False Friends in ES-EN Legal Translation: is elevar really “elevate”??

False Friends Fridays new

In legal usage elevar has several different meanings, none of which is the literal “to elevate.” The most common translation of elevar in legal (and other) contexts is simply “to raise” (being synonymous with subir): El Ministerio del Interior está estudiando elevar la edad para conducir ciclomotores (“The Interior Ministry is studying the possibility of raising the age for driving motorbikes.”); El BCE confirma que volverá a elevar los tipos… (“The ECB confirms that it will once again raise interest rates…”).

Elevar has the additional meaning of “to submit a petition or proposal” (elevar una petición o propuesta). Thus, for example, elevación de las cuentas anuales para su aprobación por la Junta General de Accionistas refers to “submitting the annual accounts for approval at the annual shareholders meeting.”

In other respects, in Spanish felony proceedings (procedimiento penal ordinario) elevar a definitivas has a peculiar meaning, referring to the ratification of the prosecution’s initial accusation and the defense’s initial defense (collectively called calificaciones provisionales). At the end of a criminal trial and after evidence has been examined, the attorneys for the prosecution and defense may then amend their initial pleadings in written closing arguments called conclusiones based on the events that transpired at trial, or they may “ratify their initial accusatory and defensive pleadings” (elevar a definitivas las calificaciones de fiscal y defensa), which are then known as calificaciones definitivas.

 Special mention should perhaps also be made of the omnipresent expression elevar a público that is sometimes mistranslated simply as “to make public” (which would be more appropriately rendered as publicar or hacer público). Elevar a público is indeed much more than merely publicizing an act or event, being an ellipsis for elevar a público un documento privado (meaning “to notarize,” “to record in a notarial instrument” or “to formalize in a notarial document”). In that regard, elevación a público refers to the procedure of appearing before a (civil law) notary to execute a private document, contract, etc. so that it may be recorded in a notarial instrument (escritura pública) to be preserved in his or her notarial records (protocolo). Thus, for example, elevar a público el nombramiento del administrador does not denote “making the director’s appointment public” (as the expression has sometimes been rendered),but rather “recording the director’s appointment in a notarial instrument.”

Confusing Terms in Spanish-English Legal Translation: “national” isn’t nacionalista

Confusing Terms2

When recently reviewing a judgment* of the European Court of Human Rights, I realized that the Ministry of Justice’s Spanish version of that document confuses “national” with nacionalista. In English, when identifying a person’s country of origin, “national” means “citizen of:” “Paco Pérez, a Spanish national” = Paco Pérez, de nacionalidad española (or) Paco Pérez, ciudadano español, etc. In the judgment in question, the applicants were identified as “Hungarian nationals,” but appeared in the Spanish translation as nacionalistas húngaros (“Hungarian nationalists”). Perhaps this was some sort of Freudian slip, given the presence of nationalist political parties in the Basque Country, Catalonia, and elsewhere in Spain (whether the term nacionalista actually appears in the party’s name or not).

In other respects and as noted above, in Spanish contracts the ever-present de nacionalidad española is indeed used to indicate that a party to the agreement is “a Spanish national.” But the meaning may be slightly different when the parties are corporate entities rather than individuals. Empresa X, de nacionalidad española is obviously not “Company X, a Spanish national,” but rather “Company X, a Spanish corporation” or perhaps, adopting the expression often found in Anglo-American contracts, “a company incorporated under the laws of Spain.”

*Karácsony and others v. Hungary

 

Incoterms in Spanish and English: 2020 Update

Incoterms-graphic-768x512

Way back in December 2017, I published an entry on the (then in force) 2010 “Incoterms (in Spanish and English) and what they mean.” , with a detailed bilingual chart describing each one. In this post I’m reviewing the information provided at that time for the many new readers of this blog who may have missed it, including the new DPU (formerly DAT) term in the amended 2020 Incoterms. A graphic showing the updated terms is available in this Incoterms 2020-responsibility chart, courtesy of Air and Surface Logistics.

International Commercial Terms (“Incoterms”) are eleven internationally-acknowledged standard trade terms created by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)* to be used in sales contracts. They specify:

1) who (whether the seller or buyer) will be responsible for transportation costs, including insurance, taxes and duties

2) where the goods are to be picked up and delivered, and

3) who is responsible for the goods at each step of the transportation process and, particularly, when risk of damage to or loss of the goods passes from seller to buyer.

Below are the standard Incoterms in English and Spanish with a brief schematic explanation of each:

A) Incoterms for multimodal transportation:

EXW Ex Works (named place)–EXW En fábrica (lugar convenido)

Seller places the goods at the disposal of the buyer at the seller’s premises or at another named place (factory, warehouse, etc.). The seller does not need to load the goods on any vehicle, nor clear the goods for export, if applicable. Buyer is responsible for all subsequent risks, transportation costs, taxes and duties from that point forward.

FCA Free Carrier (named place)–FCA Libre transportista (lugar convenido)

Seller delivers the goods to the buyer’s carrier at a designated place. At this point risk passes to buyer, who is then responsible for transportation to the final destination of delivery.

CPT Carriage paid to (named place of destination)–CPT Transporte pagado hasta (lugar de destino convenido)

Seller delivers the goods to a carrier designated by the seller at an agreed place. Seller contracts for and bears the cost of delivering the goods to the named place of destination.

CIP Carriage and Insurance Paid to (named place of destination)–CIP Transporte y seguros pagados hasta (lugar de destino convenido)

Seller delivers the goods to a carrier designated by the seller at an agreed place. Seller not only contracts for and bears the cost of delivering the goods to the named place of destination, but must likewise take out minimum insurance coverage against the buyer’s risk of loss or damage to the goods during transportation. Buyer may choose to contract additional insurance coverage.

DAP Delivered at Place (named place of destination)–DAP Entregado en un punto (lugar de destino convenido)

Seller is deemed to have delivered the goods when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer on the arriving carrier ready for unloading at the named place of destination. Seller bears all risks involved in bringing the goods to the designated place.

DAU (formerly: DAT) Delivered at Place Unloaded (named place of destination)–DAU Entregado y descargado (lugar de destino destino convenido)

Seller is deemed to have delivered the goods when, once unloaded from the arriving means of transport, they are placed at the disposal of the buyer at a named terminal at the designated port or place of destination. Seller bears all risks involved in bringing the goods to and unloading them at the terminal at the port or place of destination.

DDP Delivered Duty Paid (named place of destination)–DDP Entregado, derechos pagados (lugar de destino convenido

B) Incoterms specifically for sea and inland waterway transport

FAS Free Alongside Ship (named loading port)–FAS Franco/Libre al costado del buque (puerto de carga convenido)

Seller is deemed to have delivered the goods when they are placed alongside the vessel (e.g., on a quay or a barge) designated by the buyer at the named port of shipment. Risk of loss of or damage to the goods passes to buyer when the goods are alongside the ship, and the buyer bears all costs from that moment onwards.

FOB Free on Board (named loading port)–FOB Franco/Libre a bordo (puerto de carga convenido)

Seller delivers the goods on board the vessel designated by the buyer at the named port of shipment. Risk of loss of or damage to the goods passes to buyer when the goods are on board the vessel, and the buyer bears all costs from that moment onwards.

CFR Cost and Freight (named port of destination)–CFR Coste y flete (puerto de destino convenido)

Seller delivers the goods on board the vessel and risk of loss of or damage to the goods passes to buyer once the goods are on board. Seller bears responsibility for contracting for and paying the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination.

CIF Cost, Insurance and Freight (named port of destination)–CIF Coste, seguro y flete (puerto de destino convenido)

Seller delivers the goods on board the vessel and risk of loss of or damage to the goods passes to buyer once the goods are on board. Seller not only bears responsibility for contracting for and paying the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination, but must likewise take out minimum insurance coverage against the buyer’s risk of loss of or damage to the goods during carriage. Buyer may choose to contract additional insurance coverage.

Terminology of Criminal Procedure: The Top 40 Verbs You May Need to Know

legal english crimpro terms

One of the “problems” with bilingual legal dictionaries is that most contain mainly single-word noun entries. But my students and lawyer clients need lots of verbs to be able to explain Spanish law to their English-speaking clients. This week we are winding up a 18-hour unit on criminal procedure, and I’m sharing below a list of the “Top 40 Crimpro Verbs (and their Prepositions!)” that we’ve used in class.

to commit a crime

to suspect (someone) OF committing a crime

to be suspected OF committing a crime

to be UNDER investigation

to arrest (someone)

to take (someone) INTO custody

to be UNDER arrest

to be arrested FOR (here specific offense)

to be arrested ON a charge OF (here specific offense)

to be brought BEFORE the judge/the court

to appear IN court

to file/bring charges AGAINST the suspect

to charge (someone) WITH a crime

to be charged WITH two counts OF (here specific offense)

to accuse (someone) OF (here specific offense)

to be accused OF (here specific offense)

to enter a plea OF guilty or not guilty

to plead guilty/not guilty TO the charges

to confess TO (here specific offense)

to set/fix bail

to post bail

to release (someone) ON bail

to prosecute (someone) FOR (here specific offense)

to try (someone) FOR (here specific offense)

to be prosecuted/tried FOR (here specific offense)

to testify AGAINST (someone) AT trial

to defend (someone) AGAINST the charges

to be prevented FROM introducing illegally-obtained evidence AT trial

to pass verdict ON the accused

to acquit/to find (someone) not guilty OF (here specific offense)

to be acquitted/to be found not guilty

to convict/to find (someone) guilty OF (here specific offense)

to be convicted/to be found guilty

to find (someone) guilty AS charged

to be sentenced TO ten years in prison FOR (here specific offense)

to serve a ten-year sentence

to be released FROM incarceration

to be granted parole

to be ON parole

to violate parole