Posted by: sbilingual | April 6, 2012

Spanish Translation to Common Courtroom Phrases

Glossary of Common Legal Terms from English to Spanish

Translating legal terms from English to Spanish can be a real challenge, especially when these include idioms or archaic expressions which do not have a direct equivalent in Spanish.

This article is a ´living´ translation of a list of common courtroom expressions provided to interpreters as a reference (without the Spanish equivalent) by several legal institutions such as the Nevada Supreme Court and the Virginia Supreme Court. The translations are my own and have not been approved by any official body. If you have any suggestions or you think you have a better alternative to my translation, please leave a comment and I will include it in the list.

Instructions and Caveats

– Everybody is welcome to use this list as a reference. I hope it can be useful to fellow court interpreters and translators. My only request is you please link directly to this article and do not copy and paste the list o another website. If you need a Spanish legal interpreter / translator or would like some more help please visit my website by clicking on the link in the author´s blurb below.

– When it is not clear if the English term refers to you (singular) or YOU (plural) the singular form will be included.

– When more than one term is possible (or I can´t make my mind up about which is best) I underline and separate the possible terms or expressions with a slash / forward slash.

– Translations which I am not completely happy and I think could be improved on have a (¿?) at the end. Suggestions are welcome.

– If I consider something to be implied in the English text or necessary to understand the translation I put it in brackets. E.g. You may step down. Puede bajar (del estrado).

Commands Often Used In the Courtroom

  • As jurors you are not to be swayed by sympathy.
  • Como miembros del jurado no se deben dejar llevar por el sentimentalismo / por la compasión.
  • Bail should be continued.
  • La fianza se debe continuar.
  • Call your next witness.
  • Llame a siguiente testigo.
  • Can you tell the jury … ?
  • Pudiera decirle al jurado … ?
  • Could you briefly describe … ?
  • Pudiera describir brevemente … ?
  • Could you describe the appearance of (a package, etc.)?
  • Pudiera describir la apariencia del (paquete, etc)
  • Counsel, lay a foundation.
  • Abogado, sienta / presente las bases.
  • Defendant will be remanded.
  • El acusado será puesto en prisión preventiva.
  • Don’t belabor the point counselor.
  • No insista / No se extienda demasiado / en el asunto abogado.
  • Don’t discuss the case.
  • No comente / hable sobre el caso
  • Don’t volunteer explanations of your answers.
  • No de / ofrezca explicaciones a sus respuestas.
  • I direct the jury to disregard the statement that …
  • El jurado deberá hacer caso omiso a la declaración…
  • Jurors may be excused.
  • Los miembros del jurado pueden marcharse.(¿?)
  • Keep your voice up.
  • Alce la voz / Hable mas fuerte
  • Keep your own counsel, don’t talk about the case.
  • Sea(n) discreto(s), no hable(n) sobre el caso.
  • Let’s have the charge conference.
  • Tengamos la junta previa a la condena.(¿?)
  • Make your application to Judge ( … ) .
  • Presente su solicitud al juez ( … )
  • May the record reflect …
  • Conste en acta que …
  • May I have it?
  • Me lo pudiera dar / Lo pudera conseguir / Pudiera obtenerlo
  • Members of the jury, you are instructed to disregard …
  • Miembros del jurado, se les instruye / se les ruega que hagan caso omiso /ignoren …
  • Mr. X will reduce the decibel level.
  • El Sr. X bajará la voz(¿?)
  • Please proceed.
  • Proceda por favor.
  • Please raise your right hand.
  • Alce la mano derecha por favor.
  • Please remain standing.
  • Permanezcan de pie / parados por favor.
  • Please resume your seat.
  • Vuelva a su asiento por favor.
  • Poll the jury.
  • Encueste al jurado (acerca de su voto).
  • Remember, you are under oath.
  • Recuerde que esta bajo juramento.
  • Rephrase the question.
  • Formule Exprese la pregunta de otro modo.
  • See if you recognize it.
  • Vea si lo reconoce.
  • Speak into the microphone.
  • Hable directamente al micrófono.
  • State your full name for the record.
  • Diga su nombre completo para que conste en acta.
  • The following prospective jurors are excused.
  • Los siguientes miembros potenciales del jurado podran marcharse. (¿?)
  • The witness will resume the stand.
  • El testigo volvera al estrado.
  • Use your common sense.
  • Use su sentido común.
  • Will the defendant please rise.
  • Se ruega que el acusado se ponga de pie(¿?)
  • Will the prospective jurors please stand.
  • Se ruega que los posibles miembros del jurado se pongan de pie.
  • Will the people in the well of the courtroom please stand.
  • Se ruega que las personas en la sala se pongan de pie.
  • Will the record reflect that the witness has identified the defendant.
  • Conste en acta que el testigo identificó / reconoció al acusado.
  • Will you call the first (next) case, Mr. (X)?
  • Llame / Presente el primer (siguiente) caso, Sr. (X)
  • Would you raise your right hand?
  • Pudiera alzar la mano derecha?
  • Would you indicate … ?
  • Pudiera indicar … ?
  • Would you describe … ?
  • Pudiera describir … ?
  • Would you point (someone) out?
  • Pudiera identificar / señalar (refiriendose a una persona) a … ?
  • Would you look at … ?
  • Pudiera dirigir su atención / mirar a … ?
  • Would you state for the record … ?
  • Pudiera declarar, para que conste en acta, … ?
  • Would you label that as (car, building, etc.)?
  • Lo (un automóvil, edificio, etc.) describiria como … ?
  • Would you mark that with an “x”?
  • Pudiera marcarlo con una “x”?
  • You are excused.
  • Puede marcharse (¿?)
  • You can proceed, Mr. (X).
  • Proceda Sr. (X)
  • You can resume your seat.
  • Puede volver a su asiento.
  • You can answer the question.
  • Puede responder a la pregunta.
  • You have exhausted that subject, please move on.
  • Ya se explayó suficientemente sobre ese tema, continue por favor.(¿?)
  • You may answer the question.
  • Puede responder a la pregunta.
  • You may be seated.
  • Puede sentarse / Tome asiento.
  • You may cross-examine, counsel.
  • Puede proceder al contrainterrogatorio, abogado.
  • You may inquire, Mr. X.
  • Puede indagar / preguntar / informarse sobre, Sr. X.
  • You may proceed.
  • Puede proceder / Proceda.
  • You may step down.
  • Puede bajar (del estrado).

To find out how Bilingual Resources Group can support your interpretation, translation and bilingual staffing needs, please call 504-253-0364 or visit www.bilingualcare.com.

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