Spanish-English Legal Terminology in the New Year

Blog stats 2019

When I started this blog in 2016, I wondered whether there would be much interest in articles devoted exclusively to the translation of Spanish and English legal terms. Although I enjoy input concerning translation theory, methods, and tips in general, I felt there might be a niche for a more specifically specialized blog focused on the nitty-gritty of rendering some of the more difficult concepts of Spanish and Anglo-American law.

After three years I now think I may have been right, based on last year’s blog statistics showing 55,820 views from a total of 32,765 visitors.

It has been a pleasure to share this space with so many legal translation enthusiasts. More to come in 2020!

False Friends: When información isn’t simply “information”

False Friends Fridays new

There are several instances in legal Spanish in which “information” may not be the most appropriate translation for información. In the context of securities law, información privilegiada refers to “insider information,” while uso de información privilegiada denotes “insider trading (or) dealing” and normas sobre información privilegiada are “insider trading rules.”

In the context of corporate law, obligación (or) deber de información is not merely an “obligation to provide information” as the expression has sometimes been translated literally, but rather refers to “disclosure requirements” imposed upon publicly-traded companies pursuant to Spain’s Ley del Mercado de Valores (“Securities Market Act”).

And in the context of administrative law and urban planning, trámite de información pública refers to a legal requirement that information concerning certain public works projects be made available to the public to enable private citizens to present their opinions or objections (called alegaciones) before the project is implemented. In the UK this type of trámite de información pública is known as a “public consultation.” In that regard, the seemingly cryptic expression sacar el proyecto a información pública merely means “to submit the project to public consultation.”

Time to Tweet!

Tweeting bird

After publishing 180 entries in this blog on Spanish-English legal terminology (Léxico Jurídico Español-Inglés on WordPress at, at the urging of one of my students I am finally on Twitter (@ES_ENLegalTrans). With this move, I hope to be able to more closely share in the work and ideas of legal translator colleagues, teachers (and students) of Legal English, and the many lawyers and legal professionals out there whose blogs and tweets seek to explain the ins and out of legal terms and concepts to broader audiences. I will (of course!) continue to post entries to this blog in the usual categories:

  • 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

And, in October I will be introducing a new topic: “Weird Words and Cryptic Concepts,” to examine some of the obscure terminology that lawyers and judges seem to use just to keep legal translators in their toes!