Perspectives on Translating Medieval Law: The Norwegian Landslov of 1274

Helen Frances Leslie Jacobsen

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTradurre
Subtitle of host publicationun viaggio nel tempo
EditorsMaria Grazia Cammarota
Place of PublicationVenezia
PublisherEdizioni Ca' Foscari
ISBN (Electronic)978-88-6969-248-2
ISBN (Print)978-88-6969-250-5
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Translation
  • Legal History
  • Old Norse
  • Norway
  • Iceland


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