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Legal False Friends Part II

Folio: Page. Also, a sheet of paper or English folio as in a sheet of paper folded in two. However, when translating the location of a record, what matters is the page number, not what kind of page it is.

  • Tomo: Volume. Tome is often dramatically used in English to denote a large or old book, i.e., dusty tome.

  • Radicar: To be located in/filed in. Especially Mexican documents would state: radicado en tomo III, página siete (located/filed in Volume III, Page seven). Radicate, on the other hand, means to put down roots.

  • Oferta: Depending on context, these two words can mean bid.

  • Elaborar: To prepare/to manufacture. In English, elaborate means to expand on, add details to something.

  • Renta: Income, earnings. In Mexico, renta can mean rent, but it is widely used to mean income. Consider impuesto a la renta: income tax.

  • Colonia: In Mexico, an administrative department like a district. It’s been a long time since Mexico was a colony!

  • Frontera: Border. A frontier is not necessary a political division as in a boundary drawn between two countries.

  • Expedir: To issue. If you wanted to expedite something, you would say agilizar.

  • Entidad: Almost always a state in Mexico. Mexico uses the term entidad federativa to denote its states and Mexico City or D.F. (Federal District). If you like, you can call them federative entities, but you might get puzzled looks from English speakers.

  • Oficio: Official letter, official notice, memorandum. Very common in Mexican legal documents. Always numbered.

  • Formalizar: True, one meaning is to formalize, but in criminal law, it means to process an offender.

  • Diario Oficial: Official Gazette. A gazette issued by the federal government to publish statutes, executive orders and rules and regulations.

  • Dictar: Can be to dictate, but often means to pass judgment or sentence, to rule.

  • Providencia: Order, ruling, court order. It only means Providence in a religious sense.

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