the next three classes will be devoted to the analysis of the “Language of the Law” from two different perspectives. The first class will propose a linguistic analysis of legal texts, taking as an example the Italian Constitution (Gialdroni). The other two classes will face the problem of legal texts focusing on the challange of translation, providing lots of examples and little exercises (Spitzmiller).
– The reading about the “Language of the Italian Constitution” is unfortunately written in Italian. Anyway, as there is no comparable article related to this issue, it is suggested even though not compulsory.
– Prof. Spitzmiller asks you to read and do the exercises from “Legal English” by Maria Gigliola di Renzo Villata before the lessons. This text was prepared for Italian speakers but it should also be useful for visiting Erasmus and other international students since we assume they are also studying in some Italian law courses and thus learning legal Italian. This reading will make aware of some common mistakes and point out some “false friends” between English and Italian. For non mother-tongue Italian speakers, in the exercises that compare English and Italian terms they might do well to try and translate both into their own language, to see which friends are “true friends” in their native tongues.
– The other two articles, “Exploring Students’ Engagement…” and the Jessup article, both regard language-learning based on two initiatives at Roma Tre, one of which the students in Law and the Humanities are now participating: “Studying Law at Roma Tre.” The other is the Jessup international moot court competition, a very challenging yearly endeavor in which Roma Tre has participated for about ten years now. These two articles could provide an opportunity to reflect on the very processes by which students learn a foreign legal language and could form the basis of general discussion on that topic.
De Mauro, Tullio, Il linguaggio della Costituzione, in «Costituzione della Repubblica italiana (1947)», Torino-Roma 2006, pp. VII-XXXII.
Di Renzo Villata, Maria Gigliola (ed. by), Legal English, Assago: Cedam 2011 (2007), pp. 51-64.
Walbaum Robinson, Isabel Alice and Spiztmiller, Rebecca, Exploring students’ engagement with the curriculum in a law programme taught in English at an Italian University, pp. 1-13.
Spitzmiller, Rebecca, THE PHILLIP C JESSUP INTERNATIONAL LAW MOOT COURT COMPETITION: A TOOL FOR TEACHING/LEARNING LEGAL ENGLISH, in “European Journal of Legal Education”, 3.2 (2006), pp. 111-119.
Prof. Spiztmiller CV
Lawyer, Professor (Agg.) in Comparative Law at Università degli studi Roma Tre; Adjunct Professor (Co-Instructor) LUISS University School of Management; Instructor of Legal English for the Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura and for the Scuola Superiore dell’Avvocatura; Author, Editor & Translator (Italian to English); Member of the Florida Bar Association.
The full version of Prof. Spitzmiller’s CV is available HERE.