Multilingual dentist vocabulary/Mehrsprachiger Wortschatz für Zahnarztbesuche

Initiative proDente bietet Wortschatz in verschiedenen Fremdsprachen zur Verständigung mit dem Zahnarzt im Urlaube. Das Englisch ist jedenfalls ganz gut. Zum Downloaden.

For Germans seeing a dentist abroad: a mini-phrasebook (German with English, French, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish). This can be downloaded as one file or as individual language files.

BDÜ publications / BDÜ-Veröffentlichungen

Der Bundesverband der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer stellt jetzt erfreulicherweise Auszüge aus seinen Veröffentlichungen online, so dass man sehen kann, ob das Buch interessant wäre. Auf Publikationen klicken.

The BDÜ, the German translators’ and interpreters’ organisation (there are others, of course) now has samples of its publications online. This is excellent, because I think they have some very good stuff and also some less good stuff there. Click on Publikationen, then on the title, then on Leseprobe (there isn’t a Leseprobe for the first title in the list , Dolmetschen im medizinischen Bereich, for instance).

Thus, for example, you can get an impression of the texts contained in Norbert Zänker’s Strafbefehle und Anklagen, which might be of great interest to anyone interpreting or translating criminal court matters, in either direction. Ulrich Daum’s Gerichts- und Behördenterminologie is also on the list.

Monkey nuts / Erdnüsse


I’ve been meaning to post this for some time, as it was new to me. Now Lynne Murphy (?) has written about it in separated by a common language. She says that the British use the term peanuts only for the shelled variety, and monkey nuts for those in shell (her picture is borrowed from yak).

I think it must be a recent development. Monkey nuts has always been colloquial, and I would have said not specifically for peanuts in shell. The OED gives some examples from 1880 on, but doesn’t say anything about a specific meaning. Maybe some advertising wizard hit on using it commercially?
How about tiger nuts? And then there’s the monkey-puzzle tree, quite common in front gardens.

What is a website?/Englischer Richter ratlos?

English judge asks ‘What is a website?’
This has been widely reported and even blogged, but not yet by me.

Judge Peter Openshaw, 59, brought an Internet terror trial to a halt when he admitted he struggled to cope with basic terms like “website”.
The Judge said he was completely lost by the terminology during the questioning of a witness about a Web forum used by alleged Islamist radicals.
He told stunned prosecutors at Woolwich Crown Court in south east London: “The trouble is I don’t understand the language. I don’t really understand what a website is.”
The Judge is hearing a trial of three men charged under anti-terrorism laws.

This sounds a bit fishy to me – just one of those simple stories that go round the world. What if the judge does know what a website is, but finds the detailed testimony on the relation of website hosting to criminal offences confusing?

And indeed, it looks as if he does know what a website is and was trying to get the evidence simplified for the jury:

But the Judicial Communications Office (JCO) later released a statement insisting Judge Openshaw was “entirely computer literate”.
It said the judge’s comments, in the fifth week of a trial largely based on computer generated evidence, had been taken out of context.
He had been simply clarifying the evidence presented in an easily understandable form, for all those in court, the JCO statement continued.
“Mr Justice Openshaw is entirely computer literate and indeed has taken notes on his own computer in court for many years,” the statement said.

Now the Judicial Communications Office is new to me. I don’t think they have one of those in Germany.

The JCO was created in April 2005 to enhance public confidence in judicial office holders in England and Wales. It provides external and internal communications support.

The JCO supports all judges, both full- and part-time, together with tribunal members and magistrates in England and Wales. Here’s its statement (it doesn’t appear to have a website of its own!)

Via Slaw

Law Vodcast

Video-Podcast von Kanzlei Dr. Bahr, heute Das neue Telemediengesetz

A vodcast on the new German Telemedia Act: the text is graphically illustrated practically down to the last word. You can tell it’s German by the illustration of ‘Abwarten und Tee trinken’, which shows a teabag with a deep pink tisane being dunked in a water glass. The relentless visuals are often helpful in following the ideas, but always amusing.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, Werner Siebers presents less artificial videos in which he can be seen in full colour, first addressing the viewer, then reading a text located somewhere outside the top left of the monitor, and then addressing the viewer again in conclusion. Rechtsanwalt Siebers in Farbe und bunt zu einer Entscheidung des Landgerichts Magdeburg is the first. This is an excellent opportunity to see a German law blogger in 3D. Had Kanzlei Dr. Bahr had the latest Siebers vodcast theme, the case of a man fined for taking a bite out of a sausage in a supermarket and putting it back, heaven knows what they would have done with the visuals.

The introduction to the feature comes last.

Juvenes translatores

European Translation Contest / Europäischer Übersetzungswettbewerb – for 17-year-olds.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the European Union, the Commission is organising a contest to give young people first-hand experience of what it is like to be a translator.
You don’t have to look far to see that translation is everywhere – film subtitles, cereal packets, books, user manuals.
How? By giving them a chance to slip into the skin of a translator.

Anlässlich des 50. Geburtstags der Europäischen Union organisiert die Kommission einen Übersetzungswettbewerb, um jungen Leuten einen Eindruck von der Arbeit eines Übersetzers zu vermitteln.
Denn Übersetzung ist überall – ob in Filmuntertiteln, auf Cornflakes-Packungen, in Büchern oder Bedienungsanleitungen – man muss gar nicht lange suchen!
Warum also nicht einmal ausprobieren, wie das funktioniert?!

You have to be at school and nominated for the contest, which will take place on 14 November. The prize is two days in Brussels with an accompanying adult. Translations from any EU language into any other. One may well wonder what texts they will find to enable pupils to ‘slip into the skin of a translator’.


In the Bremer Sprachblog, Anatol Stefanowitsch has an entry on the use of Schadenfreude in English – the British and Americans claim, he says, that the feeling is unknown in English, which doesn’t have a word for it, but of course Germans do. There’s also the suggestion ‘English doesn’t have a word for it’. I think that even if we didn’t (the entry claims that ‘gloat’ can be used), this wouldn’t prove we don’t know the feeling.