Studying legal translation? These free resources can help

Below is a compilation of useful links to various glossaries and materials pertaining to legal translation. If you’re a translation student or someone who has just started out in the field, I hope that this list will be of some use. I also want to add that there are many legal databases and resources out there that require subscriptions, and I think many of them are worth the fees. Nevertheless, if you’ve never worked in the legal sector before or you’re just familiarising yourself with legal translation, it’s much better to get an introduction to the field with free resources like these first.

1) Handbooks by the European Judicial Training Network:

These handbooks cover a range of language-related matters and a lot of the material is used for linguistic training within the EJTN.

2) Evershed’s legal drafting guide:

This document introduces basic drafting principles. You’ll want to understand the relationship between language and the law if you intend to tackle legal texts, so the Evershed’s guide is a great introduction.

3) The Law Society’s legal glossary:

A straightforward glossary that can help you to get to grips with basic definitions.

4) Latin law term’s from

You’re bound to come across Latin terms when translating legal texts and you’ll need to look them up if you’re not familiar with their usage in legal contexts.

5) The Plain English Campaign’s free guides on legal and financial terminology.

6) EUR-Lex for agreements, acts and various legal publications:

A lot of the content here is available in most EU languages and a multilingual display feature is available, so you can view texts in your source and target languages side by side.

7) Language-specific resources from the EU’s Terminology Coordination Unit.

8) IATE:

This is an extremely popular terminology database (covers legal terminology).