Episode 3: Q&A【前編】




Having received this question I did have a very good think about this, and although it's difficult...it's difficult to talk about British English and American English in the context of law without separating out the language from the judicial system. So without trying to get very technical about this, when you're talking about the difference in English when it comes to the legal system you are talking about that legal system.


There is no legal English to speak of...well there is legalese, there is such a word.


So what I was going to say was, just as an example, like the British civil litigation system underwent a reform called the Woolf reform in recent times whereby that's basically a movement where we thought, okay, we're going to make the legal system a lot more accessible to everyone including lay people, and let's try to simplify all the legal jargon that have been used by the legal profession to date, and since that reform, basically a lot of the archaic legal jargon has been simplified, now whether that is being used as much as it should be in practice is a totally different story.


[A claimant] is a lot more in line with the normal language that we use in daily life, as opposed to referring to them as the plaintiff, which is the term we used to use. Now we do still use that, and we probably shouldn't, but generally we refer to a person who brings a claim as the claimant; I think in America, or in the American legal system, the old legal speak is still much more in use, so they might still refer to the plaintiff. Or we have this process in litigation called the disclosure system, which is where the parties involved in a dispute disclose to each other documents that are relevant to the dispute, and we used to refer to that as the discovery process before this reform...

(昔使われていた)Plaintiffよりclaimantという方が普段使う言葉に近い。(本当はいけないけど)実際にはまだplaintiffも使うけど、全体的にはクレームする人のことはclaimantと呼ぶことになっている。アメリカでは、アメリカの司法制度では、古い方の言葉がまだ一般的に使われていると思う。あと訴訟ではdisclosure systemというものがあって、法的争いの関係者がそれに関する書類を互いに開示し合うものなんだけど、改革前はそれをdiscovery processと呼んでいた。

Okay, so it's quite misleading?


Well it's not...people in the profession understand why it's called the discovery system because you discover the core of dispute by disclosing these documents, but what you're doing is disclosing documents so basically we refer to it as the disclosure process. In America I think it's still very much referred to as the discovery system, er, the discovery procedure.

語弊というか、業界の人はなぜdiscovery systemというのかは知ってるよ。書類を開示して論争の核部分を探ろう(discover)っていうことだから。でもやってることは書類の開示なわけで、だからこれはdisclosure(開示)プロセスというの。アメリカではまだdiscovery systemとかdiscovery procedureって言ってる。

So there might...it might be said that there's been a bit of a reversal then...


xxx, ("the claimant")...define and thereafter that person is "the claimant".


The defendant was obliged to provide protective clothing. "The defendant was obligated to do something". Now I don't think I've ever said obligated in my life. I completely understand what they mean by it, and actually, there is a bit of an overlap, some people say obligated here as well, but I think very rarely. We have phrases like "much obliged" you know, we don't use that very often...

被告には防護服を支給する義務があった。obligateって言葉、今までに使ったことないかも。意味は分かるし、イギリスでも使う人はいるから多少のオーバーラップはあるけど、すごく稀だと思う。"much obliged"とかいうフレーズはあるけどあまり使わないし。

But you do oblige someone, or you are obliged to do something.

I work in editing legal content so there is a little bit of an overlap here...just even in everyday life you don't spell judgment with an 'e'...you can,

People do...

...it's not a mistake, but it is thought of as more English to spell it without an 'e'. So just coming from an editing background, or just in terms of best practice, in editing not in legal work...


It was bluebell time in Kent...


In literature and things, yes, but you just don't want to alienate anybody. In layman's terms.


Lasting powers of attorney, you talk about the powers of attorney.

...et al. <<及びその他>>

Chomsky posits, Chomsky endorses, Chomsky's school of thought...

In relation to, pertaining to, with reference to...

Don't waffle!


Say what you're going to say, say it, then say what you've just said.

Let's get this straight. I think we gave off the impression that we're...


Dissing! Our American counterparts!

We were just trying to highlight the differences. I do object to the under-representation of British English, but at the same time, I am aware that it's a true representation of the true numbers of people who actually speak British English outside of Britain.


We certainly didn't mean that at all, we love America, if you're from there...you guys rock, thanks for giving us amazing TV shows and whatever else...I just think British English is not as known, it receives very little exposure outside of Britain (and only in) very specific channels...so I thought it would be interesting to highlight the likes and where we differ.

To be absolutely honest, of course American English is going to feature much more than British English in Japan given the history. Of course it would. Equally, British English might be more familiar in China because of Hong Kong. It's all the history isn't it, you can't possibly discount the effects of historical relations.

There are historical factors.


Braid, plait. <<三つ編み、編み込み>>

Can I go to the toilet? May I go to the toilet? (May Iの方が許可を求めるニュアンスになります)

Cut the faff

Tidy up (pack up)/Lie-in <<片付ける&朝寝する>>

Skip/skive/bunk off <<サボる>>

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