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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary and Indispensable Resource, August 5, 2012
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This review is from: Spanish-English Dictionary of Law and Business, 2nd edition (Paperback)
I own a language company and work as a full-time professional linguist and have translated legal texts from Spanish to English for many years. The need for a dependable, up-to-date resource for the huge variations in legal terminology extant in Latin America and Spain is very pressing for both the accuracy of translations such as what I do and for members of the legal profession who must deal with the legal systems of the nineteen Spanish-speaking countries of the world.

The breadth and inclusiveness of this dictionary is extraordinary. It is totally current, having been just released in the summer of 2012, taking into account the many changes to legal codes all over the Spanish-speaking world since the year 2000.

Three things differentiate this book from other dictionaries I have encountered. First is its rich content. The terms are presented in their most common usages but goes a step beyond to include many far less common phrases. It becomes clear how the nuances change from one phrase to the other and how important it is to see these words in actual use rather than simply listing them in the typical dictionary setting.

Second is its wonderful specification of which countries use which terms. Argentina's legal terms may be quite different from Ecuador's or Mexico's, and the words themselves may have very different meanings. Accidentally applying the meaning from one country to the text from another can spell trouble if one is not careful.

And third, the author takes the time to explain in plain English what some of these terms and phrases mean, especially where the Spanish legal system differs from the one in the U.S. or Britain, and the translator or legal professional must be acutely aware of these differences.

If I had one criticism to make, it is that it is unavailable in electronic form, at least at this time. Having an online or computerized format to access at any time and in any place would be a huge boon. But until then, I will take the book gladly.

I can honestly say that this is one of the best reference investments I have ever made. Anyone who deals with Spanish language legal terms should absolutely own a copy of this exceptional resource. It is a gem of a book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference with unique approach, July 3, 2012
This review is from: Spanish-English Dictionary of Law and Business, 2nd edition (Paperback)
Tom West's updated Spanish-English Dictionary of Law and Business is exactly what I need for legal and business translations. I can already see it will be a key reference for the work I do, and it fills a need for natural English renditions of complex Spanish legal terms along with critical contextual information such as the country or countries where the term is used and the area of law of business to which it applies. It is a vastly expanded and improved version of what was already my go-to reference for Spanish legal translation. I have enjoyed just thumbing through it and finding new concepts and expressions. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable for Spanish>English legal translators, October 3, 2012
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This review is from: Spanish-English Dictionary of Law and Business, 2nd edition (Paperback)
Just what we've been waiting for! Translators of legal and business documents from Spanish into US English have depended on the first edition of Mr. West's dictionary since 1999, when his dictionary became our go-to-first reference. Mr. West, lexicographer and attorney, is an active member of the American Translators Association (ex-president, in fact) and presents many educational seminars at the annual conference and as webinars.

Now we have a stand-alone legal reference. The following features are the same or better in the new edition:
Spanish terms not found in other (legal) dictionaries (This was the sole purpose of the first edition.)
English translations specific to the US legal system and usage
Identification of country of origin/use (addition of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic)
Explanations of terms
Latin legal terms
Legal bibliography

Differences between the two editions:
Purpose: Not just terms not found elsewhere, but comprehensiveness
Synonyms given, with distinctions
Area of law indicated
References to specific articles of statutes and codes
Updated information on new laws and names of jurisdictions
More terms: estimated 18,000 vs 13,000
More pages: 515 vs 319
Smaller font size
Paperback vs hard-cover
Abbreviations included in the alphabetized entries vs a separate list
No more English to Spanish section
No more list of comma vs decimal countries

A comparison of an entry that appears in both editions:
1. First edition
gastos judiciales court costs
2. Second edition
gastos judiciales court costs (SYN) litis expensas Uru, costas, costas judiciales, costas procesales, gastos procesales, gastos causídicos
[Note the addition of synonyms, with the country of use for one of them indicated in italics. Useful information for translators into Spanish.]

Example of an entry not in the first edition, the legal meaning of a standard term:
arrepentirse [in bold]
to withdraw [English translation in smaller font, bold and italics]
(from a transaction) [context indicated in parentheses and italics]
<Las partes denuncian irrevocablemente al derecho de arrepentirse. The parties irrevocably waive the right to withdraw from the transaction.> [Example of use in context with translation]
(SYN) retractarse [In bold, synonym(s) given]

An example of explanation by way of definition, given after the translation:
gerente manager (DEF) In countries where the board of directors is called the "directorio" (Arg, Bol, Chi, Par, Per and Uru) or the "junta directiva" (Col, Cos, Nic, Pan, Sal, Ven), the Spanish word "director" means "director" in the sense of "member of the board of directors." Managers tend to be called "gerentes" in these countries. In countries where the board of directors is called "consejo de administracíón" (Esp, Mex), the Spanish word "director" means "manager," and directors in the sense of board members are called "consejeros" (Mex) or "administradores" (Esp).

This same entry serves to illustrate the fine distinctions indicated for usage in the different countries.

The distinctions among different types of contracts are most helpful. See contrato de mediación, contrato gratuito and contrato unilateral, for examples.

There was one term I didn't find in either edition, perhaps because it can be found in a general dictionary such as Harper Collin's Lexibase (2002): atestación, meaning attestation or deposition.

From a lexicographical point of view, the formatting of both editions is outstanding for clarity and consistency, a difficult task for the second edition, given the smaller print required to keep the dictionary within a reasonable size.

The dictionary was carefully proofread. The only typo I found was in the Preface on page 5:
"...repetition of terms in mandatory in legal English..." instead of "...repetition of terms is mandatory in legal English..."

Bottom line:
Congratulations on all counts to Mr. West!
If you are a translator of legal documents from Spanish to English, you must have this dictionary. And, good news! It costs only $50 from Amazon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful tool, February 12, 2014
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This review is from: Spanish-English Dictionary of Law and Business, 2nd edition (Paperback)
A great resource for professional translators, includes specific terms used in many Latin American countries. It is a new updated edition
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential SP-EN legal dictionary, October 14, 2013
This review is from: Spanish-English Dictionary of Law and Business, 2nd edition (Paperback)
There are lots of SP-EN law and business dictionaries out there, some of which are better than others, but the new, much-expanded edition of West's dictionary has quickly become my first-choice, go-to dictionary for translating Spanish legal texts. The author's background as a lawyer and a working translator is apparent from the simple, logical, consistent and extremely useful organization of the entries. Phrases are listed in full, with full translations, each with its own sub-entry, not just a key word followed by lots of dashes and obscure abbreviations. All but the simplest terms are followed by definitions (marked DEF), labeled by country names if a term means one thing in Spain and something else altogether in Venezuela, an explanation of the term in clear English that is as long as it needs to be, plus synonyms in Spanish (marked SYN). Where necessary, the definitions also include distinctions between related and easily confused terms and brief explanations of the legal differences between them. Even if you already own the 1st Edition, you need this one. A model of what a legal dictionary should be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed, February 13, 2013
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This review is from: Spanish-English Dictionary of Law and Business, 2nd edition (Paperback)
I just wish I had received a few days earlier :) [no fault of Amazon's, this was the forwarder who was closed for summer holidays] as I was doing a legal translation and it would have come in so handy! It seems to be just what I was looking for! A nice feature, is that it has entries for terms used in different countries of the Americas. I have not had the opportunity to actually put it to use yet, but just by looking through it, it promises to be a great help in my profession as a legal translator, saving me from time-consuming web searches. My recommendation is that if you are thinking to buy it, go ahead, it's money well spent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice useful product, May 26, 2014
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This review is from: Spanish-English Dictionary of Law and Business, 2nd edition (Paperback)
GREAT dictionary, useful and accurate for what I need and REALLY great publisher. One of the best publishers of English-Spanish legal dictionaries!! :D
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable Spanish>English legal translation tool, May 14, 2014
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This review is from: Spanish-English Dictionary of Law and Business, 2nd edition (Paperback)
This dictionary is an essential tool for translators of legal and business documents. Although it is not exhaustive, it contains terms I have not found elsewhere and many of the entries contain helpful explanations that could not be found without extensive research and a keen understanding of the subject matter. It is Spanish into English only.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's worth it, January 1, 2014
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This review is from: Spanish-English Dictionary of Law and Business, 2nd edition (Paperback)
Like any other bilingual legal dictionary, Thomas West's work is not perfect because there are many terms that you will not find when looking them up. On the other hand, it gives you specific translations for what you are looking for (which is not the case of other dictionaries) and sometimes it even gives you specific examples in which that word has a different translation because of the context; you may also find explanations of certain legal terms. Yet another bad point is that it does not provide an English-Spanish side. All in all it is a pretty good dictionary and it is worth buying it; it has helped me in several occasions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, October 2, 2014
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This review is from: Spanish-English Dictionary of Law and Business, 2nd edition (Paperback)
Very informative
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Spanish-English Dictionary of Law and Business, 2nd edition
Spanish-English Dictionary of Law and Business, 2nd edition by Thomas L. West (Paperback - June 21, 2012)
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