25 - 2013

Réflexion sur l’inflexion du signifié dans la traduction juridique de Claude Bocquet

Sylvie Monjean-Decaudin


Professor Claude Bocquet‘s seminal work in the field of legal translation studies merits a closer look. Refusing to relegate legal translation to the rank of technical translation, he decided to explore its theoretical basis. He outlined three component steps, the first step involving a semasiological process in which the source text is deciphered, the second addressing non-linguistic elements related to the targeted source institutions and the third step focusing on re-encrypting into the target language. This final step clearly embodies an onomasiological approach. The aim of this paper shall be to analyze these three steps, with particular emphasis on the second, in which Professor Bocquet includes the concept of an« inflection of the signified ». For ease of understanding, we illustrate these three steps by means of metaphor, representing translation as a canal, and the second stage of the translation process as the gate of a dam. Our exploration of the concept of inflection of the signified leads us to prefer the notion of « translating law » over that of « legal translation » for this gives the concept greater scope, and subsumes it in a wider analysis of comparative law conducted throughout the translation process.

Key words

Bocquet, legal translation, inflection of the signified, methodology, comparative law

October 28, 2013
  25 - 2013