Abbreviations in German legal language are often the key to understanding the complete meaning of the text. This is especially evident in legal language as abbreviations are one of its main characteristics.

It is normal not to recognize abbreviations and have to look them up continuously, but gradually we will get to know more and expand our list. This will not only facilitate the understanding of the text but also the process of translation itself. Below, I propose a brief list that may help you get to know some typical abbreviations in German legal language:

AbreviaturaPalabra completa en alemánMeaning in English
BGBBürgerliche GesetzbuchGerman Civil Code
StGBStrafgesetzbuchGerman Penal Code
ZPOZivilprozessordnungGerman Civil Procedure Act
StPOStrafprozessordnungGerman Code of Criminal Procedure
e.V.Eingetragener VereinRegistered Company
GGGrundgesetzGerman Basic Law (Constitution)
GVGGerichtsverfassungsgesetzGerman Law on the Organization of Courts
GmbHGesellschaft mit beschränkter HaftungLimited Liability Company
AGAmtsgerichtLocal Court
LGLandesgerichtRegional Court
OLGOberlandesgerichtHigher Regional Court
BGHBundesgerichtshofFederal Supreme Court
VwVfGVerwaltungsverfahrensgesetzAdministrative Procedure Act
BauGBBaugesetzbuchBuilding Code
BABundesagentur für ArbeitFederal Employment Agency
BVerwGBundesverwaltungsgerichtFederal Administrative Court
AOAbgabenordnungGeneral Tax Code
BDSGBundesdatenschutzgesetzGerman Federal Data Protection Act
GVGGerichtsverfassungsgesetzJudicial Organic Law
StvollGStrafvollzugsgesetzPenal Execution Law
ArbGArbeitsgerichtLabor Court
FGFinanzgerichtEconomic-Administrative Court
GewOGewerbeordnungGerman Industrial Code

Table with abbreviations in German legal language.

When we encounter abbreviations like the ones above while translating or reading a legal text, we not only face the difficulty of deciphering them but also finding their linguistic equivalent in the target language.

I’m adding some links that may help you in case you can’t find the meaning of the abbreviation you are looking for:

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