, Deborah. Translating Law. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 2007.

Chiocchetti, Elena, and Leonhard Volmer. Harmonizing Legal Terminology. Bolzano: Eurac Research, 2008.

Edwards, A. B. The Practice of Court Interpreting. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1995.

Olsen, Frances, Alexander Lorz, and Dieter Stein, eds. Translation Issues in Language and Law. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

Phillips, Alfred. Lawyers' Language: How and Why Legal Language is Different. London: Routledge, 2003.

Sarcevic, Susan. New Approach to Legal Translation. The Hague: Kluwer, 1997.

Yankova, Diana. The Text and Context of European Directives: Translation Issues in Approximating LegislationSofia: St. Kliment Ohridski UP, 2008.


Dictionaries and Handbooks of Law


Balkandzhieva, Blagovesta. English-Bulgarian Dictionary of Commercial Law. Sofia: Софи-Р, 2003.

Boczek, Boleslaw A. International Law: A Dictionary. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow P, 2005.

Coulthard, Malcolm, and Alison Johnson. The Routledge Handbook of Forensic Linguistics. London: Routledge, 2010.

Gader-Shafran, Rachel. Intellectual Property Law Dictionary. New York: Law Journal P, 2004.

Garner, Bryan A., ed. Black's Law Dictionary. 9th ed. St. Paul, MN: West, 2009.

Garner, Bryan A. A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage. 2d ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995.

Garner, Bryan A., Jeff Newman, and Tiger Jackson. The Redbook: A Manual of Legal Style. 2nd ed. St. Paul, MN: Thomson/West, 2006.

Gorse, Christopher, David Johnston, and Martin Pritchard. A Dictionary of Construction, Surveying and Civil Engineering. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012.

Law, Jonathan, ed. Oxford Dictionary of Law. 7th ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006.

Lee, C. C. Dictionary of Environmental Legal Terms. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997.

Marcinko, David Edward, ed. Dictionary of Health Insurance and Managed Care. New York: Springer, 2006.

Rosenfield, Michel, and András Sajó, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012.

Tiersma, Peter, and Lawrence Solan, eds. The Oxford Handbook on Language and Law. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012.


Bulgarian (Cyrillic) Editions

Борисов, Орлин. Терминологичен речник по право на Европейския съюз. София: Арго Пъблишинг, 2004.