Glossary of Selected Legal Terms English-Laotian
Publisher: State Justice Institute (SJI)
Publication date: N.A.
Number of pages: 47
Format / Quality: PDF / excellent
Size: 2,43 MB
During the past decade, thousands of Asian immigrants have appeared in American state courts as civil and criminal litigants. Interpreters, who breach the language gap between judge and litigant, are required by law and fairness to interpret all English spoken in court into the immigrant’s language. However, while interpreters are held to the standard of interpreting legal terms accurately and completely, few bilingual legal resources exist. To begin to address the need for accurante bilingual equivalents for English legal terms, a proposal was submitted to the State Justice Institute for the development of basic bilingual legal glossaries in Cantonese, Laotian, Khmer (Cambodian), Korean, and Vietnamese. These languages are spoken by a large number of individuals living in a wide range of states.
This bilingual English-Laotian glossary is designed to be used as a working document for English-Laotian court interpreters. Since for the most part interpreters interpret English legal words into Laotian, the English terms are listed first. The body of the glossary consists of approximately 450 words, which were selected as representatives of frequently used legal terms in state courts. This list is by no means exhaustive; court interpreters use many other legal terms as well.
Each word is translated into its equivalent in Laotian. The equivalent word or words given are, in the author’s opinions, the best interpretation of the English legal word. This word of sort phrase interpretations convey the English word’s meaning, and are meant to be used by interpreters when serving in legal proceedings.
In addition, some English words are defined in English because they have more than one English meaning. The English definitions, statements describing one or more meanings of the word, appear in parenthesis beside the English words. Readers are cautioned that many legal terms have alternate meanings. Interpreters must use great care to use the appropriate Laotian alternate equivalent for an alternate English meaning. Also, interpreters are cautioned that a handful of legal words used regionally in some states appear in the glossary. If a word sounds quite unfamiliar, interpreters should check with other interpreters or attorneys.
Some Laotian interpretations are followed by explanations in Laotian. These were added because the authors felt readers would benefit from brief descriptions of more unusual terms. At the end of the glossary, a bibliography outlines resources used in creating the glossary, and also other resources which may be useful to interpreters. Every court interpreter should utilize several dictionaries. An essential part of the interpreter’s job is to continuously look up word meanings in both languages.
This glossary is meant to serve as a foundation for the development of individual bilingual legal glossaries by Laotian interpreters. The words are widely spaced to allow for the inclusion of usage notes and other comments. Interpreters are strongly encouraged to elaborate on the definition (as opposed to the equivalent, which is the translation of each term, a definition is a statement of the meaning(s) of the word or phrase), of each word in Laotian and English, to make up a sentence using the term, and to include other pertinent information. Binder paper can be added at the end of the glossary of the addition of other important legal terms. For an excellent discussion of the development of an interpreter’s glossary, see Gonzalez, Vasquez, and Mikkelson, Fundamentals of Court Interpretation, Carolina Academic Press 456 (1991).
This project was produced through the efforts of several people. The word list was compiled by Joanne Moore, J.D., manager of the Washington State Court Interpreters Certification Program, Office of the Administrator for the Courts, and by Gregg Miller, certified interpreter and interpreting educator in Los Angeles County, California. The Laotian equivalents were written by Edmund Channita, Los Angeles County certified Laotian interpreter, Sue Novosak, San Diego area Laotian interpreter. They were reviewed by Jerry Torgerson, Washington State certified Laotian interpreter, and Into Bo Champon, J..D., who practices law in the San Diego area.
This glossary was developed through a grant from the State Justice Institute. Points of view expressed here in are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the State Justice Institute.
Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of the translations and definitions contained herein. No express or implied guarantees or warranties are made.