Nov 24, 2019
7:30 am - 10:00 am
Seisen University, Room 131, 3F, Building 1

Date: Saturday, November 23, 2019
Time: 14:30 to 17:00 (doors open 14:00)
Venue: Seisen University, Room 131, 3F, Building 1
Moderator: Sarah Bull

About the Seminar:
In his chapter on legal translation in the Oxford Handbook of Translation Studies, Leon characterised legal translation theory as "stretch and snap". Like an elastic band tethered to the pole of literalism, the theory permits a degree of freedom by the legal translator—but should the band go too far, it snaps back to the default position of linguistic fidelity. In the general debate over the ‘degree of freedom’ the translator enjoys in conveying the meaning of the text, legal translation theory has reached its own settlement. Passivity is the default; creativity, the ‘qualified’ exception.
During his session at IJET-30, Leon introduced his criticisms of this 'stretch and snap' theory. Drawing on complexity theory, he argued that translators, much like lawyers, confront their task within a problem "space". Just as legal problems involve considerations beyond the client and the other side, translation involves more than merely transporting words from one language to the other. Law is a living language. Context matters. By rejecting rule-based approaches to translation, Leon re-asserted the importance of informed creativity to the work of legal translators.

During this seminar we will show excerpts of Leon's presentation at IJET-30 and expand on his discussion points.

The seminar will be followed by a casual networking event in the venue with light refreshments and drinks.

About Leon Wolff:
Leon Wolff is an associate professor of law at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He has dual qualifications in Japanese language and law, including a Masters of Arts in Japanese Interpreting and Translation (MAJIT), a Masters of Laws in Asian and Comparative Law, NAATI-accreditation as a Japanese-English translator and Level 1 certification in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). Although his primary area of research expertise is Japanese law and society, his publications also include a book-length co-translation of essays on Japanese legal theory as well as commentary on Japanese legal translation. His portfolio website is at

This seminar will take place in English.

Advance Payment (purchase tickets below):
JAT members: ¥1,000
Non-members: ¥3,000
(Sales close 3 p.m. Thursday, November 21, 2019)

Payment at Seminar Registration on the day:
JAT members: ¥1,500
Non-members: ¥3,500

Post Seminar Networking Event:
Date: Saturday, November 23, 2019
Time: 17:00 to 19:00
Venue: Seisen University

Advance Tickets (purchase below):
(Sales close 3 p.m. Thursday, November 21, 2019)

Tickets at Registration on the day: