Legal translations

Did you know that ...

... many Germans rarely comprehend that the large sums of money which some companies have been sentenced to pay in the USA are due to the lack of warning notices on their products? ... more

That is because there is no equivalent to punitive damages or exemplary damages in Germany. Successful plaintiffs may be granted compensation for damages (in property or in assets) and/or compensation for pain and suffering.

... translating the term "warranty" into "Gewährleistung" may be right, but might it also be wrong? ... more

Depending on the legal situation in the English-speaking country, a vendor or supplier may be subject to warranty by law. In such cases, the German legal concept "Gewährleistung", as laid down in the German Civil Code (BGB), is very similar and this German term may be used. However, in some legal systems, warranty may refer to a different type of warranty that is granted on a voluntary basis and stipulated in the contract but not laid down in the country's statutes. In this case, this would rather match the German notion of the "Garantie".

The different legal systems, the lack of equivalent terms and misleading 1-to-1 translations pose special challenges when translating legal texts. Based upon my legal knowledge acquired at university and through participation in comparison of laws and legal translation classes both at university and during my further education, I have ensured the accurate translation of legal texts since 2007.

Examples of my previous translation projects on legal issues:

Employment law

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Law of obligations and contract law in general

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Commercial and company law

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Data protection law

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Insolvency and bankruptcy law

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Family law

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Other areas of law and text types

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Language Combinations

German > English
English > German

Publications (in German)

Behrendt, Bettina/Keller, Diane (2012): 'Englisch als Gerichtssprache', NJW 4/2012, 14. – (opinion on behalf of the legal translators' mailing list 'Juristische Übersetzer' on a bill to introduce English as an official language in German courts)

Behrendt, Bettina (2011): 'Ermächtigte Übersetzer und allgemein beeidigte Dolmetscher müssen Rechtssprachkenntnisse nachweisen', KammerReport Hamm 5/2011, S. 21f.