The Role of Generic Competence and Professional Expertise in Legal Translation. The Case of English and Polish Probate Documents

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Abstract

This paper seeks to demonstrate how the concept of generic competence (primarily intended for monolingual specialized communication) could be extended to address important issues in translating legal texts. First, generic competence is discussed against the backdrop of the related concept of translation competence. Then, a case study is presented which examines a closely related set of documents employed by the professional community of lawyers (represented by an English solicitor and Polish advocate) engaged in the specialist domain of probate law (legal process related to the estate of a deceased person). It is argued that both generic competence and professional expertise should be included in the range of competencies required for the translator of legal texts.

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