Translating the Louisiana Civil Code into Spanish: A Jurilinguistic Exercise

On Thursday, May 6, 2021, the Law Library of Louisiana and the Supreme Court of Louisiana Historical Society co-sponsored a free CLE presented by Mariano Vitetta, Research Associate at the Center of Civil Law Studies (CCLS) at the LSU Law Center, where he is responsible for the translation of the Louisiana Civil Code from English into Spanish under the leadership of Professor Olivier Moréteau. Translating a civil code is a complex endeavor calling for expertise in both the law and legal translation, thus a “jurilinguistic” exercise. The Louisiana Civil Code, a unique piece of legislation that sets Louisiana apart, requires an approach combining legal translation, comparative law, and legal history. Participants will learn about the project’s history and the intricacies of the translation process. With a Spanish translation, CCLS at LSU plans to make Louisiana’s flagship legal instrument available to the legal Spanish-speaking community at large, while also paying homage to the years in which the territory was part of Spain.


Mariano Vitetta obtained a degree as a certified legal translator (English-Spanish) and a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires. He also obtained an LL.M. in Comparative Law from LSU, with a dissertation on the connection between European-style codification and plain language. He has taught English-Spanish legal translation (CAECE University), legal writing and drafting in Spanish (Argentine Catholic University), and introduction to the common law tradition for law students (Austral University). Mariano has been working for more than 15 years as a legal translator for law firms, companies, and academic institutions. His most recent published translations include Por qué el derecho importa (Alon Harel, Marcial Pons 2018) and Fostering Innovation for Agriculture 4.0: A Comprehensive Plant Germplasm System (Miguel Ángel Rapela, Springer 2019).