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Informal language in legal documents

Complianz strives to make the plugin and legal documents available in as many languages as possible. Luckily WordPress provides a compelling ecosystem in which everyone can contribute to translating plugins to their language. The Locale Managers of each language compiled a glossary that contains instructions on how to translate specific (English) words. For some languages, there is a big difference between regular/informal language and formal/legal language. Because we have to follow the glossaries for all the translations, this can lead to inappropriate or informal wording for legal documents generated with Complianz. In this article, we’ll discuss some solutions.

Please note: If you would like Complianz to be available in your language, please contact us!

Which languages does this apply to?

The glossaries of the following languages (locales) contain explicit instructions regarding informal wording:

1. German

2. Dutch

How to change informal texts in legal documents to formal language?

There are a few methods to change the texts to more appropriate, formal language. We’ll discuss four possible solutions, where nr. 1 is the preferable solution and 4 the least.

1. Switch your site language

For both the German and Dutch locales WordPress supports formal language packs. If you switch your site language to ‘German (Formal)’ or ‘Dutch (Formal),’ the texts of all plugins and themes on your site that support the formal language packs will change to more formal wording.

You can change your site language by navigating to (WordPress) settings -> General -> Site language.

Please note: You should research if there are other plugins that add texts to the front-end of your site. Most likely, these texts will be converted to formal wording as well.

2. Use a Multilingual plugin

If you don’t want to change your site language to the formal version of your language you can use multilingual plugins like WPML or Polylang to ensure that only the legal pages are written in formal wording. please follow these steps:

If your site already uses a multilingual plugin

  1. Add German (Formal) or Dutch (Formal) as a language
  2. Change the language of the Complianz-generated pages to formal.

If your site does not yet use a multilingual plugin

  1. Download Polylang (free) or WPML
  2. Install this plugin and indicate that your site utilizes two languages: e.g., German and German (Formal). In this example, German should be the main language.
  3. Make sure that all content stays flagged as German/Dutch. Only assign the Formal language to Complianz-generated pages. This can be done by editing the pages.

For more in-depth instructions on the use of multilanguage plugins, please refer to this article.

3. Use a filter

If the above two solutions do not match your needs, or if you want to change the wording of legal documents for other languages than German or Dutch, you can consider the use of filters. Please read this article for specific instructions.

4. Unlink your legal documents from Complianz

If you want to make many changes to the legal documents, or if you don’t want to use the three solutions mentioned above, you can decide to unlink your legal documents from Complianz. You can stop the synchronization of your legal documents and start editing them by following these steps:

  1. Via your WordPress back-end, navigate to pages and press edit on the legal document that you’d like to unlink
  2. On the top-right, you’ll see ‘Document status.’ Change this to ‘Edit document and stop synchronization.’
    If you are using Gutenberg, you’ll need to click the block containing the legal text first.

Please note: Unlinking your legal documents will prevent Complianz from automatically updating your documents and applying legal changes or newly found cookies on your website.

Want to contribute?

If Complianz is not yet supporting your language, or if you want to suggest corrections, please get in touch! For the Free plugin, you can start right away.

We greatly value any contribution you can make in translating Complianz. A big thank you to everyone that already contributed!

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