Reported speech / Indirekte Rede

(This was not reported speech at all – see the evidence and discussion in the comments. Back to the drawing-board!)

There’s a query on ProZ that I can’t help mentioning. It’s a quote from the judgment of a German court and the asker requests that it should be answered by native speakers of German. I think it’s not always easy for native speakers of German to understand the grammar of their language, unless they’ve taught it to foreigners.

Anyway, the sentence is ‘Durch das der Klage stattgebende Urteil stünde jedoch auch fest, dass das Arbeitsverhältnis mit dem in der BRD ansässigen Arbeitgeber beendet worden und auf einen Arbeitgeber übergegangen ist, an dessen Sitz die EG-Richtlinie 2001/23 EWG nicht gilt. Im Ergebnis stünde der Arbeitnehmer schutzlos dar.’ [MM italics]

The query relates to the meaning of the subjunctive here. This is a sentence typical of German judgments, where the subjunctive makes it clear to the reader that it’s indirect speech, and in English the past tense doesn’t, so it’s worth adding ‘the court held’ every so often, to make it clear this is a quotation of what the lower court said, not the opinion of the present court.

So what did the lower court say, in direct speech? It said ‘es steht jedoch fest’. So you could write ‘the court stated that the judgment in favour of the plaintiff made it clear’, or even, avoiding any backshifting of verbs, ‘according to the court, the judgment in favour of the plaintiff makes it clear’.

Most of the answers are variations on ‘would be clear’. Indirect speech is mentioned in an ‘agree’, but it isn’t really brought out.

Anyone who’s translated a few judgments will recognize this usage. For the use of the subjunctive in reported speech (the form ‘stehe es jedoch fest’ would also be possible), see the nice site on the German language, canoonet.

German court names translated / Deutsche Gerichtsbezeichnungen in Fremdsprachen

The German Auswärtiges Amt (or the Federal Foreign Office, as it calls itself) has long since published a list of German court names and their translations into English, French and Spanish.

I see this list has now been augmented to contain Russian, Bulgarian, Italian, Polish, Macedonian, Croatian and Turkish.

Of course (as often discussed), that doesn’t mean that the original German name of the court should be omitted from a translation, nor that these versions have to be used if you don’t work for a ministry. Nor have I any idea how useful most of the translations are. I quite like Local Court for Amtsgericht precisely because it does not conjure up a particular court in any English-language country. But that’s another topic.

American Football in Germany / Fettsackmauer

ARD is showing some American football tonight, and it’s to be hoped they don’t get their hands on this list of recommended German terminology:

|Offensive Line|Fettsackmauer|
|Defensive Line|Mobilere Fettsackmauer|
|Intentional Grounding|Beabsichtigtes Ball-auf-den-Boden-dotzen|
|Fair Catch|Angsthasenfang|

(and that the TV sports maniac blogger Kai Pahl at allesaussersport doesn’t get his hands on cricket).

(Many thanks to Scott for this one – he got it via Google Reader)

XBRL Taxonomy of German GAAP / Version 2.0 XBRL HGB-Taxonomie Online

Robin Bonthrone of Fry and Bonthrone announces that the XBRL taxonomy of the accounting principles under the German Commercial Code is now online in the second version in german and English (XBRL, Extensible Business Reporting Language, is a mark-up language based on XML).

This should be a superb resource for translators. Robin recommends opening the German and English versions in different windows.

I have only had a quick look. You can go to this page and open two windows, or download a ZIP file.

Legal translation M.A. at City University

More information is available on the M.A. /Postgraduate Diploma in legal translation that is to be offered by City University, London.

Some days of class participation will be required, but most of the course will be by distance learning. German>English and English>German options are available, and French, Italian and Spanish are also offered. Individual modules may be taken. The M.A. requires a dissertation as well as the modules. Prices are lower for British and EU applicants.

Here are the eight modules:

# Principles and Practice of Legal Translation
# Terminology and Translation of Contracts
# Translation for Litigation
# Terminology and Translation of Property Documents
# Company and Commercial: Legal Principles and Translation 1
# Company and Commercial: Legal Principles and Translation 2
# Financial Legal Translation
# EU: Legal Principles and Translation

(Thanks to Robin)

ITI International Calendar of Events/Kalender für Übersetzer- und Dolmetschertermine

The ITI has put up on its website a software calendar to enable translators’ events to be logged internationally: the
International Calendar of Events. There is an RSS feed too:

Institute of Translation & Interpreting offers this free and unique facility to anyone who is either considering organising an event or thinking about attending an event. ICE can be used for calls for papers, training, conferences, meetings, product launches, social events etc. Enter details of your events and see them instantly displayed. ICE includes an RSS feed to speed dissemination to a worldwide audience.

The abbreviation ICE refers to a train in Germany, but I don’t suppose that matters.

There is also a set of calendars showing holidays in various countries. They don’t seem to know that January 6 is a holiday in Bavaria, though.

Taboo language/Schimpfen in der Fremdsprache

In an old post entitled Fucking Jävla Skit Language, Watch me sleep discussed a problem encountered by teachers of English in Germany too:

Taboo swear words are probably among the first thing a second language learner learns if they have a teenage mentality. But while it’s easy to master swear words, I don’t think you ever really internalise the depth of feeling associated with the taboo.

I don’t even know how offended most native speakers of English are when they hear the F word being overused, and whether they are more offended in the USA than in Britain, but as someone who grew up amidst a lot of swearing (not all elicited by me), I find myself seeing the swearer as younger and less competent.

(Via Language Log)