Serial parking offenders/Serielle Parksünder

Der Stadtrat von Westminster will härter mit Fahrern umgehen, die ihre Strafzettel nicht bezahlen. Zu diesem Zwecke wurden die Kennzeichen der Sünder veröffentlich (Artikel in der Evening Standard zeigt ein Fahrzeug, das 25,000 Pfund schuldet).

Wer mindestens drei Strafzettel nicht bezahlt hat riskiert, dass eine Parkkralle angebracht wird und danach Besitzerdetails genau überprüft werden.

Über UK Criminal Justice Weblog

Question on Austrian law / Frage zu österreichischem Recht

Was bedeutet “samt Anhang” (“s.A.”) nach einer Geldsumme? Entweder “plus Zinsen” oder “plus Zinsen und Kosten”?

Hier ein Beispiel:

Das Oberlandesgericht Graz hat als Berufungsgericht durch den Senatspräsidenten des Oberlandesgerichtes Dr.Schweighofer und die Richter des Oberlandesgerichtes Dr.Schmeid und Dr.Koczett in der Rechtssache
der klagenden Partei 37O20 Volargne di Dolce, Verona, Italien, vertreten durch – Rechtsanwälte in Salzburg, gegen die beklagte Partei Petersgasse 73, 8010 Graz, vertreten durch Rechtsanwälte in Graz, wegen Lit. 5,050.241,70 samt Anhang, infolge Berufung der klagenden Partei gegen das Urteil des Landesgerichtes für Zivilrechtssachen Graz vom 28. Juni 1995, 13 Cg 321/93a-55, nach öffentlicher, mündlicher Berufungsverhandlung den

Beschluß gefaßt:
Der Berufung wird Folge gegeben.
Das angefochtene Urteil, das hinsichtlich des Zuspruches von Lit. 6,228.632,30 samt 5 % Zinsen seit 20.1.1992 in österreichischen Schillingen zum Kurs der Wiener Börse (Devise) Mailand am Zahlungstag und hinsichtlich der Abweisung von 10 % Zinsen aus Lit. 5,050.241,70 seit 20.1.1992 als unbekämpft unberührt bleibt, wird im übrigen, und zwar hinsichtlich des Betrages von Lit. 5,050.241,7O samt 5 % Zinsen seit 20.1.1992 einschließlich der Kostenentscheidung, aufgehoben und die Rechtssache in diesem Umfang zur neuerlichen Verhandlung und Entscheidung an das Erstgericht zurückverwiesen.


I’m posting this message which I got from the u-forum mailing list (mailing lists for translators):

bq. The IATE database has been put into production in the EU’s translation
services in summer last year. It is not yet accessible to the public. The
URL you have used is a link to a test database; when we noticed that this
url has been published in various newsgroups on the internet we had to
block the access to avoid performance problems. The system is today simply
not ready to be used by the public. However, the developments that are
necessary to make IATE available to external users with a satisfying level
of service are ongoing. We hope that you will be able to use IATE from mid

bq. Until then Eurodicautom will remain accessible
(). Please note that
Eurodicautom had some technical problems recently. The system is, however,
up and running again.
Best regards,
IATE Support Team
Translation Centre for the Bodies of the EU

The regulation of offences / Rechtsenglisch

The word regeln is used a lot in German legal texts. I’ve always been irritated to see it translated as regulate.

I recently received a query quoting a question ‘Is theft regulated by the common law in England and Wales?’

This is really confusing. Often regeln means to lay down, and in this case the questioner probably meant, ‘Is theft a common-law offence?’ or ‘Is theft defined by the common law?’ The answer would be ‘No, theft is a statutory offence. There are hardly any common-law offences in England today, but one of them is murder. And theft is defined in the Theft Act’.

But this sounds as if it meant ‘Does the common law influence the definition of theft?’ The answer to this is more difficult. On the one hand, every element of theft is further defined in case law, and I suppose this is a possible meaning of regulate. But on the other hand, one has to wonder whether the questioner is stupid enough to have logically meant this.

And yet, statutes do regulate things. For instance, they may regulate the sentences for various crimes, or traffic flow can be regulated. Try a simple search of the British National Corpus, using regulated as the search word, to see how the word is commonly used.

Blog Translation Carnival / Weblog Übersetzungsfest

Am 28. Februar und einmal pro Monat danach soll ein Blog-Übersetzungsfest stattfinden. Die Veranstalter haben wahrscheinlich mit literarischer Übersetzung zu tun. Man kann in und aus jeder Sprache übersetzen, wobei ich mich fragen muss, ob Übersetzungen aus dem Walisischen ins Georgische viel Anklang finden werden.

Via languagehat we learn that there is to be a ‘Blog Translation Carnival’ on February 8th and once a month thereafter – see Altalk Blog. Good news for those who aren’t, and perhaps also those who are, blind drunk on account of the Mardi Gras date. For the following requires quite a bit of coordination:

bq. You can translate any blog entry that was posted in the month of February 2006. It can be your own blog entry, if you like.
From participants I need:
your name
name of your blog
your blog URL
post title in target language

bq. name of blog you’re translating
name of person you’re translating
that URL
the post title in the source language
You should get permission from the person you’re translating to post your translation of their work. I would also suggest that you might introduce your translation for the target-language audience, and provide some context if you can.

Altalk is a weblog for the American Literary Translators’ Association.

Steve hopes lots of polyglots will participate, although I suppose diglots will do.

Scots law ‘blog’/’Weblog’ zu schottischem Recht

Edinburgh Law Schools’ Scots Law News is almost a blog. But it doesn’t give links.

Section 532 is a Review of the Year of our Lord 2005.

bq. 2005 was the year that introduced our readers, not only to natural disasters (Nos 423, 495), but also to neutral citation (No 417), ASBOs (No 426), FoI (Nos 437, 471, 505, 511), G8 (No 483), HBJ Gateley Wareing (No 506), the rights to roam (No 432) and to buy (Nos 432, 469), duck density as a measure of university quality (No 470), humanist weddings (No 477), civil partnerships (No 529), Creative Commons and “copyleft” (No 522), and Lord President Hamilton (No 518; note also No 516).

In section 529 (scroll down), we learn that common-law marriage has gone:

bq. Slipped in during the Bill’s parliamentary progress was the abolition of yet another bit of Scots law’s medieval heritage, viz marriage by cohabitation with habit and repute (see section 2A). Another good exam question gone! – although there are some transitional provisions on the subject to which the desperate examiner may be able to turn for a few years yet.

The tone is dry but far from dour.

Perverting the course of justice / Rechtsbeugung

From Strafprozesse und andere Ungereimtheiten:

bq. Gibt man bei Google die Begriffe “Oberlandesgericht” und “Naumburg” ein,
wird man schon auf der ersten Seite auffällig oft auf Hinweise auf den Verdacht der Rechtsbeugung treffen, insbesondere im Zusammenhang mit dem Fall “Görgülü”, der schon Kreise gezogen hat.

and earlier:

bq. Die Staatsanwaltschaft Halle soll gegen drei Richter und eine Richterin des Oberlandesgerichts Naumburg ein förmliches Ermittlungsverfahren wegen Rechtsbeugung eingeleitet haben. Im Juni soll deshalb das Bundesverfassungsgericht dem Naumburger OLG-Senat bescheinigt haben, dass er “außerhalb seiner Zuständigkeit unter Verstoß gegen die Bindung an Gesetz und Recht” gehandelt haben soll.

bq. The Public Prosecutor’s Office at Naumburg is said to have instigated formal investigation proceedings against four judges (three men and a woman) for perversion of justice. For this reason, the Federal Constitutional court is said to have stated that the panel at the Naumburg Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) acted “outside its jurisdiction, violating its commitment to statute and law”.

But a note on December 4th indicates the proceedings may be discontinued.

I have been meaning to write about the Görgülü case since before Christmas. The summarizing has been done for me.

The story can be found in the German Law Journal (via Brett Marston):

bq. In 1999, a woman gave birth to a child. The child’s mother and father put an end to their relationship several months before that date. The mother gave the child up for adoption. The child lived with foster parents from four days after its birth. These persons were willing to adopt the child. The father learned of his child’s birth and release for adoption only in October 1999. He tried to adopt the child but met difficulties as his paternity was not recognized.[5] He obtained parental custody by order of the Wittenberg Local Court in 2001.[6] The foster parents and the Wittenberg Youth Welfare Office, serving as the child’s official guardian, lodged an appeal upon which the Naumburg Higher Regional Court dismissed the father’s application for transfer of custody and excluded rights of access between the father and the child until 2002 on the ground of the best interest of the child.[7]

The case was dealt with by the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) more than once and the decisions and press releases can be found in English as well as German on the court website. The European Court of Human Rights also dealt with the case.

ECHR press release
ECHR decision
BVerfG 5.4.2005 decision German English
BVerfG 20.4.2005 press release German English
BVerfG 10.06.2005 decision German English
BVerfG 23.06.2005 press release German English

(For links, go to the court’s site and search for the word Naumburg (Görgülü’s name is not given)

Accents in Britain/Aussprache und Klassenunterschiede

At Language Log, Geoffrey Pullum writes of the Neil Entwistle case, citing this:

bq. Priscilla Matterazzo told Connolly that her daughter returned to Massachusetts with her husband and baby in part because, the affidavit said, “Neil would never amount to anything in England because of his accent: He was obviously a coal miner’s son from a working class background.”

Pullum writes that this would be inconceivable in the USA.

bq. I wish I could dismiss it as nonsense to say that having an accent that marks you out as being from a working-class home in Worksop, Nottinghamshire (near Sherwood Forest, in the middle of England) might alter your employment prospects in a downward direction. But it is undeniable that if you elide initial [h] and pronounce putt the same way you pronounce put, speakers of British English will instantly draw a few conclusions about your likely intelligence level, reliability, morals, etc.

I suppose in the USA you don’t put a photo on your job application (unlike Germany) and you don’t mention your race, but ‘black English’ on the phone would not lead to such conclusions?

Anyway, there’s no doubt that people are aware of class in Britain. Things have changed a bit – I know some people who, forty years ago and maybe even less, learnt received pronunciation and gave up their regional accents. At that time, you scarcely heard an ‘accent’ on TV. Nowadays, watered-down Cockney or Estuary English would not even indicate class.

Meanwhile, back to the Entwistle case – when Neil Entwistle turned up in England in January, followed by Massachusetts prosecutors, it was at first said that he was not being sought in connection with the murder of his wife and child, but later he was described as ‘a person of interest’. I take this to be the US equivalent of ‘helping the police with their enquiries’.

Person of interest is on the Lake Superior State University 2006 List of Banished Words, and I’d only just met it:

bq. PERSON OF INTEREST – Found within the context of legal commentary, but seldom encountered at cocktail parties. “People with guns want to talk with you.” – Melissa Carroll from Greensboro, NC. “Does this mean the rest of us are too boring to deal with?” – Patricia Johnson from Mechanicsville, Va.


Translators’ rights in NZZ/NZZ über Übersetzerrechte

An article by Joachim Güntner in the NZZ (Welche Autorenrechte gebühren einem Übersetzer?) takes up the topic of how literary translators are to get better payment.

Publishers are loth to regard translators as another kind of author, and one of them referred to the idea of a fair price as ‘medieval’. Translators who expect better payment and also a share of profits are seen as acting above their status.

bq. Einen Roman von – sagen wir – Umberto Eco zu übersetzen, hat einen höheren Rang als die Übertragung einer italienischen Gebrauchsanweisung ins Deutsche. Niemand bezweifelt das.

Well, that was a rather weighted example, wasn’t it? (I bet more people read the instructions than they do the Eco…)

The article quotes a judge who thinks translators should be paid the same amount as secondary-school teachers, and Burkhart Kroeber, who translates Eco, who compares the payment rights or pianists or theatre directors. There is also a description of the rather civilized payments system of the Diogenes Verlag in Zurich, guaranteeing a share of profits to a certain extent, and above that sharing profits among translators or putting them towards financing new translations.

Meanwhile, in the new ADÜ-Nord Infoblatt, Draga Gradincevic-Savic describes the evil effects of the new statute on the payment of interpreters. No sooner is a German Act passed trying to ensure that police interpreters are paid a reasonable fee than the police oblige those working for them to enter into standard agreements for low fees, and what’s more, with no guarantee of frequent work such as the Act envisages.