From Hunglish to Legalese: Terminologists in action

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The EU Law Department of the Hungarian Ministry of Public Administration and Justice (KIM) and OFFI have launched a new pilot project together: a special team organized specifically for the continuous translation of new laws and other pieces of legislation. Its first big project will be the translation of the new Hungarian Civil Code.    

“The Ministry of Public Administration and Justice wishes to offer a new service to those segments of the Hungarian public administration which apply Hungarian law to foreigners and foreign clients,” Endre Gáspár, senior officer at the EU Law Department of KIM told the Budapest Business Journal. 

The first result of this effort is a revised and consolidated English translation of the Fundamental Law of Hungary, the terms of which has been brought in line with EU-terminology, and which is already available on the website of the Hungarian Government. The novelty in the project lies in the fact that Hungarian legislation will be translated by one team of translators, whose joint work will ensure consistency in legal terminology. 

Due to the differences between the British common law system and continental legal systems like that of Hungary, translating Hungarian laws into English is a rather complex challenge requiring thorough terminology research. 

The team of the Hungarian pilot project is, therefore, consciously building upon the foundations of already existing legal terminologies used in the EU and in the English translations of other national laws. “French and German comparative legal studies in particular have been very helpful to Hungarian terminologists,” Gáspár pointed out. As a by-product of the translation project, an extensive glossary is being developed as well, which is going to be included into the terminology database Termin, maintained by KIM on the internet.  

-- This is an extract from Budapest Business Journal. For the full article see the paper.

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