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2021 | 82 | 2 | 139-158

Article title

K typologii ekvivalentů v právním překladu


Title variants

On the typology of equivalents in legal translation

Languages of publication



Equivalence was a central concept in the early stages of modern translation theory. Despite being criticised in later periods, mainly in literary translation, its usefulness in specialised translation remains undoubted. I first examine the aspects of equivalence described in the literature on legal translation, arriving at no less than 32 different equivalent types. Building on these findings, I propose a detailed, multidimensional typology of legal equivalents, using four orthogonal criteria: translation procedure, degree of equivalence, conventionality and register. Translation procedures are divided, on the one hand, into canonical and non-canonical, and, on the other hand, into language-oriented, language- and function-oriented, and function-oriented. The different categories, defined as non-exclusive, are characterised with respect to their documentary vs. instrumental nature, and supplemented by French-Czech and Czech-French translation examples. The analysis also raises a certain number of specific questions that have received only limited attention so far. These include the role of register in terminology, the evaluation of the degree of equivalence in the case of language-oriented equivalents, and the directional symmetry of equivalents. The typological proposal is language-independent, and may serve as both a theoretical framework and practical tool in translatorial decision-making.


  • Slovo a slovesnost, redakce, Ústav pro jazyk český AV ČR, v.v.i., Letenská 4, 118 51 Praha 1, Czech Republic


Document Type

Publication order reference


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