oa Lexikos - Lost in the Labyrinth of Lexicography - Labours of a Lawyer

Volume 9, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 1684-4904
  • E-ISSN: 2224-0039



The work of the Centre for Legal Terminology in African Languages comprises the compilation of a legal dictionary where various legal terms are defined and translated into the different indigenous African languages. During the first phase of the Centre's work a selection is made of English terms in the domains of criminal law and criminal procedural law. These terms are then defined and translated into the first target language, namely Afrikaans. This article deals with the lexicographical and legal problems encountered by the Centre during this phase as seen from a lawyer's perspective. On the lexicographical side the problems relate to demarcating the domains, determining a target group, the availability or lack of sources and indicating how the Afrikaans translation helps in establishing the correct meanings of terms. The legal problems encountered relate mostly to copyright, but brief reference is also made to the aspect of civilliability which might arise from the use of the completed dictionary.

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