A Legal Terminology Workshop




English <> Spanish Criminal Law Terminology:

General Principles


April 9, 2016

San Diego, California



Workshop (full day): The substantive criminal law is divided into two sections: general principles and specific offenses. This workshop will focus on the former, where terms such as felony, mens rea, causation and accessory come from. Over 40 of the English-Spanish law dictionaries that have been published thus far contain disparate and erroneous translations for said terms and many others, which have unfortunately lead court interpreters and legal translators astray. In this bidirectional, English<>Spanish workshop, attendees will compare American criminal law terms stemming from common law and the Model Penal Code with their actual Spanish and Latin-American counterparts, identify their legal definitions and receive instructor recommendations to translations thereof as well as learn about translation cautions and pitfalls. Participants will also discuss the ethics involved in opting for one translation over another and the issues involved in acting as a cultural advisor in legal settings.


8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.         Check In / Registration


9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.       Comparative Criminal Law

·         Offenses; Conduct

·         Statutes, legal scholarship and terminology


11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.    Ethical Choices in Translating and Interpreting Substantive Criminal Law Terms, Part I


12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.      Lunch


1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.        Sp. < Eng. Translation Techniques, Exercises and Practice

·         Apply legal terminology with specific translation techniques



2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.        Eng. < Sp. Translation Techniques, Exercises and Practice

·         Apply legal terminology with specific translation techniques


4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.        Ethical Choices in Translating and Interpreting Substantive Criminal Law Terms, Part II





Sandro Tomasi has been a Spanish-English interpreter and translator since 1991. He is a New York State court interpreter and certified as a medical interpreter by the State of Washington. He is the author of An English-Spanish Dictionary of Criminal Law and Procedure (view sample), and a contributing author of Diccionario Jurídico, Law Dictionary, 2nd ed., by authors Cabanellas de las Cuevas and Hoague. Mr. Tomasi has trained interpreters and translators in conferences for professional associations such as ATA, NAJIT, CFI, CTPCBA and OMT, in workshops for various state courts in the U.S. and has taught interpreter courses for the City University of New York’s Continuing Education Programs at Hostos College and Queens College as well as an online legal terminology course for the New Mexico Center for Language Access.

Katty Kauffman is a Federally Certified Court Interpreter and member and of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC). She is a graduate of Pedro de Valdivia University School of Law in Santiago, Chile where she currently resides and holds a certificate in comparative Latin-American/U.S. Criminal and Civil Procedure from Washington College of Law at American University. In addition to working in the freelance market where she has interpreted at four Summits of the Americas among other major international events, she serves as translator, interpreter and consultant on interpreter qualification and selection policy to the Office of the Public Prosecutor of Chile. Since the roll out of the new criminal procedure in Chile, Ms. Kauffman has interpreted at numerous international conferences on comparative criminal procedural law and trained prosecutors, public defenders, law enforcement and judges in the use of interpreters in the courtroom. She has also put her skills to use at numerous trials and hearings under the new system in Chile.





Best Western Seven Seas

411 Hotel Circle South

San Diego, Cal. 92108

Tel: (619) 291–1300

Hotel Website





There is a restaurant in the hotel for a quick lunch. Please be advised that the hotel does not allow people to bring their own food. So if you do, be prepared to have a “picnic” outside of the premises.




There will be copies of Tomasi's Law Dictionary available at the workshop for $30. If you are interested in a copy or copies, please let us know by email to make a reservation and then bring a check or cash the day of the workshop. A receipt will be provided.




Click here for registration form to print, fill out and mail in (postmarked by 3/19/16).

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