Comparative Law and Language

Vivian Grosswald Curran

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780199296064
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

Comparative Law and Language


The second section of this article suggests that the study of language is a cognitive model for comparative law. The third section discusses language's dependence on translation. The fourth section discusses comparative law translations in terms of the contrasting categories that undergird the civil and common law legal systems. The fifth section examines the post-war comparative law scholars' immersion in a new language and legal culture. The sixth section situates comparative law between deeply entrenched, mutually contradictory aspirations of universalism and pluralism. The seventh section shows that former domains of pluralism and difference indeed are receding, but that difference itself remains undiminished. The eighth section notes that comparative law's effectiveness as a translator of the foreign depends on how well its acquired skills and methods can be adapted to new kinds of foreignness. The ninth section offers a concrete application of comparative law analysis as translator of current European legal developments.

Keywords: translation; legal language; English; common law; civil law; comparative law; legal pluralism; European legal developments

Article.  15471 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Comparative Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »