I'm working on paper discussing protection of National Park in Tatra Mts., splitted between Slovak republic and Poland: TANAP (Slovakia) and TPN (Poland). I want to include the indication of laws declaring protected sites - however, those are the abbreviations in Slovak or Polish, respectivelly. Thus, for to say that TANAP has been declared by law SNR č. `11/1948 Zb . (in Slovak) meaning is:

  • S - Slovenska = Slovak
  • N - Narodna = National
  • R - Rada = Council
  • c.- number
  • Zb. - Zbierky Zakonov = Collection of laws

thus SNR č. `11/1948 Zb == SNC n 11/1948 Cl ?

If I will not translate law abbreviation, everyone can easily find a specific law. If I translate it, it would be (maybe) more comprehensible to reader, but really hard to find a law if needed.

Thus, in english written paper, should I translate law abbreviations/annotations in origin in non-english or not? What is the common practice?

Thank you a lot, I really appreciate your help.

2 Answers 2


I seriously doubt the translated version you've shown would make any more sense to the reader and so would just leave them as is.

If the distinctions in the various abbreviations are important, you may want to explain them by including them in a spelled out fashion and mentioning that the abbreviation used comes from the original language. But the reality is, it sounds like the people reading your paper will be familiar with the laws of both countries, and so such information may be entirely superfluous.

  • ok @guifa, I am going to leave it as it is (in original language) and I'll see what reviewers would say as well .. :)
    – maycca
    Jun 1, 2016 at 5:49

The reference you are providing has a two-fold goal. First, it allows a curious reader to find the full text of the law. For that, you should provide a searchable identifier in the original language. Secondly, it should tell a lazy reader what the reference is about. For that, also provide an expanded translation to English.

In your case, I'd go with

SNR č. `11/1948 Zb = Slovak National Council law no. 11 / 1948 Collection of Laws.


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