This article considers the lexis of legal discourse. The material of the study is the results of a survey conducted among the students of the Law Faculty of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, who have the skills to compile and translate legal texts, in particular, international treaties. 58 Bachelor students of the third and fourth year of studies took part in the survey. The analysis of the survey results showed the presence of systemаtic errors and revealed some problem areas in the usage of lexical units while writing and editing texts of this type. The object of the study is legal discourse in Russian and English. The subject of the study is the lexis of international documents and its translation into Russian and English. The relevance of the analysis is supported by the institutional nature of legal discourse texts, i.e. by the necessity of observing certain rules and the mode of communication, as well as by the prescriptive function of legal discourse texts, which requires particular accuracy and absence of contextual synonymy when using lexical units. The authors of the article classified the lexis of this type of texts, which is potentially capable of correlating in the source text and the text-translation, as equivalent contextual-semantic, partially equivalent contextual-semantic and nonequivalent contextual-semantic; they also suggested its description by types and gave examples. The conclusion was that a special set of exercises is needed aimed at developing the necessary skills of differentiating lexical units into types and their translation taking into account the units type in the created or edited text. The necessary recommendation for students will also be the creation of their own individual vocabulary of partially-equivalent and nonequivalent English lexis. Based on the results of the study, the authors introduced a textbook.

About the authors

Natalia V Alontseva

RUDN University

Author for correspondence.
Email: alontseva_nv@rudn.university
Associate professor of the department of foreign languages, RUDN University; academic interests: pragmatics, discourse analysis, methods of teaching foreign languages 11198 Moscow Miklukho-Maklaya st., 6, Russia

Yury A Ermoshin

RUDN University

Email: ermoshin_yua@rudn.university
Associate professor of the department of foreign languages, PhD in Pedagogy, RUDN University; academic interests: pragmatics, discourse analysis, methods of teaching foreign languages 11198 Moscow Miklukho-Maklaya st., 6, Russia


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