Monday, September 14, 2020

A couple of quick tricks to make the translation of legal texts easier

ALL CAPS PASSAGES

 If you regularly translate legal texts (such as EULAs), you’ll frequently encounter long passages where a single segment continues for many lines, with all the text shouting in UPPERCASE (and maybe even all bolded):

LOREM IPSUM DOLOR SIT AMET, CONSECTETUR ADIPISCING ELIT, SED DO EIUSMOD TEMPOR INCIDIDUNT UT LABORE ET DOLORE MAGNA ALIQUA. UT ENIM AD MINIM VENIAM, QUIS NOSTRUD EXERCITATION ULLAMCO LABORIS NISI UT ALIQUIP EX EA COMMODO CONSEQUAT. DUIS AUTE IRURE DOLOR IN REPREHENDERIT IN VOLUPTATE VELIT ESSE CILLUM DOLORE EU FUGIAT NULLA PARIATUR. EXCEPTEUR SINT OCCAECAT CUPIDATAT NON PROIDENT, SUNT IN CULPA QUI OFFICIA DESERUNT MOLLIT ANIM ID EST LABORUM

This is very hard to read, and therefore even harder to translate. To make it easier to translate, just select the whole passage, and hit Shift+F3 to convert the whole passage to lower case. You can then translate it, and, once you are satisfied with your translation, select the passage again, and hit Shift+F3 again to convert the passage to all uppercase. Works in MS Word, SDL Trados Studio and memoQ.  

Single segments with numerous subclauses

Another quirk of legal texts that may make them more difficult to translate is that they often contain long passages rife with numbered subclauses:

(i) consectetur adipiscing elit; (ii) sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua; (iii) ut enim ad minim veniam; (iv) quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat; (v) duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur; (vi) excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident; (vii) sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

This would be seen as a single segment by most CAT tools, a segment difficult to translate because too long. The best way to deal with this problem is to split the segment before each of the subclauses. You can do this either by suitably changing your CAT tool’s segmentation rules or by splitting the segment manually.

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