Translation of legislation

Translation in the process of European integration takes place in two directions.

EU legal regulations (acquis) are being translated in order to timely harmonize BiH legislation in the subject areas, as well as other European Union documents due to a clear understanding of the obligations arising from the European integration process.

The legal regulations of BiH are being translated into English in order for the institutions of the European Union to establish the harmonization of our legislation with the EU regulations.

Both of these processes include a well-developed translation process methodology, developed and harmonized terminology, and highly qualified and trained staff.

The terminology that emerges in the process of translating legal regulations and other documents in the process of European integration is harmonized with the relevant institutions in BiH and is integrated in the multilingual terminology database BiHterm.

×          EU legislation (acquis) to facilitate timely alignment of national legislation in various areas, as well as other EU documents to provide a clear understanding of the obligations arising from the European integration process.

×          National legislation into English for EU institutions to assess compliance with EU law as well as other documents required for effective communication between the EU and national authorities.


A well-established methodology, harmonised terminology and highly qualified and trained staff are critical in both processes. Specialised terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity is identified in cooperation with the experts in line institutions in BiH, and entered into  a multilingual terminology database BiHterm.

Precise and accurate terminology and its consistent use are essential for high-quality legal translation. It necessitates the engagement of lawyers and experts in the relevant field. To ensure the consistent use of harmonised terminology, the Directorate has invested efforts and implemented several projects, the first one being the development of Dictionary of European integration terms. Following the signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, the Glossary of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement  was prepared. However, the primary tool for the alignment process and consistent use of terminology is the multilingual terminology database - BiHterm which is available at the Directorate website.

IATE is the EU's terminology database IATE – InterActive Terminology for Europe  which contains EU-specific terminology. IATE is jointly managed by the main EU institutions. Other EU glossaries and dictionaries by areas can be found here.

The manual is intended primarily for those who deal with translation of national legislation into English, but it can also be a useful tool for all those writing different kinds of documents in English. It contains simple instructions and practical examples for translation of legal provisions into English. In addition, the manual contains a Style Guide for Translating Legislation in BiH into English, as well as a bilingual list of the names of institutions and bodies in BiH through the legislative, executive and judicial branches. 


Handbook for translation of the EU legal acts

This Handbook is intended for translators and other experts involved in the process of translating the EU legal acts. In addition to the standard forms of the EU legal acts, the Handbook contains general information on EU institutions and legislation, as well as basic rules to ensure the quality of translation. The technical requirements for formatting and editing are also described. A list of common legal terms used in EU law is provided at the very end.


Joint Practical Guide of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission was translated for national legislative drafters to get acquainted with the principles and guidelines for legislative drafting in the EU institutions. The Guide may be a valuable tool both for staff dealing with legislative alignment and for translators of EU legal acts.