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Knowing a legal term: meaning and usage

Updated: May 12, 2021

Now it is official. In its periodical "Why terminology is your passion", the European Union (TermCoord) has confirmed that "knowing a term is twofold: you need to know the meaning of the term, and you also need to know how to use it".

On page 32 of this periodical, Lynne Bowker, Full Professor of Translation at the University of Ottawa was asked: "How would you describe the future of law dictionaries?"

She said: "Language is about communicating. Lexical items are certainly a key feature of a language, but to communicate effectively, we need more. Users would like to see more examples, contexts, usage information, phraseology, and more. They want guidance about how they should use lexical items in the broader linguistic structures. One day, a user wants help understanding a term, but another day, the type of help sought is for producing an idiomatic sentence."

The book entitled "A Practical Guide to English for Law" is just like that. It provides full guidance for the users to learn every single detail as to how to use 1550 legal terms to the standard native professionals (UK and US lawyers, judges, etc.) do.

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