In English there is the word "battery" used in court with the meaning of injuring someone (I assume it is "Körperverletzung" in German). In French translators I get e.g. "les lésions corporelles". Are there alternative translation especially in the context of law?

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    Battery being a legal term you might find different there are different terms according to what the French speaking country is. Körperverletzung is indeed lésions corporelles but lésions corporelles is not a legal term.
    – None
    Aug 14, 2021 at 7:05
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    In 35 years of legal translation, I have never seen just battery. Only assault and battery unless you are referring to an ultra-legal academic text. Your premise about the English is mistaken.
    – Lambie
    Aug 14, 2021 at 14:16
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    Come on @EylaChu-Generis! How dare you think Canada's got it all. Britain, US, including California, & more...
    – None
    Aug 15, 2021 at 11:06
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    I'm not saying you don't have expertise, I'm just answering to your statements. Not making fun of you. The Cornell links included in my answer explain that it's typical, at least in the U.S. with criminal law, to have those together. Those not being together or you not being used to seeing them not together doesn't preclude a question on the site about translating either. Aug 15, 2021 at 22:30

2 Answers 2


In English, the full legal term appears to be "assault and battery" or "affray and battery". The corresponding term in French would seem to be "coups et blessures".


coups et blessures assault and battery - law - iate.europa.eu

[photograph 2012.201.b0924.0555]... Caption: "Frontier City's "Doc Holliday" and "Marshal" Clay were free on $500 bond each Wednesday after they pleaded innocent to charges of aggravated assault and battery, which grew out of the "arrest" and pistol whipping of two teenaged boys at the tourist attraction in OKC... general - core.ac.uk -

However, it is asserted in this article from the Wikipédia that the criminal code in Switzerland and Canada uses in fact "lésions corporelles".

Nevertheless, in France the legal term is "coups et blessures".

(FrWiki) Les coups et blessures sont une notion de droit pénal.
(user LPH's translation: "Coups et blessures" is a notion of criminal law.)

There appears to be no synonym in the domain of the law, in France.

  • J'ai aussi l'habitude d'entendre coups et blessures dans un contexte juridique. De plus la mesure quantitative de ces coups et blessures, toujours dans le contexte juridique, est évaluée en jours d'ITT, pour interruption temporaire de travail.
    – mouviciel
    Aug 19, 2021 at 16:45

Lésions corporelles is not a criminal offence as such, it is used in medical descriptions and helps determine how to define a criminal offence. Battery is a criminal offence.
The first terms that comes to my mind for lésions corporelles is "bodily harm" or "physical injuries"1.

I am not a lawyer so I might be wrong, but I assumed that battery did not necessarily imply bodily harm to a person. It might also be defined differently in the US and in Britain (or other English speaking countries).

In France I know the terms :

Voie de fait which doesn't imply corporal injury.

Coups et blessures which implies corporal injury and is sometimes translated into English as "physical assault and battery" and as Körperverletzung in German.

There might be others. You can also look at this page (issued by a commercial firm) which provides a list of legal terms with their correspondence in French and Am. English.

1 Körperverletzung auf Deutsch.
2 Also keine Körperverletzung.

  • That's right: lésions corporelles is used in insurance and accidents. It means bodily harm but is not a legal term per se. The problem with this question is that it does not work from the start. Battery can be civil or criminal. The German is misleading, etc.
    – Lambie
    Aug 15, 2021 at 21:01

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