Archive for the ‘Intersecting Law and Languages Blog’ Category


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.

This post continues at .

WEBINAR: “Top Estate Law Cases from 2018” – February 7, 2019

Posted on: January 24th, 2019 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

On Feb. 7 at 1 p.m., Suzanne Deliscar, founder of Deliscar Professional Corporation,in cooperation with, will present a webinar entitled Top Estate Law Cases from 2018. This one-hour course will look at key legal decisions that affect estate law cases. Course materials will include live links to the cases to be discussed.

This course is eligible for 60 Substantive minutes in Ontario.

To register, click here.


Webinar Series: “The Canadian Court System for Translators and Interpreters’ – January 8 and 15, 2019

Posted on: December 27th, 2018 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

This is a webinar for both intermediate and experienced legal translators and interpreters who want to broaden their client base and learn about the Canadian court system

Do you want to work with legal documents or legal Canada court systeminterpretation relating to the Canadian court system? If so, this series is for you. “The Canadian Court System” will provide detailed explanations of the different levels of the court system in Canada, along with the associated court documents. At the end of this series, attendees will have increased knowledge with regard to the Canadian court system at the federal, provincial, territorial, regional and municipal levels.

The series will cover the following topics:

  1. The Relationship between the Federal Government and Provincial and Territorial Governments
  2. From the Supreme Court Down – The Canadian Court System
  3. Pleadings – Documents and Key Terms
  4. Finding Canadian Legislation and Caselaw
  5. Glossaries and Additional Terminology Resources

All webinars are recorded: if you miss the live session, you will be able to view the recording later.

To register or learn more, please click here.


CIOL membership discount: 10% (the code is available on the membership page)


Suzanne Deliscar

Ms. Deliscar (née White) was called to the Ontario Bar in 2004. As principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, she focuses on matters involving both legal and language issues. Her practice was created through the combination of her language skills in French and Spanish and the practice of law in a variety of areas, including civil litigation, wills & estates, and family law.

Ms. Deliscar has extensive experience in the translation of a variety of legal documents. She has extensive experience in the translation of official documents, and has reviewed, analyzed and abstracted over 500 Spanish language contracts for a large multinational corporation. Ms. Deliscar is also experienced in providing document review in French.


8 and 15 January 2019


6:00 – 7:30 pm GMT. Click here to see the time where you live.


This webinar will last approximately 90 minutes plus Q&A.


Each webinar earns one hour of CPD (ATA approved for one point). Our webinars and courses are accredited by the CIOL and by the Dutch Bureau Wbtv as ‘erkende opleiding’ (approved training). ITI members may also log these webinars as CPD hours. The same is true of most other professional institutes.


This series is intended for intermediate or advanced translators and interpreters who want to work with Canadian legal documents in English.


At the end of this course, attendees will have increased knowledge with regard to the Canadian court system at the federal, provincial, territorial, regional and municipal levels.

To register or learn more, please click here.

No new wills after testamentary capacity lost

Posted on: December 15th, 2018 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

Family members create problems for themselves when they encourage a person to sign a new will after they’ve lost testamentary capacity, Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar tells

Ontario’s Court of Appeal recently upheld a trial judge’s decision to invalidate two wills made by a successful businessman within months of his diagnosis of brain cancer following a seizure.

The unanimous appeal court panel found the judge made no errors when ruling the man had lost testamentary capacity when he signed the new wills, which disinherited his daughter, his only child.

“No one is helped when you have someone sign documents when they’ve clearly lost capacity,” says Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish. “People struggle with this idea, but once someone has lost capacity, they can’t execute any more documents. It’s too late.”

Still, she says beneficiaries who want to challenge a will for any reason need to back up their claims with evidence.

“People think it’s easy to challenge a will, but you really do need to have proof. You can’t just say you believe the testator lacked capacity, was unduly influenced or there was some other problem with the execution if it can’t be supported by evidence,” Deliscar explains.

This post continues at

No way around French Charter for businesses operating in Quebec

Posted on: November 18th, 2018 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

Businesses that want to operate in Quebec must abide by the province’s Charter of the French Language, Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar tells

A group of 11 Anglophone-owned Montreal businesses challenged the constitutionality of the French Charter after they were fined for violating provisions regarding product packaging, publications and commercial advertising.

However, the Quebec Court of Appeal upheld the fines, and the Supreme Court of Canada recently refused the businesses’ leave to appeal to the nation’s top court.

“What’s important here is that the French Charter was deemed constitutional, which means there’s no way around it if you want to do business in Quebec,” says Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish. “Operating in Quebec is not like any other province, and you have to follow the French Charter.”

She explains that the translation industry in Quebec was watching the decision closely because the French Charter forces many companies that want to expand their operations into the province from predominantly English-speaking jurisdictions to produce French-language versions of many of their internal and external materials.

Sections 51 and 52 of the French Charter require product packaging and company publications — including websites — to be in French as well as English, while s. 58 mandates that the French text in commercial advertising be “markedly predominant” when sharing space with content in English.

This post continues at the following link

Peel Region and Guelph ‘Ask the Lawyer’ Events for “Make a Will Month”- November 2018

Posted on: November 13th, 2018 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

In conjunction with Make-a-Will Month, Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar is offering free ‘Ask the Lawyer’ day programs during the month of November to explore wills and powers of attorney.

Deliscar, founder of Deliscar Professional Corporation, will answer legal questions on wills and powers of attorney, including why you need a will, what happens if you don’t have one, what are powers of attorney and why they are important.

  • Nov. 14 at 12:30 p.m., Royal Bank of Canada, 74 Wyndham St. N., Guelph.
  • Nov. 20 from 11 a.m. – noon, Alzheimer Society of Peel, 385 Brunel Rd., Mississauga.
  • Nov. 27 from 1:30 – 3 p.m., Caledon Public Library – Albion-Bolton Branch, 150 Queen St. S., Bolton.
  • Nov. 29 from 3 – 4 p.m., Catholic Crosscultural Services – 8 Nelson St. W., Suite 302, Brampton.

For more information, click here.