Political and Legal Institutions in Croatia and English Speaking Countries

Course title: Political and Legal Institutions in Croatia and English Speaking Countries
Instructor: Dr. Snježana Veselica Majhut
ECTS credits: 5
Status: mandatory for students enrolled in the translation track of the graduate program in English as a single major; elective for students enrolled in the translation track of the graduate program in English in combination with another major
Semester: 2nd
Enrollment requirements: The students must pass the exam in Translation Workshop (1st semester) prior to enrolling in this course.
Course description:
The aim of the course is to give a basic understanding and knowledge of political, legal and educational institutions in Croatian and English-speaking societies (the focus is placed on the UK and US), necessary for translators. The students will be made familiar with the key concepts of the institutional organization of the above mentioned societies and further develop translation skills acquired in the Translation Workshop course. The course will focus on highlighting the terminology and cultural problems that characterize translation in the environment of government and non-governmental organizations, public administration, educational institutions.
The course is divided into three blocks, each of them devoted to a particular topic: 1) political institutions and government, 2) legal institutions and 3) educational institutions. The format of the course is lectures and exercises.
Translation assignments cover a wide variety of text types and genres, such as, political speeches, administrative reports, and legal documents. In this one semester schedule, students will get a general overview of the different topics pertinent to the institutional aspects of these societies, with the possibility of pursuing some of the subjects in greater depth through further specialized courses.
The coursework is organized around projects that the students do in groups, partly in the virtual environment, on http://omega.ffzg.hr/ (Moodle). The students are encouraged to use printed and electronic resources, build corpora and terminology glossaries, revise their own and each other’s translations, manage translation projects, cooperate with subject-matter experts and clients, and so on. Guest speakers will be invited to share their professional experience.
Objectives: By the end of the course the students should show a good understanding of the subject matter (both in Croatian and English) of texts similar to those translated in the course, the ability to identify translation problems, use appropriate translation strategies and  terminology.
Course requirements: Students get their final grade on the basis of their “portfolio” (collection of translations done during the course, both at home and in class, individually and in groups), three mid-term quizzes and three translation assignments done in class.
Week by week schedule:

Session Topics Lectures Exercises
1 Introduction. Course description, goals and requirements.    
2-6 Political institutions The organization of the Croatian government.The organization of the US and UK government.Governmental and non-governmental organizations.Guidelines on how to extract terminology, how to carry out documentation research.Visits of professional translators. What is translation for government and public administration? Translating different kinds of government documents, such as speeches, reports, information papers, statements into Croatian and English.Discussion of the main problems related to the translation of these types of texts.Translation assignments.
7-11 Legal institutions Key institutions in Croatia.Key institutions in the US and UK.Various types of legal documents.  Discussion of the main problems related to legal translation.Translation assignments.
12-15 Educational institutions Comparison of the systems of education in relevant societies. Discussion of the main problems related to the translation of various documents related to the educational domain.Translation assignments.

– Alcaraz, Enrique, Hughes, Brian and Pym, Anthony: Legal Translation Explained. (2001) – selected chapters
– Mauk, David  and John Oakland: American Civilization. (2009). Abingdon/New York: Routledge. – selected chapters
– Mayoral Asensio, Robert: Translating Official Documents. (2003) – selected chapters
– Oakland, John: British Civilization. (2010). Abingdon/New York: Routledge. – selected chapters
– Vidaković – Mukić, Marta: Opći pravni rječnik (2006). Zagreb: Narodne novine. –  selected items
– Wilson, James, John Jr. Dilulio. and Meena Bose: American Government: Institutions and policies (2011). Cengage Learning – selected chapters
– Zakošek, Nenad: Politički sustav Hrvatske (2002). Zagreb: Fakultet političkih znanosti – selected chapters