The progressive translator/Politischer Übersetzungsweblog

Ken Kronenberg’s blog has been active since last October:

The purpose of this blog is to provide a forum, a clearinghouse, where progressive translators and other interested persons may discuss issues of concern, including, but not limited to, political aspects of translation, translation theory, the policies and structure of the ATA, and activism at the local group level.

I’ve linked to Ken’s website before, but I didn’t realize he had a weblog.

20 thoughts on “The progressive translator/Politischer Übersetzungsweblog

  1. It’s not fair that you protect the perps like this, Margaret. After all, people might conceivably shell out money for publications containing this nonsense – though some of them are pretty funny.

  2. Sagt MM nicht gerade, dass es fehlerfreie Buecher zum Thema fast gar nicht geben kann? Von Fehlern lernen wir viel, vielleicht sogar das Meiste. Ein Fachbuch ist oft auch ein Kompromiss, da sind Zugestaendnisse an Verlagsvorgaben oder Leserhorizont, zu kurze Erklaerungen oder auch missverstaendliche Generalisierungen auch bei grosser Sorgfalt des Verfassers unvermeidbar. Deshalb kann sich man in der Praxis, wenn eine bestimmte Aussage von kritischer Bedeutung ist, ja auch nicht auf eine einzige Darstellung verlassen, sondern muss sie ueber mehrere Quellen verifizieren. Damit muss man wohl leben.

  3. “Sagt MM nicht gerade, dass es fehlerfreie Buecher zum Thema fast gar nicht geben kann?”

    Genau, fehlerfreie B

  4. Vielleicht war mein Kommentar unklar. Ich meinte, der englische Text zu amerikanischem Recht ist sehr gut, aber der englische Text zu englischem Recht (aus dem deutschen

  5. Danke fuer das Zitat von Johnson. Das bringt kurz und klar auf einen Nenner, was ich meinen Referendaren viel umstaendlicher erklaere. Bei meiner Hauptempfehlung bleibe ich auch: Begriffe im Kontext erlernen, hier in den USA also durch den Blick in American Jurisprudence.

  6. Hallo ck,

    diese Hauptempfehlung werde ich auf jeden Fall beherzigen. Man muss sich wohl aus mehreren B

  7. I’ve been toying with the idea of buying the legal English book by the University of Cambridge for some time. However, I would like to have a book that clearly distinguishes between British and American usage. According to your entry, this is not always the case. Hm… Maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea to shell out almost 30 quid for this book. Anyway, thanks for your helpful recommendations. Much appreciated.

  8. I suspect it makes little difference what quibbles I have. The book does try to distinguish AmE and BE, for example piercing / lifting the corporate veil; in fact, it probably gives more help in distinguishing the two than other books do. I doubt any book that attempts to compare the two and uses a lot of specially written texts will be perfect, but any false impressions you get from a book should be corrected by later reading.

  9. Having just spent the best part of nine months researching a Legal English dictionary (http://www.translegal.com/legal-english-dictionary/) it has become clear to me that the distinctions between British and American usage are becoming increasingly less relevant to the majority of those needing English for Law. While it is important that the use of those words that really do have a distinct meaning in one or other jurisdiction are understood, especially when dealing with lawyers from L1 English jurisdictions, the number of words that have maintained their distinct meanings is decreasing (eg note the increasing tendency for bankruptcy to be used in the US sense by the British media). What is important for most of our learners is not how eg a UK or US court understands a word, but how the meaning it would have to another non-native of English. More important is the ability to paraphrase the concepts a non-native speaker would have in their own jurisdictions to lawyers from other jurisdictions. For this reason, collections of texts gathered together from Anglo-American jurisdictions are of limited use unless they are clearly selected for their potential as carrier-content for the purposes of language acquisition. As one student said to me a couple of years ago ‘I don’t need to be able to tell an American lawyer about his constitution, I need to be able to explain my own to him’.

    As far as the distinctions International Legal English makes between US/UK usage, I can confirm what Margaret writes above.

    • This is a very old entry. I agree, I don’t see how the book could distinguish without being less useful to learners. I sholdn’t make such quick judgments.

      Yes, I saw that dictionary yesterday. It looks like a better version of the Peter Collin one, which always had too much non-legal general English in it and not enough US examples. Congratulations. But it’s nearly 20 dollars per annum to use it online? Maybe I read too fast: I plan to come back to it.

      I think the lawyers will have to pick up what’s BE and what’s AmE themselves. There are always going to be some of them who really do need to communicate with English-speaking lawyers rather than other non-natives, but that will not be their immediate need.

      When I was teaching, we certainly spent a while discussing German law in English, which is the main focus of my translation.

      Incidentally, most of my translations go down OK in the USA, but I would not want to translate employment law for the USA, because the systems are so different.

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