A British or U.S. lawyer looking up the word “decree” might want to know the difference between a “decree in equity” and a “judgment at common law” (something relevant only to the common law system). Lawyers who are non-native speakers of English will most often want to learn other things like how to use the word in a sentence, how to pronounce the word or what common mistakes to avoid. They need a learner’s dictionary of law.
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TransLegal’s Law Dictionary is the product of thousands of hours of ongoing research carried out by an expert team of lawyer-linguists.
Every term included in TransLegal’s Law Dictionary has been thoroughly researched to ensure the definitions reflect current usage. This research was carried out with the aid of numerous corpora (collections of texts) and legal documents from a wide range of sources. Each definition has been graded so that it can be understood by learners with a Council of Europe CEFR B1-B2 level of English. Where more complex language has been unavoidable in the definitions, this language has been defined in parentheses.
Corpora were also used in the research carried out for the phrase bank entries in the full version of the dictionary to provide a selection of examples of contemporary usage together with common collocations (words that typically appear next to or near other words e.g. to breach a contract, a proprietary interest etc). Corpora, legal texts and authoritative guides to contemporary usage were referred to when developing the additional notes and common errors sections, together with examples and illustrations collected during TransLegal’s over 20 years of experience in training thousands of lawyers.
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