Anyone who has ever translated Spanish legal texts* knows they are a pain in the ass, extremely baroque language, run-on-sentences, etc. Several university educated native speakers have confirmed to me that it is actually badly written Spanish that tries to cover its shortcomings under a pompous cloak. Now, for some reason contracts are not half as bad as notary documents or anything coming from a court or addressing a court. So I wondered why that is.
This morning, while washing the dishes, I suddenly came up with a theory:
Business contracts are written by corporate lawyers and they are written to lay down certain conditions as clearly as possible. Notary documents and court documents (e.g. when selling a house or when you're getting sued by your neighbor) however are written by freelancing smalltime village lawyers trying to impress. If a corporate lawyer writes shitty (s)he is out of a job soon while village lawyers can be as incompetent as they like as long as they keep finding new clients who simply looked them up in the phonebook.
Okay, but what about judges? They don't get appointed on the bases of their language skills either and seem to adher to an archaic hierachical system that tries to preserve some of its past glory from the age of the inquisition by maintaining a pompous baroque jargon.
But what about the translator? Won't somebody PLEASE think of the translator?!!?
*As in from Spain, not sure about Latin America
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