61 votes
Accepted

If Congress passed a bill written in a language other than English, would it be valid?

It would indeed be valid and legally enforceable. The Constitution places no limits on what languages bills must be written in. The Constitution specifically allows each house of Congress to make its ...
reirab's user avatar
  • 2,953
48 votes

Is "legalese" a thing in languages other than English?

Germany definitely has a legal jargon that is sufficiently distinct from standard German that a foreigner with decent skill in standard German will have trouble understanding what a legal text ...
quarague's user avatar
  • 3,328
40 votes

If Congress passed a bill written in a language other than English, would it be valid?

Yes The United States does not have an official language.
Dale M's user avatar
  • 204k
32 votes

Is "legalese" a thing in languages other than English?

In france, legal texts are written in "everyday" French, although the legal vocabulary may not be known to non-specialists. However, for some reason (tradition, I guess), court judgements ...
breversa's user avatar
  • 445
31 votes

What does it mean to "hold and enjoy" an office?

The Constitution was written hundreds of years ago. At the time, "enjoy" more widely had the meaning "To have the use or benefit of, have for one's lot (something which affords pleasure,...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
29 votes

What effect does bad English have on warnings / disclaimers?

Law does not have an all-encompassing syntax and structure that, if not followed, makes it null and void. If a reasonable person could determine that (in the example of the sign you have) you are ...
Ron Beyer's user avatar
  • 9,235
28 votes

What does it mean to "hold and enjoy" an office?

The Sixth Amendment begins: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, ... It does not mean that being tried for crime is fun, it means that ...
David Siegel's user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

Is it legal for employers to hire only native speakers?

Employment discrimination based on the initial or native language of a prospective employee is probably not lawful under US federal law. Requiring the English-language skills actually needed for a ...
David Siegel's user avatar
24 votes

Is "legalese" a thing in languages other than English?

The Islamic legal system, Shari`ah, is similar to common law in having special legal terms. For instance, a legal duty may be farīḍah, mustaḥabb, mubāḥ, makrūh or ḥarām. Legal authorities ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
23 votes

What effect does bad English have on warnings / disclaimers?

It's only a problem if it's ambiguous or unclear. Courts contend with grammatical mistakes and typos when interpreting text all the time, and have ways of determining what they mean—in fact, ...
Ryan M's user avatar
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21 votes
Accepted

How does the law deal with translating inherently ambiguous writing systems?

canada Courts will rely on expert evidence for translations The evidence can be presented, but parties seeking a particular interpretation would present expert opinion evidence on the issue. It would ...
Jen's user avatar
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17 votes
Accepted

What do lawyers mean when they say somebody said something 'in terms'?

The report said clearly and directly that procedures must be improved at once, but may not have used the exact words "procedures must be improved at once". In a legal context, the precise ...
GIgen's user avatar
  • 271
17 votes

Is "legalese" a thing in languages other than English?

A single data point, Bulgarian: Like in English, but more diverse. In addition to the normal Bulgarian lexical content and grammar, legal text also contain: Archaic Bulgarian words in places where a ...
fraxinus's user avatar
  • 1,299
16 votes
Accepted

Does a grammatical error in a license annul the statement?

company does not warrant that use of the Software will operate uninterrupted or error free. A court will not find that statement to be ambiguous or contradictory. Mere grammatical differences will ...
BlueDogRanch's user avatar
  • 18.8k
16 votes

Is "legalese" a thing in languages other than English?

Sweden has its own version of it, called myndighetssvenska (approx. "authority Swedish"), but in recent years, the government has been actively encouraging more ordinary Swedish in ...
Tengil's user avatar
  • 161
15 votes

Is there any (which?) English speaking jurisdiction that uses a civil (continental) law system?

Because of its French roots, Louisiana uses civil law.
bdb484's user avatar
  • 58.2k
15 votes

In what language(s) are laws written in Puerto Rico?

According to Wikipedia: Puerto Rico['s]... legal system operates primarily in... Spanish. However, because the U.S. federal government operates primarily in English, the result is that Puerto Rican ...
Someone's user avatar
  • 16.4k
14 votes
Accepted

What does it mean to "hold and enjoy" an office?

It is simply redundant for all practical purposes. There may have been a shade of meaning to it back in the 18th century (along the lines of "hold or perform" in contemporary English). But ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 206k
14 votes

If Congress passed a bill written in a language other than English, would it be valid?

Under Article VI of the Constitution, treaties have the force of law, and the United States has sometimes ratified treaties in languages other than English. For example, the treaty signed with Morocco ...
Davislor's user avatar
  • 2,874
14 votes

Is "legalese" a thing in languages other than English?

Speaking for all countries/languages: yes. What you call "legalese" is just the - as professionals in Computer Science would call it - domain-specific language of law professionals. Many, ...
AnoE's user avatar
  • 666
14 votes

How does the law deal with translating inherently ambiguous writing systems?

Context matters For example, I give you the English word fuck One of the most interesting words in the English language today is the word ‘fuck’. It is one magical word: just by its sound it can ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 204k
12 votes
Accepted

Is it legal to swear at school?

The First Amendment is absolutely relevant to the question (in a public school which is subject to the First Amendment, because it is a governmental entity), although it isn't the end of the story. ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 206k
12 votes

Is it legal for employers to hire only native speakers?

This is a potentially litigatable matter under US employment law, where the outcome would hinge on what a "native speaker" is. One interpretation – a legally discriminatory one – of "...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
12 votes

Is "legalese" a thing in languages other than English?

In Italy, the concept is described by an Italian word with the exact same spelling: https://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/tag/legalese/ The word is pronounced according italian orthographic rule, and ...
pinpon's user avatar
  • 221
11 votes

What effect does bad English have on warnings / disclaimers?

I would have liked to comment on this, but not enough reputation... I assure you that those statements are vetted by highly paid lawyers I think it's a clash of culture. The OP's view on these signs ...
Wandering Ex-Academic's user avatar
11 votes

What does "sign it voluntarily as my own free act" mean?

The "Severance Agreement" is a contract between the company and you. It spells out what the company will do and probably what they expect you to do going forward. Simple enough. The ...
jwh20's user avatar
  • 3,496
9 votes

Are exercises in language books copyrighted?

Details depend on the juristiction. For that, consult a lawyer if you plan to publish your app anywhere. But generally, even simple texts from exercises can be covered by copyright. Compare song ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 16.4k
9 votes

Is "legalese" a thing in languages other than English?

As a student in China, I once read one of China's law codes in the original Chinese. I wouldn't call the language used in that document "legalese"; it was standard, modern Mandarin, but ...
Alex D's user avatar
  • 191

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