Translation in Superdiverse Legal Contexts

Joanna Drugan, Krzysztof Kredens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


What does superdiversity mean for communication, especially in complex settings such as the legal system? Translation and interpreting play critical roles in legal contexts, notably in ensuring equality of access to justice and transparency, but superdiversity brings substantial new challenges for established working practices, and potentially for justice itself. This chapter looks critically at the impact of superdiversity on translation in legal contexts, with a particular focus on the UK. We argue that superdiversity affects significant aspects of provision, including translation quality, ethics and policy.

In the Introduction, we explain why translation matters in legal contexts, provide definitions of key terms and ideas, and summarise important developments which are impacting on translation in UK legal contexts at the same time as superdiversity. In Part 2, Historical Perspectives, we present a critical account of existing research on translation in legal contexts, and of training for translators and interpreters who will work in these contexts. We argue that both research and training have been slow to consider superdiversity and its effects. In Part 3, Core Issues and Topics, we focus on the effects of superdiversity for four important areas: the logistics of translation in legal contexts, translation quality, translation ethics, and policy issues. We draw on research and direct experience of translation and interpreting practice (our own and others’), to consider how superdiversity affects the conduct and impact of transla-tion and interpreting. In Part 4, New Debates, we explain some challenges for those researching translation in superdiverse legal contexts, summarise recent and emerging work, and consider the implications of superdiversity for translation studies and translator training. In the Conclusion, we link superdiversity and translation in legal contexts to broad principles of justice and fairness, point to some new research directions, and suggest further reading.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Language and Superdiversity
EditorsAngela Creese, Adrian Blackledge
ISBN (Print)9781138905092
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2018


  • Translation
  • legal translation
  • superdiversity
  • interpreting

Cite this