Archive for the ‘Intersecting Law and Languages Blog’ Category

How to Get Notarizations Done if You Don’t Speak English

Posted on: December 23rd, 2020 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

In a country as multicultural and diverse as Canada, many people residing in Canada speak English and as a second language. Some of these individuals may understand English, but have difficulty communicating their thoughts in English themselves. This can create a serious barrier to receiving notarial services when the notary public in question and the prospective client cannot communicate.

Pursuant to the Law Society of Ontario’s Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer (all the notaries public on Downtown Notary’s roster are licensed and insured lawyers in Ontario), has an obligation to ascertain that their client has the capacity to provide instructions. This proves impossible where the notary public and their client cannot communicate in the same language.

It is not sufficient for a client to bring along a friend or family member to interpret for them for several reasons. Firstly, it is impossible to ascertain the quality of the interpretation when the friend or family member volunteers to casually interpret in a serious setting, such as when legal services are being sought. Secondly, while an accredited interpreter has the requisite training and credentials, and is conflict free as they have no personal interest in the matter at hand, a family member or friend could, either purposely or innocently,

In order to ensure that a client who prefers to speak in a language other than English can obtain notarization services, there are two options:

  1. The prospective client retains the services of a Notary Public that can communicate competently and directly with the prospective client in the prospective client’s language of choice;


  2. The prospective client retains the services of an accredited interpreter who can provide interpretation, in -person or by phone, during the notarization appointment.  Accredited interpreters in Ontario are listed on the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario’s (“ATIO”) website, and can also be retained via local multicultural councils. A list of multicultural councils operating in Ontario can be found on the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (“OCASI) website.

Downtown Notary is pleased to have a number of notaries public as part of the Downtown Notary roster who can communicate with client and notarize documents in a variety of languages, including Spanish, Farsi, French and Mandarin Chinese.

We offer a one-stop shop for clients with personal matters and business in a variety of countries by providing official document translations in Spanish and French, certified translations, notarized translations, notarizations, authentication, legalization and drafting of documents required by embassies and consulates, such as affidavits.

To book an appointment with a notary public who can assist you in the language of your choice, go the Downtown Notary website at and click on Book An Appointment.

This blog post was prepared by Suzanne E. Deliscar, Lawyer-Linguist, Downtown Notary Guelph and Brampton. This blog post has also been cross-posted on the Intersecting Law and Languages Blog which can be found at


Posted on: September 25th, 2020 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar will present a free ‘Ask the Lawyer’ day program for the Caledon Public Library.

On Nov. 19, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. — 2:30 p.m., Deliscar, founder of Deliscar Professional Corporation, will answer any legal questions.   If you have specific questions you would like answered, please send them to with the subject “Ask the Lawyer”.

This free event is hosted online by the Caledon Public Library, Albion-Bolton Branch.

For more information and to register, click here.


Posted on: September 24th, 2020 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar will present a free ‘Ask the Lawyer’ day program to explore family law in Ontario.

On Oct. 15, 2020 from 1:00 p.m.— 2:30 p.m., Deliscar, founder of Deliscar Professional Corporation, will discuss family law in Ontario during this virtual program.  If you have specific questions you would like answered, please send them with the subject “family law question”.

This free event is hosted online by the Caledon Public Library, Albion-Bolton Branch.

For more information and to register, click here.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response from Deliscar Professional Corporation

Posted on: March 17th, 2020 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

Deliscar Professional Corporation is committed to our clients’ health and safety in light of the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), while continuing to provide legal and language services to our clients.

In light of the steps taken by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, the City of Guelph and the City of Brampton, as well as the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, and the Ontario Court of Justice, the following changes to our operations are effective immediately until April 5, 2020:

1. Family Litigation and Civil Litigation Matters

As of today, March 17, 2020, both the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice have suspended regular operations by adjourning all current matters until further notice/for 8 to 12 weeks, respectively, and will only be hearing urgent matters that fall within specific narrow categories.

Clients with matters that are currently in litigation or have matters to be commenced in court will be receiving a separate, customized email setting out next steps by Thursday, March 19, 2020.

Please see the following links for more details:

Superior Court of Justice:

Ontario Court of Justice:

2. Wills & Powers of Attorney

Intake meetings for Wills & Powers of Attorney will now be conducted by phone or by Skype. Signing of documents will be scheduled for after April 5, 2020 as these documents require additional witnesses.

3. All Other Matters

Matters that are or were to be set for mediation or any other kind of out-of-court settlement will continue to be processed and sent for client review by email. Any documents requiring original signatures will be signed after April 5, 2020.

4. Notarizations

UPDATED MARCH 20, 2020  – Downtown Notary is offering virtual notarization during COVID-19. Please see to book your
virtual commissioning appointment. Downtown Notary will not be taking in-person appointments until April 3, 2020.

Deliscar Professional Corporation provides all notarial services through Downtown Notary. Effective immediately until April 5, 2020, walk-in appointments will no longer be offered. Appointments must be booked online at In addition to the COVID-19 restrictions set at each office building, we ask that only those requiring services attend at the appointment.

4. Translations

It has been our ongoing policy to mail our notarized, certified Spanish and French translations to our clients, and this will continue to be the standard. It is unclear as to if and when our Brampton and/or Guelph offices may shut down on a partial or full basis. Restrictions are already in place at our Guelph office.

For further information regarding handwashing techniques and social distancing, as well as other important health information, please consult the Government of Ontario’s dedicated COVID-19 (coronavirus) webpage at:

Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are suffering from this illness, who have loved ones who are ill or who have succumbed to this illness, or who have had their employment or business negatively affected. We are also aware of  numerous people who have had to cancel long-planned travel for special events. We do encourage you to seek out any resources available through your municipality, county or region, as well as provincially. Ontario 211 – – is an excellent resource.

I remain available primarily by email. Teleconferences will also be scheduled as necessary.

We will provide more updates once further information is provided by the appropriate agency. Please be patient as we deal with an unprecedented situation for all of us, which changes rapidly each day.


Suzanne Deliscar

Suzanne E. Deliscar, B.A., LL.B.
Deliscar Professional Corporation
10 George Street North, Brampton, Ontario L6X 1R2
42 Carden Street, Guelph, Ontario  N1H 3A2
Brampton: 905-452-0194
Guelph: 519-341-1233
fax: 1-866-559-1610


Posted on: March 5th, 2020 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar is partnering with this month to offer a three-part webinar series for lawyers exploring French legalese.

Participants will learn both French and English legal terms, enabling them to work more effectively with French-speaking clients or when clients have French matters. Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, will lead this interactive workshop, which includes tests and polls to encourage participant engagement.

At the end of the course, lawyers will have expanded their knowledge and vocabulary of French legal terms to assist in communicating with clients and reading legal documents.

The first session, French Legalese for Lawyers- Family Law, takes place on May 5, 2020 from 1-2 p.m.

The second session, French Legalese for Lawyers – Criminal Law, takes place on May 12, 2020 from 1-2 p.m.

The third session, French Legalese for Lawyers – Real Estate, takes places on May 19, 2020 from 1-2 p.m.

The fourth session, French Legalese for Lawyers – Corporate- Commercial Law, takes places on May 26, 2020 from 1-2 p.m.

The fifth session, French Legalese for Lawyers – Civil Litigation, takes places on June 2, 2020 from 1-2 p.m.

For more information on the webinar series, click here.


Posted on: September 2nd, 2019 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar and eCPD is presenting Know Your Legal Terms in English, French, and Spanish a 10-part series of webinars on English, French and Spanish terminology used in North American legal systems.

Participants will learn English, French and Spanish meanings for a variety of legal terms, enabling them to complete a comprehensive glossary. The workshops will be interactive, including tests and polls. There will also be an opportunity to complete a French/Spanish/English legal translation sample, which will be marked offline by Deliscar, founder of Deliscar Professional Corporation,

The September webinars run from 1 pm, to 2:30 p.m. EDT beginning with Family Law Terminology on September 6, 2019, followed by Wills & Estates Terminology on September 24, 2019. Additional webinars in this series will be held in October and November 2019.

For more information, click here.

Official Languages Act review a good first step: Deliscar

Posted on: June 10th, 2019 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

The federal government’s review of the Official Languages Act is a welcome development, says Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar.

“It is time this decades-old law was brought up to date,” says Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish.

“Many people have a hard time understanding what their language rights are, so we need more public education alongside that review.”

According to The Canadian Press, the government is planning a series of meetings across the country to address the 1969 Act, which “enshrined Canadians’ right to receive federal services in English or French.”

The news report quotes Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly as stating the government wants to help minority-language communities “meet the new challenges they face.”

Deliscar tells that many people don’t know which government services are offered in French, with the confusion compounded by the fact that some people don’t understand what the municipal, provincial or federal governments administrate.

She gives the example of licence plate renewal being a provincial service while passports fall under the federal umbrella, with only the latter available in both French and English everywhere in Canada.

“People think that since they are living in Canada, they can get French services anywhere they go, but that is not true,” Deliscar says.

Many people aren’t sure if they will be dealing with the federal or provincial levels of government,” she says. “All they know is that they just want to get it done.”

This post continues at

Increased court demand for ‘minority language’ interpreters

Posted on: May 11th, 2019 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

As the influx of people who speak “minority languages” increases, so will the demand on Canadian immigration courts to provide interpreters, says Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar.

“It’s very easy to think, ‘for this case, we need an interpreter who speaks Spanish, or French, or Mandarin,’” says Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish.

“However, what if the person before them only speaks a minority language, and is not comfortable conversing in the country’s official language?” she asks.

Some popular minority languages are Urdu from Pakistan and K’iche’ from Central America, Deslicar tells

She says, “Are we complying with the principles of justice and giving people a fair chance in court if they are not given the chance to speak in their native tongue?”

The United States is struggling with this dilemma, according to a recent article in the ABA Journal. To lower costs for hearings, it states that the U.S. Justice Department has ordered immigration court judges to use more translators based in call centres to address the increased number of new arrivals who speak minority languages.

This post continues at

Supreme Court decision a boost for language rights

Posted on: March 9th, 2019 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

A Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision shows how more judges are recognizing the importance of language rights, Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar tells

The unanimous nine-judge panel’s ruling upheld a Federal Court of Appeal judgment which overturned a Tax Court decision after the judge was found to have violated the official language rights of an insurance company’s lawyer and its witnesses.

According to the judgment, the trial judge ignored their wishes to testify and communicate in French because they were bilingual, while another party in the case spoke only English fluently.

“We’re seeing more and more that judges are becoming aware of how important language rights are as a part of access to justice,” says Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish.

“It was pleasing to see the court recognize that these are principles of natural justice, and these rights are not something to be ignored anymore,” she adds.

The case involved a self-represented individual appealing the minister’s assessment of his employment with an insurance company during the year 2012. His former employer intervened, and several representatives were called to testify in court.

When one expressed a desire to speak French, the self-represented appellant requested an interpreter because of his basic French skills. Instead, the judge granted a break for counsel to reach a compromise, which resulted in the witness giving evidence in English.

The rest of the post can be found at:

Language rights for elderly Ontarians a growing issue

Posted on: January 31st, 2019 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

The availability of legal services in languages other than English could become a growing issue as Ontario’s population continues to age, Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar tells

Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish, says many elderly people may struggle to express their wishes outside their mother tongue for the purposes of legal matters, including the preparation of wills, guardianship applications and powers of attorney.

“This is something we have to take seriously because if people can’t communicate in English, they’re going to have a hard time getting the legal services they need,” she says. “It’s definitely an issue we’re going to see more and more that needs to be addressed.

But it’s not just the provision of legal services where elderly individuals could find themselves disadvantaged if their first language is not English, Deliscar adds.

“From the perspective of medical and long-term care needs, there may be demand for specialized homes based on language. I know there are some that cater to certain religious or language groups, but these are few and far between,” she says.