Translating “legalese” Into A Language The Punjabi Community UnderstandsA recent article in the Calgary Herald showcased two Calgary lawyers that are now hosting a weekly radio show about legal affairs. The catch – this radio show is entirely in Punjabi-language. “Legalese” is the common term for the legal jargon used by lawyers and others in the legal community. The lawyers, Raj Sharma and Andy Hayher, decided to start the show “Kanun & Samaj” (translated to “Law and Society”) to reach out to the Punjabi community and discuss current legal affairs.

The article goes on to discuss the success of the pair’s first radio show. The show revolved around the issue of the opium-based drug, doda, being sold in Canada. This issue became a hot topic in Calgary when police discovered the drug was being sold at a local grocery store in 2010. As the article explains, “Police found nearly 60 kilograms of dried poppy seed pods, which are ground into a powder to make doda. Investigators also seized 13 kilograms of finished doda, which is typically put in boiling water and ingested as a tea.”

It appears that the Calgary Punjabi community is eager to discuss legal issues in their native language. The Calgary Herald writer was in the radio studio during the show’s debut. As the author describes, “it became apparent the show struck an immediate chord with its intended audience: the phone lines began lighting up with callers eager to discuss the issue.”

To read the full Calgary Herald article, “Legalese — in a language Calgary’s burgeoning Punjabi community can understand” click here.

To read the Calgary Herald article as a pdf, click here.

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