February 18, 2019

Do you ever talk about what you did when you were a kid? When you first met your wife/husband? I know I do. When we reminisce like this in English, we often use the modal verb would.

Example: When I was a boy, I would go to the drugstore to buy candy.

It serves to descri...

February 18, 2019

If there is anything I've learned about forensic linguistics, it is not to underestimate the power of language. This becomes evident in the Unabomber case in which Ted Kaczynski sent a series of mail bombs, maiming and killing several victims.

After years of pursuing th...

February 18, 2019

It amazes me how people can overlook the seriousness of translating/interpreting. Many think it is something that any bilingual person can do. In this article, we learn that a homeless man's innocence hinges on the inadequacy of a makeshift interpreter. It just goes to...

February 18, 2019

The more you know about a product or service, the better equipped you are to make advantageous decisions. Here is a little quiz about Spanish translation:

1. How are translating and interpreting different?

a) Translation is spoken; interpreting is written. b) Interpretin...

February 18, 2019

Machine translation is especially pernicious to legal documents!

R2D2 and The-Birth-of-Venus by Pilcrow

What would a machine feel by looking at the birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli? Nothing! A specialised program could tell you what was drawn, the technique and materi...

February 18, 2019

       

Both translators and attorneys are writers at heart. Here's a hearty tip for both of us!

Last week, we addressed the legal writer’s bad habit of emphasizing words by using unsightly and outdated underlining. The better substitute for...

February 18, 2019

As a follow-up to our legal-usage quiz from last week, here are 10 questions of common English usage that can trip up even the most careful writers. Try your hand first and then check the answers at the end.

  1. Before we meet with the client, can you talk briefly with...

February 18, 2019

Have you ever seen a document bearing the stamp shown above? Has anyone required you to affix an apostille on a public document?

The word apostille originally comes from Latin: post illa  then French, meaning a marginal note. It is an international certification is...

February 18, 2019

All of these tips, coming from Bryan Garner, a leading expert on plain English and plain Legal English, will help your writing immensely. If you are writing legal English, the only tip I wouldn't recommend is using contractions. 

February 18, 2019

Some laws are obvious. Just about everywhere you go, there are laws against speeding or shoplifting, laws regulating the purchase and consumption of alcohol and zoning laws that dictate what kind of building you can construct where. But what about laws that don't make...

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