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STÉPHANIE ENGOLA/ADRIEN BELL MANDENG, Cross-cultural aspects of the translation...

Abstract: Cameroun is the only country with a complex legal and cultural profile within the Organization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), given its two sub-legal systems inherited from France and Great Britain. As a member of OHADA, the Cameroonian State provided the Anglophone area a translated version of the Uniform Acts inspired by Continental law. However, this Anglophone sub-legal system is governed by the common law, a legal system that is totally unknown from the perspective of the legal paradigm of the Organization. The strike of Anglophone lawyers in 2016 raised awareness on this legal dichotomy and revived the issue of the relationship between term and concept, on one hand, meaning and context on the other hand. This article aims to assess the terminological, conceptual and stylistic inconsistencies found in the translation of the OHADA Uniform Acts, through the concept-to-term and semasiologic approaches. Based on an eclectic theoretical framework, this article is based on the Relativist theory, the Theory of Action and the Interpretative approach in Intercultural communication. The bilingual corpus of this work is made up of the French version of the OHADA Uniform Acts and its English translation submitted to the Anglophone Bar. It clearly appears that the effectiveness of exchanges between the two sub-legal systems can be threatened by the ontological foundations of each system and that the appropriateness of dynamic equivalence should be measured considering the intercultural and legal competence of the translator.

Keywords: Legal Translation, OHADA, Intercultural Communication, common law, Civil Law


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