ASSESSING LANGUAGE USE IN THE TRANSLATION OF LEGISLATIONS IN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE SOUTH NATIONS, NATIONALITIES AND PEOPLES REGIONAL STATE (SNNPRS)
The study examines language use in the translation of legislation and legal translators’ use of the legislative drafting manual of Ethiopia in the Office of the Attorney General of the SNNPRS. Adopting a qualitative approach, data for the study were gathered using document review, KII, and FGD. Thirteen bilingual laws that address issues related to public law, private law, criminal law, and civil law were reviewed, and four key informants and three FGD participants were involved in the data generation. Participants in the KII and FGDs were drafters, judges, prosecutors, attorneys, and legal translators. Data analysis was conducted using notes taken from document reviews and transcripts of FGD and KII. The findings of the study indicated that the translation of legislation in the state experiences various language use problems. While language use problems in the translation of "shall" and "may" and the maintenance of legal equivalence were found to emanate from the low linguistic competence of legal translators, other language use problems were found to emanate from the wrong editing and translation procedures followed, the absence of orientation and on-the-job training for legal translators, and the absence of mechanisms for quality control. It was also found out that legal translators in the state are not using the Ethiopian legislative drafting manual that was meant to support the translation practices of the Attorney General. Given the growing trend of globalization, the Attorney General of the state should foresee the higher need for the English version of legislation and hence pay special attention to the translation of legislation in the state.