After first using Termium®, the Government of Canada’s terminology and linguistic databank, when it came on a CD-ROM (anybody else remember that?), I now consult the online version from time to time.
Termium® has become quadrilingual (English, French, Spanish and Portuguese), although as yet only 18,000 words are available in Portuguese.
An interesting option is to build your own interface to access Termium Plus®. My Termium lets you customize the interface to suit your needs. Access to all the features is available through this page. Order of languages, listing by subject field, including/excluding definitions & contexts, etc. can be set up to suit your needs and will be saved by your browser for your next visit.
In addition to the Termium® dictionary, the website now also has some great sections devoted to legal language. They are not immediately visible – you need to click on the “Writing Tools” box on the left hand side, and a menu will appear below.
The first of the sections I want to bring to your attention is called Juridictionnaire*, “a compendium of the difficulties and expressions in French legal language, in and – to a lesser extent – outside Canada”. It gives clear explanations of the legal concepts behind terms, and differentiates between their use in certain contexts and/or legal systems. Unfortunately, the compendium is only available in French.
The other section that I think might interest you is Les mots du droit. Be warned, it is a little ‘caractériel‘ to use, but worth it! If you want to browse rather than search, click on the letters of the alphabet and then a list will appear on the left where you can select your term. This part includes both French and English.
This is the website’s description of Les mots du droit: “This glossary proposes a series of French equivalents – in context – for common, all-purpose words from English legal vocabulary that are difficult to translate, including issue, policy, basis, case, forum and jurisdiction.”
Within the section Les mots du droit is also an excellent guide (French only) on the use of prepositions in legal texts, always a thorny issue.
6 thoughts on “Termium® becomes quadrilingual and has a special legal section”
Fantastic resource! I’ve used Termium in the past, and I’m excited to explore the new features. Great timing, too, as I’m taking a course on legal translation. Thank you for posting!
Delighted Carolyn! 🙂
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