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Translating the names of Spanish laws to English
Thread poster: Jorge Barriuso
Jorge Barriuso
Local time: 11:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
Oct 24, 2008

This topic has been touched on here:

http://www.proz.com/topic/66536

And I usually leave the proper names of laws in italics with a translation in brackets, to facilitate looking up the specific law if the target audience so chooses. However, this often creates a very cluttered document as the naming conventions for Spanish laws lead to very long names. For instance a typical law would be (with translation in brackets):

Ley 42/2007, de 13 de diciembre, del Patrimonio Natural y de la Biodiversidad [Law 42/2007, December 13, on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity]

Which is fine, except in certain documents several different laws are referred to in the same paragraph and the same law may be repeated (in its entirety) several times throughout the text. At some point the document becomes difficult to read with so many long names followed by long bracketed translations.

I am looking for strategies to cut down on the clutter. Should I translate the law only the first time it appears in a document (even if it is a long document), or perhaps the first time it appears in a section? Should I only leave the first part of the name in Spanish and translate the rest:

Ley 42/2007 [Law 42/2007], December 13, on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity

What strategies do/would you employ?

ps) The same question for naming conventions of the Boletín Official de Estado:

e.g., Boletín Oficial del Estado, nº 299, de 14 de diciembre de 2007 [Official Spanish Gazette, #299, December 14, 2007]

Thank you!

[Edited at 2008-10-24 18:16]

[Edited at 2008-10-24 22:37]


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 11:28
English to Czech
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Laws Oct 25, 2008

First of all, I would have a look at the websites of the respective Ministries; perhaps they have their own official translations you might use without leaving the original, Spanish names in your translation.

If not, then I would probably translate the laws in the text and attach an Annex with a list of original names of all the individual Acts.

Another alternative is using footnotes.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 11:28
English to Hungarian
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and Oct 25, 2008

...and abbreviations if particular laws are referenced numerous times. Spanish has its own traditions, (Ley de Enjuiciamento Criminal is LECrim) which you could use in the original Spanish form, or, perhaps better, create in English. Then you only have to reproduce the full name once.

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Jorge Barriuso
Local time: 11:28
English to Spanish
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TOPIC STARTER
thank you Oct 25, 2008

Thank you for your answers.

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Ian Jones  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:28
Member
German to English
+ ...
The other way round Oct 26, 2008

I would, perhaps, do it the other way round. Translate the law name and use it in your text. Put the original law name in brackets after the translation the first time only. When you repeat the law, do so in English without the original. The whole point of translating is to provide a version of a text for people who don't understand the language of the original. If you continually repeat the name of the law in the original language, it will unnecessarily clutter up the text and lead to confusion. The important thing is for your reader to understand. If they don't speak the source language, they are unlikely to seek out the original law or, for instance, the Spanish Official Gazette.

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xxxjacana54  Identity Verified
Uruguay
English to Spanish
+ ...
you may want to look at the EU style guide/abbreviations Oct 26, 2008

Hola Jorge,

This link might be worth reading:

http://publications.europa.eu/code/en/en-130403.htm

I agree with the colleague who points out that some laws in Spain very often referred to by their abbreviations: LEC, LECrim, LOPJ, LPH. They are cited this way so often that this has become their public name, which is used everywhere. IMHO I would think twice before translating these abbreviations. As Stanislav says, you can attach a translator's note.

saludos,

Lucía


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Jorge Barriuso
Local time: 11:28
English to Spanish
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TOPIC STARTER
Interesting ideas Oct 26, 2008

Thank you everybody for your interesting ideas.

Muchas gracias!


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Jorge Barriuso
Local time: 11:28
English to Spanish
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TOPIC STARTER
By the way Oct 26, 2008

In official documents would you also translate the proper names of commissions and other bodies and put the original in brackets or vice versa? Up until now, I've always maintained the original language name for non-international institutions with a translation or description in brackets the first time it appears and then use the Spanish language name if it is repeated throughout the text.

e.g.

Dirección General de Ordenación del TerritorioI [Directorate General of Territorial Planning]

Comisión Mixta de Gestión de los Parques Nacionales de Canarias [Canarian National Parks Joint Management Commission]


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