Perspectives on Translating Medieval Law
The Norwegian Landslov of 1274
This paper demonstrates strategies in translating the first national law-code of Norway, the Landslov from 1274, into English. One can argue the need to have Old Norwegian law in English to make it more accessible. To ensure that a target audience distant in time and culture are able to understand the law, the paper argues that translators of Old Norwegian law must pay special attention that the vocabulary they select has equivalence of meaning in modern English. Historical legal terms and administrative positions and divisions often have no direct modern equivalent, or even have a misleading modern English cognate.
Keywords: Landslov • Legal translation • Old Norwegian • Law • Old Norse