June 14, 2011

Evaluating Legal Dictionaries

Dennis Kim-Prieto, State University of New Jersey (Rutgers), School of Law (Newark), and Conrad Van Laer, University of Maastricht, have published The Possible Dream: Perfecting Bilingual Law Dictionaries by Distinguishing Better Examples from Bad. Here is the abstract.

As the practice of law crosses national (and linguistic) borders with increasing frequency, the need for tools that facilitate the transnational practice of law becomes more acute. Bilingual legal dictionaries (BLDs) are one critical such tool, as they offer access to legal systems as well as the languages of these systems. Unfortunately, librarians have offered scant criticism of BLDs, many of which are not particularly useful. This article summarizes critical problems with BLDs and offers an approach to resolving these problems by focusing upon the quality of the entries, or definitions, that BLDs provide.
Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

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