Rebecca Jowers ES>EN legal translation blog

I’m a bit late to recommend Rebecca Jowers because I don’t so often look at Spanish/English legal resources. But I have noticed that she is authoritative in advising on British as well as US usage.

An introduction: Why this blog? is the first post

I created this blog to share some of the translation pitfalls that I’ve encountered along the way, many of which were brought to my attention by fellow translators, my students of legal English, and law professors, attorneys, judges and other translation clients. It is intended to be a meeting place for translators, interpreters, lawyers and law professors for whom legal terminology is an essential element of their professional activities in both languages. Thus I welcome comments and suggestions from the many experienced colleagues in the profession who, as I am, are enthusiastically devoted to the study of Spanish-English legal terminology. Some of the areas I will be exploring include:
ES-EN legal terminology
Legal English for Spanish-speakers
False friends
Multiple meanings
Confusing terms
Common words with uncommon legal meanings
Expressing civil law concepts in common law terms
Español jurídico
Latinismos
Mistranslations? and
Terminology sources

The blog is called Léxico Jurídico Español-Inglés.


Rebecca has also published A Thematic Lexicon:ñhere is a review by Rob Lunn, whose blog I’ve also recommended in the past.

6 thoughts on “Rebecca Jowers ES>EN legal translation blog

  1. Thanks so much, Margaret, for your kind words! I’ve recently followed you on Twitter, but confess to having searched your blog several times in the past, looking for ways to translate Spanish criminal law theory terms, all directly taken from the German. (“Antijuricidad” is “Rechtswidrigkeit,” but how does one ever start to express this, and other Spanish elements of crime, in English? (Until I’ve tried reading articles by German professors who publish about criminal law in English (Markus Dirk Dubber, Thomas Weigend, Wolfgang Naucke) and used Michael Bohlander’s code translations. In the future, if you don’t mind, I may pick your brain about some of this. ¡Saludos desde Madrid!

  2. Thanks, Rebecca. I think I must have encountered you first on Twitter.
    Do you know Michael Bohlander’s book, I think it’s ‘General Principles of Criminal Law’, where he goes into more detail explaining some of this choices? I see he has one on criminal procedure too. I seem to remember the book helped me to understand how he dealt with murder and manslaughter – not that this is likely to be relevant in your case, depending on how Spanish criminal law is drafted. – Yes, please ask me about terms. I miss the times when there was more of this discussion online.

    • I did indeed use Bohlander’s “General Principles…” in my search for convincing English translations of several German-inspired Spanish criminal law terms. I’ll get back to with some terminology questions soon!

  3. Hallo, Rebecca. Instead of the blog convention of directing my comments to Margaret in two-way traffic, I – having retired in old Alzheimer’s-prone age with various aliases from ProZ.Com 3 years ago – will watch out for your comparative German-Spanish legal endeavo(u)rs.

    We know that, with a common Roman law root, the two systems of Spanish & German have some overlap, so that the issue is often one of recognition and identification as well as ‘bifurcation’ of terms e.g. antijuricidad (the term found only with the adjective of `penal` in the ‘gospel’ of Bosch’s Spanish-Spanish law dictionary) can also mean (quaere) a ‘case to answer’ cf. ‘unlawfulness or a lack of justification’ (Tom West III`s Law & Business Dictionary) and this Mexican website: http://www.udgvirtual.udg.mx/apertura/index.php/apertura/article/view/190/205 so maybe equates as much with Unrechtmäßigkeit as Rechtswidrigkeit/ illegaility.

    PS I am glad you didn’t mention fraude a la ley or de ley (Rechtsmißbrauch/AT > betrügerische Krida?) over which I had been arguing with colleagues for about 40 years.

    • Hi Adrian,
      Although it may seem strange, I’ve found that scholarly articles on German criminal law published in English often provide ideas as to how to translate many Spanish criminal law terms. Thanks for your input!

  4. I take your point, Rebecca, and recall (from this blog and/or Proz.Com) my own to-ing and fro-ing between (DE) Tateinheit a.k.a. Idealkonkurrenz and (ES) concurso (Mex) concurrencia ideal de delitos (ITA) concorso formale or ideale, vs. (DE) Tatmehrheit a.k.a. Realkonkurrenz and (ES) concurso (Mex) concurrencia real de delitos (ITA) concorso material vs. apparente di reati (criminal offenc/ses).

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