Plain Language Trend in Legal Documentation

A new and one of a kind study was conducted at the University of Arkansas in 2017, and was aimed to know what kind of language people prefer when it comes to legal proceeding and legislations.

According to Paula Artura, this study included participants from US, Canada, New-Zealand, and Australia (the major countries where English is native language) and found that people emphasized the use of plain language and comprehensible vocabulary for legal documents.

One example of peoples’ preference towards plain language surfaced the internet in 2017 when US’s Chief Justice Neil Gorsuch started giving verdicts in simple language. And this trend was followed by Canadian legislators when they started to print legal documents in plain language in 2018.

Here are a few things which the study concluded in favour of easy wording and simple vocabulary:

  • Easy wording increases the rationality/logic behind the decisions and legal proceedings and makes sure people do not miss-interpret the difficult wording.
  • Plain language ensures that the convicted, his family, and the third party (i.e. public) understand each aspect of the trial. Since media is the main source to reach out to the public, it has to be straightforward. Easy language helps journalists ensure this.
  • Considering difficult and country-specific legal terms, clearly-defined language is inevitable for global readers to understand the law, making the country’s law comprehensible world-wide.

Vietnam is emerging as one of the favoured places for MNCs and business giants, which ultimately compels decision makers to do something about the illegible legal vocab. The experienced translators at TransTrust put emphasis on quality and comprehensibility. English to Vietnamese translation of legal documents is one of our prime (and most needed) services which plays its role in removing ambiguity from legal documents and increasing the transparency of trials.

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