Infographic | 6 untranslatable words from the colombian jurisdiction, translated

1 octubre, 2022
unstranslatable words

Translation in itself is an intricate craft. Now, when it comes to patent translation, how well the application is translated can be decisive when filing worldwide. The sole act of trying to penetrate a jurisdiction, with its own legal terms and regulations, is quite the quest.

Colombian Jurisdiction has its own set of ‘untranslatable’ words, due to it having a Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC), which is the institution in charge of overseeing and supervising all industrial and commercial activities.

To celebrate the International Translation Day, we grouped the most common words that give it a hard time when coming to contact with Colombian jurisdiction, and offered a possible translation.

1 Circular Única

(Sole circular)
A communication piece issued by a higher authority to a lower one on a subject and for a specific purpose. In it, all the regulations and general instructions of the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce that are in force are gathered in a single regulatory body.

2 Acción de tutela

(Protection action) or better «File a protection action»
A measure granted to all people aimed to protect or prevent damage to a fundamental right. It is requested before a Judge for him/she to protect those rights in case they have been violated or threatened by any public authority.

3 Paz y Salvo

name of the document (Debt burden liberation certificate)
Official certificate stating that a person does not owe anything to the State for taxes.

4 Entidad paraestatal

(Semi-state entity)
A government-owned enterprise controlled significantly by the government in order to engage in commercial activities.

5 Baldío

(Vacant land or ownerless land)
Terrain that has not had been owned (not referring to that it has not been cultivated – uncultivated).

6 Semillero

(Research group)
A research hotbed that promotes the grouping of students and professors to carry out research activities that go beyond the formal academic process and that stimulate the acquisition of investigative skills. (Not referring to its literal translation seedbed).


The term Superintendence refers to the person who exercises the position. Example: During the Superintendece of…
Superintendency refers to the office. Example: The Superintendency of Industry and Commerce.
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Happy International Translation Day!