The Dilemma of Translating Legal Texts among BA Students

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The peculiar characteristics, the insufficiency of legal knowledge, complexity, and technicality of legal language in addition to the differences across legal systems and cultures cause a great dilemma for legal texts translators. This article aims at investigating the specific issues and challenges that BA (bachelor’s degree) students face when translating legal texts. The sample size of this article was fifty undergraduate students who are taking legal texts translation courses at the University of Jordan-Aqaba. A translation test that included twenty sentences was given to the students. The correct translation of these sentences was taken from B. Hatim, R. Buckly, and Shunnaq’s book The Legal Translator at Work: A Practical Guide. The results show that the language of the law is inevitably culture-bound. The polysemy of legal terms, legal collocations, and legal terminology made it hard for the students to translate accurately. It also shows that a high cultural and linguistic competence level is required to select the right equivalence.