Dictionary of Austrian legal terminology/Wörterbuch der österreichischen Rechtsterminologie

Heidemarie Markhardt, who has been mentioned here before, has just published a dictionary of Austrian legal, economics and administrative terminology:

Heidemarie Markhardt, Wörterbuch der österreichischen Rechts-, Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungsterminologie, Peter Lang Verlag, ISBN 3 631 55247 5 amazon.de

Sample page:
Download file

This will be of interest to anyone translating Austrian texts in this area. Despite the fact that (or perhaps because) many Austrian sites have English sections (a search on this weblog will reveal a number of earlier articles on Austrian law in English), it is still a slow business pinning down the terminology and then finding perhaps the German or French equivalent preparatory to translating it into English. This dictionary gives definitions and, where applicable, ‘standard’ German equivalents.

In 1993, Heidemarie Markhardt produced an internal EU glossary with c. 1200 entries and examples of collocations (unpublished) and in 2005 she published a book on Austrian terminology in 2005 (see earlier entry). (earlier entry).

The Wörterbuch contains Austrian legal terms, such as laesio enormis, Krida, Fahrnisexekution, Ausgedinge, Erbsentschlagung, Einlauf, including adjectives such as allfällig and taxativ (the latter in a combination). There are also many terms from Austrian government (Austrian terminology cannot be reduced to Lungenbraten and Ribisl) There are Austrian synonyms as well as German equivalents. I am not sure how many entries there are, but possibly over 1500.

There is a brief introduction to the problems of Austrian English and German as a pluricentric language (spoken in Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Austrian, Belgium, Italian and Switzerland) and a short bibliography at the beginning.

Frau Markhardt notes in the introduction that, for example, the word Abfertigung is a common Austrian term but is not found in bilingual legal dictionaries. I checked for myself: it is not in Dietl, Romain or von Beseler in this meaning. It is in Herbst, for once, but not very clearly explained: abfertigen can mean ‘to pay off an employee’ and Abfertigung can mean ‘(Abfindung), indemnity, compensation’. It is in Russwurm, explained in German, of course. It is in Doucet-Fleck, into French. It is on the EMIRE website, which has quite a lot on Austrian labour law, but only in English, with the German words in brackets (Google site search should help here). It may be in other dictionaries, but I haven’t looked.

I haven’t spent long looking at the dictionary, but one thing I would have liked to see in some cases is the naming of the legislation where a term originates. This is sometimes given. For example, for the term Abfertigung Neu, the Neuregelung is given a date (1.1.2003), but the statute is not named. When I translate a term like this, I always try to pin it down first (it was introduced by the Betriebliches Mitarbeitervorsorgegesetz (BMVG)).

However, this dictionary will be a first port of call in future for unfamiliar Austrian terms. It fills a big gap.

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