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Legal Translation: IALS Library Guides

A Guide to the library holdings on Legal Translation

Legal translation

Guide last updated by Lauren Cummings, July 2017

About the author KR

This guide was created by Katherine Read, Principal Library Assistant at the IALS Library.


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We'd love to hear your comments about this Research Guide.


In this guide

This guide aims to give a brief introduction to the Library's holdings on Legal Translation . Please consult the Library Catalogue and the List of Current Serials for complete information on current titles and locations. If you require further assistance please contact us.

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Introduction to the Library Catalogue

This Subject Guide only lists a selection of Library resources on Legal Translation. To find additional resources you will need to search the Library Catalogue, which covers the complete holdings of the Library. It is possible to search for books, journals and series of law reports by author, title or keyword. Please note it is not possible to search for individual chapters, journal articles or legislation (e.g. individual Acts or SIs).

IALS Library is mainly open access and readers are able to browse the shelves in the main collection. There are two main exceptions to this:

  • Older items (marked RES or Depository on the catalogue record) are kept in the closed basement.
  • Key texts for LLM students are often kept in the Short Loan collection.

Please request these at the Library Enquiry Desk.

Please click here for more information on understanding the catalogue record. For further guidance on the location of materials please refer to our guide Classmarks and the Location of Resources in the Library.


The Library classifies textbooks either by jurisdiction (GO13, GA2 etc.) or according to subject area, examples of which include Comparative Law (SB), Public International Law (SG) and Private International Law/ Conflict of Laws (SH). Textbooks on Common Law topics for Common Law jurisdictions (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, USA) are shelved in a special section (SJ). All classmark sections have a FOL section for oversize volumes, which is located on the same floor of the Library.

When you are searching the Library Catalogue for books, please note that only the current edition is held on the open shelves or in the Short Loan collection. IALS has a rich collection of previous editions held in the closed basement and these will display a Depository number on the catalogue. Please request previous editions from the Library Enquiry Desk.

Legal Translation material is shelved at SB20.

Legal dictionaries and writing guides are shelved at RF.

The following list represents a selection of textbooks on Legal Translation. Please check the catalogue records for further information and location:

Alcarez Varó, E. & Hughes, B. Legal Translation Explained 2002

Baijj, C.J.W. The role of legal translation in legal harmonization 2012

Bassnett, Susan Translation Studies 3rd ed 1992

Bhatia, V.K. et al Multilingual and multicultural contexts of legislation : an international perspective 2003

Borja Albi, A. & Prieto Ramos, F.  Legal translation in context: professional issues and prospects 2013

Cabanellas, G. The legal environment of translation 2014

Cheng, L., Sin, K.K. & Wagner, A. The Ashgate handbook of legal translation 2014

Colin, J. & Morris, R. Interpreters and the legal process 1996

Freeman, M. & Smith, F. Law and Language 2013

Galdia, M. Legal Linguistics 2009

Gallego-Hernandez, D. New insights into corpora and translation 2016

Garre, M. Human rights in translation: legal concepts in different languages 1999

Gibbons, J. Forensic linguistics: an introduction to language in the justice system 2003

Glanert, S. Comparative law: engaging translation 2014

Gouadec, D. Translation as a profession 2010

Houbert, F. Guide practique de la traduction juridique: anglais-français 2005

Kredens, K. & Goźdź-Roszkowski, S. Language and the law: international outlooks 2007

Mac Aodha, M. Legal lexicography: a comparative perspective 2014

Mattila, H. Comparative legal linguistics: language of law, Latin and modern lingua francas 2nd ed 2013

Pozzo, B. & Jacometti, V. Multilingualism and the harmonisation of European law 2006

Šarčević, S. New approach to legal translation 1997

Soriano-Barabino, G. Comparative law for legal translators 2016

Tiersma, P.M. & Solan, L.M. The Oxford handbook of language and law 2012


For more detailed help, please refer to the guide on Finding journal articles. The following titles focus particularly on Legal Translation but there may be relevant articles in less specialised journals.

Comparative Legilinguistics

International Journal for the Semiotics of Law

International Journal of Law, Language and Discourse

Journal of Specialised Translation

Language and Law

Zeitschrift für Europäische Rechtslinguistik

Academic users may also use databases like Lexis/Westlaw to find articles about legal translation. For further information please refer to the Electronic Law Library at or ask at the Library Enquiry Desk.

Free internet sources

A valuable free source is BAILII, the British and Irish Legal information Institute which is based and maintained at IALS. It provides free access to full text UK judgments and legislation on a wide range of subjects including and also links to other free World Law databases. Jurisdictions covered in these resources include Commonwealth countries eg. AustLII (Australia) and CanLII (Canada), France, Germany, Italy, the USA and South Africa.

Legal glossaries provide explanations of legal terms, which may be particularly valuable for students without a legal background. They can also provide useful context for a term in the target language. Many of these are available for free online: some are language specific, while others focus on particular areas of law. For example, the glossary at can be browsed or searched, and covers a wide range of English language terminology.

The following represent a sample of available quality individual web resources that may be of use to legal translators:

EUR-LEX provides free access in the 24 official EU languages to European Union legislation, case law, public documents and the Official Journal of the EU.

The blog Words To Deeds is run by Dr Juliette Scott  and aims to provide free, reliable resources and information for legal translators.