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Legal Terminology and English Idioms for Interpreters

Isabel Framer, Language Access Consultants

When interpreting, there are often words that do not have an equivalent in the target language, especially in a legal setting. A well trained interpreter will have a running glossary of terms. It is essential that the interpreter understand what the term means in English first before being able to accurately deliver the message into another language.

Attached is a list of basic legal terminology and terminology often used in domestic violence cases. There are three columns in the document, the first column has the legal word, the second column is for a definition of the English term and the third column is for the accurate translation of that word into the appropriate language.

Similarly, when interpreted, English idioms rarely make sense in the target language, attached is a list of some common English idioms. It is important the the interpreter first understand what the idiom means in English in order to interpret it accurately into the target language.

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