This article explores the possibilities of using parallel texts in Polish, Hungarian and English legal translation and legal translation teaching. The authors focus on petitions, a special genre of the legal register, and show that the macrostructure of Polish, Hungarian and English are different: they are composed of the same elements, but these are ordered differently. Polish petitions may be written by lawyers as well as lay persons, thus the language used in them may be both legal and colloquial depending on the author. English petitions are usually executed by lawyers, or they are simply forms which are filled in by claimants. In Hungary a claimant also fills in a form. What may pose serious translation problems is the part called the grounds of the petition, as it may be written in a specialpurpose register or in colloquial language. Despite the differences, parallel texts of petitions in Polish, Hungarian and English provide the translator and trainee translator with more reliable equivalents than dictionaries, and not only for technical terms, but also for phraseological units and formulaic sequences.
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Prof. Kinga Klaudy Eötvös Loránd University, Department of Translation and Interpreting Múzeum krt. 4. Bldg. F, I/9-11, H-1088 Budapest, Hungary Phone: (+36 1) 411 6500/5894 Fax: (+36 1) 485 5217 E-mail: