Our 10 Favorite Web-Based Legal Translation Tools
We are not attesting the accuracy or comprehensiveness of any of these tools in particular; they are simply some tools we sometimes use, and are choosing to share, in hopes that you find them useful as well.
- IATE Search My favorite all-time (so far) Online Translation tool is the IATE (InterActive Terminology for Europe) Search. The database is huge, and you can search in different professions/subject areas. It covers a LOT of languages, too.
- Linguee.com For context, this search tool is great. Not as reliable as #1, but if you need to see a term used a few times in a certain way to feel confident, this is your place.
- Google Patents Not only for patents, but for ANYTHING technical, if you need to see something in English, in context in order to feel comfortable about it, this can help. It also has a hit counter for your search term, which can be really helpful. For patents, it is great to review because “patent speak” is a subdialect of Legalese, and some phrases sound very weird if you are not familiar with this kind of writing.
- com dictionary A decent place to start for unfamiliar phrases in legal English.
- EUR-Lex Here you can look up summaries of law, and all kinds of helpful things. I use it mainly to help me determine whether I am citing a law correctly.
- EN-ES Legal Glossary Nice little glossary put out by the State of Connecticut (US) Courts. Gives the LATAM/US ES expressions for a lot of English Legal terms.
- ECLI – Excellent European Legal System Looker-Upper. I have mainly used it for looking up things about Spain, so I am not sure about how good it is for the other countries.
- Proz Open Dictionary If you are looking for consensus, this site can be very helpful. There are zillions of entries in my own language pairs, I can’t vouch for all pairs. Proz boards are also a great place to go for discussions of tricky terms and phrases.
- Canadian Multi Lang Dictionary This one does not have a TON of phrases, but it has a BUNCH of languages, so it is worth a look, especially if you are working to or from Canadian English.
- UK English Legalese I use this glossary a lot when I am translating a legal document to UK English, which can be quite different from US Legalese, to make sure I am using the correct terms.