Plain language court glossary in 8 languages

vcc-logo-greenThanks to funding from The Law Foundation of British Columbia and the Notary Foundation, Vancouver Community College Centre for Continuing Education Studies created a web site containing 5,000 plain language legal terms to assist professionals and multicultural users participating in court or legal processes.

The glossary covers terms in criminal law, street language heard in court for drugs and arms, and other court-related terms in eight different languages (Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Punjabi, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and English).

Entries made for each language have been approved by bilingual lawyers and legal translators, and was overseen by a Steering Committee representative of the legal and multicultural community in British Columbia.

Why is this glossary needed?

The glossary was an attempt to respond to an issue identified by the Law Courts Education Society of B.C. (LCES) and the Vancouver Community College Certificate Program in Court Interpreting (VCC) – that of a lack of consistency in the comprehension and use of legal terminology among unaccredited court interpreters working in the courts of British Columbia. This issue is particularly significant in areas outside the Lower Mainland, where accredited interpreters are virtually non-existent.

The glossary is intended not only for court interpreters, but for everyone participating in court or legal processes. In fact, the target audience for the glossary includes lay persons not familiar with legal terms, and non-English speakers.

To search the glossary, click here.

For more information about how it was compiled, see About the Glossary.


Credit: Thanks to Charles Tiayon for the heads-up.

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