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The paper examines the hypothesis of asymmetric explicitation in the legal translations of Qatari translator trainees. From a linguistic perspective, legal texts are characterized by a high level of technicality and complexity and, often, a mixture of styles and registers and, therefore, pose a challenge for (non)experts and translators to interpret and render in another language. From a pragmatic perspective, legal texts are so significant in the real world that any translation shift in their effects, in terms of explicitation or implicitation, will entail serious ramifications for the parties involved in the legal communicative act, and, so, the two phenomena are less likely to occur. Generally, explicitations and implicitations are more likely to surface in non-legal translations because translators, in their quest to decipher the source text message, will (sub)consciously intervene in the target text leaving their own stylistic imprints. In the case of our translator trainees, it is axiomatic that they will engage in excessive processing of the source legalese trying to grasp the meaning and function of different units and structures. In so doing, they will employ a variety of meaning transfer operations in the target language. It is hypothesized, then, that the trainees, in their renditions of the source text’s form and content, will stick to obligatory explicitations and implicitations only, since they will be constrained by a lack of knowledge as to the source text’s linguistic and legal resources and alarmed by its ambiguous jargon.

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Hisham Jawad (Qatar) 13933
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