© 2020 by Intermark Language Services Corporation, USA

  • Twitter App Icon
  • LinkedIn App Icon

January 31, 2015

verificarse - tener verificativo


The meaning of the verb verificar is obvious. It means "to verify." But when the reflexive form of the verb (verificarse) is used, it takes on a meaning that is anything but obvious. The reflexive verb verificarse is a synonym of tener...

January 30, 2015

Ellipsis in the sense of leaving the noun out of a phrase that consists of a noun plus an adjective is common in Spanish. For example, people refer to a tarjeta postal (post card) as simply una postal. Other common examples include referring to a tren expreso (express...

January 29, 2015

sentencia absolutoria, sentencia condenatoria


In our post on the legal Spanish of Chile, we saw two terms that are typical of criminal procedure (querella and denuncia) being used in a civil context. That was the tip that they must have a different meaning.


Two other t...

January 28, 2015


The verb "to sound" has an unexpected meaning in legal English, where it can mean "to be actionable (in)." Consider this sentence from a decision of the California Supreme Court (Santisas v. Goodin, 17 Cal. 4th 599 - Cal: Supreme Court 1998):


"The case did not present...

January 27, 2015

registro - registrar


Un registro is obviously a "register" (when you mean the book in which information is recorded) or a "registry" (when you mean the office where the records are kept), but it has a second meaning--one that is important in el derecho procesal penal (...

January 26, 2015

Article 549 of the Chilean Código de Procedimiento Civil (Code of Civil Procedure) provides for four figuras jurídicas (legal concepts) whose names are likely to confuse translators who are only familiar with the legal Spanish of countries other than Chile: querella d...

January 23, 2015


avocar, avocarse, abocarse, decurrir


The two verbs avocarse and abocarse are pronounced exactly alike, and for that reason Spanish speakers sometimes write one of them when they mean the other.


Abocarse is a verb used only in Latin America (not in Spain) and is a syn...

January 21, 2015

In legal English, once you use a term you must repeat that term throughout the document you are drafting. If you use a synonym instead, it may be taken to mean something other than the original term you used. In legal Spanish, the rule seems to be just the opposite. Wr...

January 21, 2015



In 2014 Spain's Princess Cristina, the Duchess of Palma, was imputada (formally named a suspect) in the corruption case surrounding her husband Iñaki Urdangarin. As such, she was summoned to hacer  declaración (testify) before the juez instructor (investigating judge...

January 19, 2015



Presentación looks like "presentation" and means just that in some contexts. Note, however, that a "presentation" at a conference is called a ponencia and the presenter is called a ponente.


In legal Spanish, presentación has two meanings. The first is "fi...

Please reload

Featured Posts

Our new Trilingual Swiss Law Dictionary

May 15, 2017

Please reload

Recent Posts