For interpreters

Legal glossaries

Hmong legal glossary

Hmong legal glossary Adobe PDF

This is believed to be the first Hmong-English legal glossary in the United States. It defines more than 800 common court terms and suggests equivalent White Hmong phrases for many of them. We hope the glossary will be useful to the courts, law enforcement, social services, researchers, teachers, and state government as a resource for interpreting legal proceedings, translating forms, and training interpreters.

The glossary has been translated into White Hmong as the predominant dialect in America and the one most commonly used in court. We recognize that there may be other acceptable equivalent terms available from Green/Blue Hmong, Lao, and regional dialects.

The glossary is the property of the Wisconsin Director of State Courts. It may be downloaded from this website and reproduced only for purposes of interpreting, translating, research and teaching. It may not be reproduced for sale. A limited number of printed copies are available from the Wisconsin Court Interpreting Program, 110 East Main Street Suite 410, Madison WI 53703, 608-266-3121. Copies are also available from the State Bar of Wisconsin by contacting Kris Wenzel, outreach coordinator, (608) 257-3838.

We are happy to take suggestions and corrections on the terminology used in this glossary. Please forward specific suggestions to Marcia Vandercook. For more information about the glossary project, contact Marcia Vandercook or Carmel Capati at (608) 266-3121.

Three Hmong interpreters with a strong background in court work provided translating and editing for the glossary. They are: PaDer Lilian Lawbeerjour (Language Solutions, Milwaukee); Kazoua Yang (Ramsey County Interpreter Coordinator, St. Paul); and Ying Lee Xiong (Urgent Translations, Wausau). The glossary grows out of a collaboration of the Wisconsin courts, the Minnesota Translation Lab (Dr. Laurence Bogoslaw, Director), the Marathon County Bar Association Southeast Asian Outreach Committee, and contributors throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. The project has been funded by grants from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (Bureau of Migrant, Refugee, and Labor Services) and the State Bar of Wisconsin (Local Bar Grant Competition). We thank everyone for their valuable contributions.

Back to interpreter legal glossaries