Irmgard Soukup-Unterweger


Irmgard Soukup-Unterweger has worked as a professional translator and interpreter in various fields (political, economical, technical, juridical, social) for over 30 years. She holds a Mag.phil. in Translation Studies by the University of Graz and a Professional MSc (Technical Communication) by the Danube University of Krems. As a court certified translator and interpreter for Russian she gained wide experience in legal translating and interpreting. As a result of this engagement she developed interest in research work in that field. From 2007 to 2011 she has been part of the research staff at the Centre for Translation Studies, University of Vienna (Translation Technologies and Terminology Studies). She participated in establishing a termbase on the terminology of Austrian asylum law. Her main interests include general terminology management issues on the one hand and specific terminological challenges, which legal translators and interpreters are confronted with in their different working scenarios on the other hand.

Terminology work for legal translators

Legal language is often incomprehensible not only for average citizens, but even for legal experts. This also applies for translators (educated to provide the needed transfer process in a professional manner), when dealing with legal texts. The prerequisite, however, is the deciphering of the concepts behind the legal terms. A special topic in this respect are so-called pluricentric languages providing expressions for more than one legal system. Using only dictionaries translators fight a losing battle. The talk discusses data categories to be applied in self-created term bases taylored to the needs of legal translators using ready-made terminology tools.