Examples of “verdedigbaar” mistranslations and how to repair them

The unclear use of a verdedigbaar mistranslation arises from time to time in the English writing of Dutch lawyers. In an earlier post, we looked at this problem in detail. Here we continue by looking at a few examples of mistranslations of verdedigbaar and how to repair them. First example (unclear whether “verdedigbaar” meant as… Read more

Avoiding “arguable”

“Arguable” is one of those strange and unclear English words that not only have two different meanings, but two meanings that are the opposite of each other. (Other such words include “sanction”, “literally” and “oversight”. ) Example of the unclear use of “arguable” The following sentence could have two different interpretations:  ? It is arguable that… Read more

“Fiscal” does not mean “fiscaal”

One of the English legal words that Dutch professionals tend to overuse and misuse is “fiscal”. Fiscaal is not the same as “fiscal”. “Fiscal” is a “false friend” The Dutch word fiscaal often refers to “tax”. The English equivalent “fiscal” tends to be incorrectly used as the English equivalent. However, English speakers do not use… Read more

Translating “onverminderd”

How should onverminderd artikel X be translated into English? This is a tricky translation point, perhaps one of the trickiest. How is onverminderd artikel X used in legal Dutch? This is surprisingly difficult to ascertain. Despite its ubiquity, there appears to be no authoritative or universally applicable definition. Indeed, the meaning seems to depend on the… Read more

Signing off in legal correspondence

We recommend formality in legal correspondence. However, it’s getting increasingly difficult to do this when English-speaking lawyers themselves seem more and more to be resorting to informality, especially in e-mails. Basic guideline One of the teaching points is to end correspondence with “Yours sincerely” or a similar phrase when writing to someone by name. “Yours… Read more