Technology and e-resources for legal translators: The LAW 10n project

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© Peter Lang AG, International Academic Publishers, Bern 2015. All rights reserved. End User Licence Agreements (EULAs) are 'those agreements as a result of which the licensee, purchaser of the license or user, receives from the licensor the right to use the programs under the terms agreed' (Aparicio, 2004: 71, our translation). Software licences first appeared in the United States of America. Translated into Spanish by the licensor, and made available directly to users of the licensed software, these licensing agreements have now been incorporated into Spanish law. In legal translation - in particular in the translation of EULAs, where the specificity of the cultural elements involved can lead to recurrent breakdowns in communication - an interpretative-communicative approach must be adopted, one in which the translator takes into consideration all the elements that directly impinge upon the decision-making process in translation (i.e. client, target audience, legal or cultural context, legal requirements enforceable by law, etc.). In practice, licensing agreements are translated as part of the process of localisation itself, that is, they are translated semi-automatically. As a result, licensing agreements translated into Spanish do not reflect the spirit of the law underlying the source texts, nor do they comply with the specific requirements of Spanish law. Although there is a genre of license agreements in Spanish (i.e. in patent law and other copyright law fields), this genre cannot be automatically applied to the case of software licences because such licences have special features. In this chapter, we present why the translation of software licence agreements deserves such thorough analysis and how existing legal e-resources are not enough to solve the translation challenges that this genre presents to translators. An English-Spanish bilingual corpus of translations has been created and analysed to evidence the legal implications of current translations and to demonstrate the need to take into account not only the legal system of the target text but also translation proposals included in licences in which the applicable law is that of the target culture. This article is targeted to translation lecturers and researchers interested in legal e-resources and instrumental translations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConducting Research in Translation Technologies
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2015


  • E-resources
  • Legal translation
  • Software licences
  • Translation resources


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