ENGLISH LEGAL DICTIONARIES
In this article, we are going to explore the different English legal dictionaries available to translators. Translating legal documents requires a lot of careful thought. Ensuring that the right term is used is paramount, taking into account the specific context of your document. Moreover, the law changes from country to country, so understanding different concepts can be difficult. Therefore, the use of legal dictionaries can be essential to translators. We will take a look at some of the best in the following article.
A Dictionary of Law, Jonatan Law and Elizabeth A. Martin
This bestseller is available both in copy and online. With over 4800 entries, it aims to cover all bases for English law. It clearly defines all major terms, concepts, processes and the organisation of the English legal system. In addition to this, it offers all its descriptions in layman’s terms. Therefore, the definitions should be easy to understand, and not require too much previous knowledge. It is now in its 9th edition. These updates mean it now covers contemporary information on terms such as Article 50 and Brexit. Furthermore, this edition now contains recommended web links for many entries.
This free-to-use online dictionary contains a large bank of English legal terms. It offers a definition, and then also short description of when it would normally be used. It offers easy to read definitions and a user-friendly website. You can find it here.
International Monetary Fund Glossary
The IMF glossary is a 602-page documents of financial legal terms. As such, it contains translations of a wide plethora of terminology from a range of sectors. Furthermore, it is a bilingual glossary between English and Spanish so offers direct translations for many helpful terms. However, as a glossary, it just offers the direct translation. To find a definition of such terms, a different dictionary should be used. You can find it here.
Iate European Union Terminology
This free online resource contains definitions for legal terminology between English and 24 other languages. As well as legal terminology it contains financial, scientific and agricultural definitions. When you search for a term, it gives you multiple definitions from contexts of different sectors. This makes it an invaluable source, as you can find the definition that best matches your document. In addition to this, it is constantly updated to retain its relevancy and accuracy. You can find it here.
TransLegal is a free online dictionary from The World Law Dictionary Project. They’ve teamed up with leading law schools from around the world to connect the world’s legal languages to a single English law dictionary. Each term you search for gives you a wide array of information. Firstly, it contains the definition, and a phrase bank of sentences putting the world into a real context. Then, it has notes on the alternative, less common ways that the word can be used. Finally, it contains a helpful “common mistakes” section to warn against the frequent errors people make. You can find it here.
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