From LSP trainers to trainees and back: What can be learnt from developing terminology resources for future legal experts

Katia Peruzzo


The Department of Legal, Language, Interpreting and Translation Studies of the University of Trieste is working on TERMitLEX, a new terminological knowledge base (TKB) containing legal terminology. This knowledge base is specifically meant to meet the needs and expectations of legal experts besides those of terminologists and translators. Expert input through consultation with legal practitioners was sought to design the template for the terminological records to be included in TERMitLEX. As part of this consultation process, a questionnaire was submitted to final-year students of the Department’s own 5-year degree programme in Law. This paper first presents the questionnaire and then analyses participant responses. The results of the questionnaire not only provide information for the design of TERMitLEX (e.g. what aspects of a legal TKB students are most interested in, such as contexts, phraseology, and equivalence), but also shed light on other important factors in the learning process: the students’ attitudes to using English as a foreign language, a general lack of awareness of linguistic resources (both electronic and printed), and scarce online information retrieval skills. This information could be useful in the design or redesign of LSP course syllabuses.


legal terminological knowledge base; needs assessment; lexical and terminological resources for future legal experts; LSP training; Legal English

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