Bar Vocational Course

Swiss Tony, at Will I be Barred?, ponders the Bar Vocational Course while doing a pre-course test:

I started on Contract Law. I enjoyed that. I got good marks for it. I understood it all. So the first 10 questions. Offer and Acceptance. The Postal Rule. Easy peasy. I can do that standing on my head. offers, counter offers, silence, auctions, telex machines, Butler Machine Tool, Boots Pharmacutical, Hyde v Wrench, bring them on, I can do them in my sleep.


I am now too scared to try then next 10. I only have another 2490 questions to do and I am like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

Worst thing about it, I used my text books and still got 3/10!!!

If I thought I was worried before, I am in desperate need of a brain transplant.

I hope he’s not serious about Julie Andrews.

Translation weblogs/Übersetzerblogs 2

Sarah Dillon, of There’s Something about Translation, like me, reads a lot of blogs in a feed reader. She posts a list of 85 translator-related blogs.

One might add fucked translation, which reports on bad translations, with the subtitle ‘What happens when Spanish institutions give translation contracts to relatives or to some guy in a bar who once went to London and only charges 0.05€/word’.

Injunct/Nicht so neues englisches Wort

Following my discovery of insoweitig, I was excited to encounter the verb injunct, which was new to me, in a lawyer’s article for the law section of the Times, I think (no, it was in the Law Society Gazette) – but when searching, I found only this comment:

“injunct”? Whatever happened to “enjoin”? Are lawyers, whose profession is based on purported precision of language, becoming so ill-educated that they are ignorant of the root verb of “injunction”?

Since an injunction (einstweilige Verfügung, gerichtliche Anordnung) can order you to stop doing something, or to start doing something, I wondered how to use the verb in a sentence.

But it appears from the Oxford English Dictionary that injunct has been around for a while. Definition: ‘To prohibit or restrain by injunction. Now in somewhat more general use’. First example, 1872, also 1887 – both U.S. Then 1890 in the UK.

Ghits indicate a common use: ‘to injunct publication’, for example in the Law Society Gazette article mentioned:

The Formula One boss had ­previously lost his application to injunct the ­publication of details, photographs and video footage of his sexual activities because by the time he got to court 435,000 hits had been made on the online version of the article, and the video footage had been viewed approximately 1,424,959 times

The verb enjoin seems much harder to use. ‘Enjoin publication’ can be found, in legal texts, in the sense of preventing publication. But it can also mean the opposite: ‘To prescribe authoritatively and with emphasis (an action, a course of conduct, state of feeling, etc.)’, says the OED, meaning 2, whereas meaning 3 ‘To prohibit, forbid (a thing); to prohibit (a person) from (a person or thing)’ is ‘Now only in Law’.

Anglo-American law/Anglo-Amerikanisches Recht

I was wondering whether to translate Anglo-amerikanisches Recht as Anglo-American law. I think I will. It used to seem a bit of a Germanism to me. But better than Anglo-Saxon law, which my employer in Erlangen once put in the Vorlesungsverzeichnis as my speciality.

Anyway, while I was comparing site:uk and site:de ghits, I came across a reference to Donald R. Black at, the site where students can grade their teachers. I have some materials of his, which are wonderful, and he is qualified in the USA, Britain and Germany. Don’t know if the materials are available outside Berlin. I was pleased to see that the sole person who graded him gave him very good marks – all 1 (A), but a mysterious 2 for interest. I’m also not sure if the writer got the course title quite right.


Google findet insoweitigen 59mal. Ist das ordentliches Rechtsdeutsch?

Is this word needed by people who want to stuff sentences with redundancies? I quote the Oberlandesgericht Köln rather than my confidential translation text:

Da die Prüfung solcher Mängel am Gemeinschaftseigentum – insbesondere Schallschutzmängel – derzeit Gegenstand von Gutachteraufträgen im gerichtlichen Verfahren beim LG Aachen ist, will die Eigentümergemeinschaft zunächst die insoweitigen Ergebnisse und die Vorlage der Gutachten abwarten, um anschließend hierüber gegebenenfalls zu beschließen.

Greuther Fürth

It would be wrong to show only the glamorous sides of Fürth, like this:

It must also be reported that Greuther Fürth football supporters behaved badly last Friday. The team was playing against Offenbach, and although this is the age of GPS, the fans’ coach driver, after leaving the motorway to avoid a jam, failed to locate the Offenbach ground and the fans had to go back to Fürth. Whether the unexpected Offenbach victory by 1 – 0 had anything to do with the following violence I don’t know. The fans, aged between 16 and 22, landed in Poppenreuth and threw bottles onto the road and at passing cars.

When the police arrived, the fans took refuge in a pub when they threw bottles and chairs at the police. A 30-year-old policeman suffered an injury from a bottle to his head. The police produced truncheons, whereupon some fans barricaded themselves in an inner room, until the parents of one of them persuaded them to come out. TZ (the dpa report is similar in all papers):

Weil niemand den Weg nach Offenbach kannte, mussten die Fans, die meisten von ihnen junge Männer im Alter zwischen 16 und 22 Jahren, unverrichteter Dinge nach Fürth zurückkehren. Dort machten sie nach Angaben der Polizei ihrem Ärger Luft, indem sie im Stadtteil Poppenreuth Flaschen auf die Straße und gegen vorbei fahrende Autos warfen.

Als die von Anwohnern verständigte Polizei eintraf, flüchteten die jungen Männer in ein Vereinslokal und bewarfen die Polizisten, die ihnen dorthin folgten, mit Flaschen und Stühlen. Ein 30 Jahre alter Polizist wurde von einer Bierflasche am Kopf getroffen und verletzt.

Die Polizisten gingen mit Schlagstöcken gegen die Randalierer vor, von denen sich einige in einem Nebenraum der Kneipe verschanzten. Erst nach gutem Zureden der Eltern eines der jungen Männer konnten sie dazu bewegt werden, die Tür zu öffnen. Vier Männer wurden festgenommen. Gegen sie laufe ein Ermittlungsverfahren wegen gefährlicher Körperverletzung, sagte ein Polizeisprecher.

European Commission seeks English mother-tongue translators/Englische Übersetzer schwer zu finden

The Times reports that there is a disastrous lack of competent translators who are native speakers of English.

A lot of Marie Woolf’s article is based on unpublished materials, internal memos and so on. It seems a little bit souped up, although I am sure there is a shortage.

Monty Python could have made something of this:

Potential recruits are being given remedial coaching to bring their abilities up to standard, while a Eurocrat has been dispatched to scour Britain full-time for anyone who can speak foreign languages well, and to encourage schoolchildren to study them.

I wonder if this Eurocrat is in disguise, like a restaurant critic, and how he susses out these secret linguists.

One would like to know more about the following:

Internal commission memos show the standard of Britons who apply to be European Union translators is so dismal that Brussels is taking emergency steps to fill the linguistic gap, including posting recruitment ads on YouTube, the video-sharing website.

While other countries have pass rates regularly nearing 100% of those who take EU translation tests, as few as 20% of British applicants pass.

I did find a table dated May 2007 showing which international institutions seek what interpreters and translators. It’s a Word document – here is the html version. Here is the top level of IAMLADP.

LATER NOTE: Philippa at Blogging Translator points out that the EU is not likely to accept translators without experience, and many UK translators may apply straight after finishing a course (albeit this is true of those in other countries too).

EVEN LATER NOTE: Sarah Dillon also reported this article, as did Percy Balemans. See Sarah’s comment at Philippa’s blog, linked above. She grew up in Ireland and writes:

But then I’m probably biased: my formative language-learning years were set to an extremely pro-European backdrop and I know for sure that I wouldn’t be a translator today if I’d grown up in the UK.

LATER NOTE (October 4 2008): a member of the ITI Council posted on the ITI website that he spoke to the DG in question and it appeared that either the Times reporter did not understand the discussion or the DG was misquoted. The DG decided not to issue a correction to the article because they did not think it was necessary.

Franconian greasy spoon/Fränkische Küche

Some projects have an air of doom from the outset. But I could be wrong.

Somehow I feel that Franconian cuisine is both more and less than this.

Attempted interpretation of the above, L to R, top row first:

Can it really be a Currywurst? Fried egg on Leberkäse (which contains neither liver nor cheese), possibly mashed potatoes
Schnitzel in a roll, Schnitzel with chips, six Nuremberg sausages with sauerkraut (Sechs mit Kraut)

2 Wiener with a roll, Currywurst? with a roll, Leberkäse with a roll
3 Nuremberg sausages in a roll (Drei im Weckla), chips (French fries)?

Where is the Schäufele? Carp? Saure Zipfel?

Opposite the Jewish Museum, by the way.

Courts on language/Gerichte über Sprache

Proponents of Proposition 8 in California, ‘Eliminates the Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry’, want it changed to ‘Limit on Marriage’. They think the verb ‘eliminates’ is negative and not typical of titles of legislation in California.

Superior Court Judge Timothy M. Frawley said ‘There is nothing inherently argumentative or prejudicial about transitive verbs, and the Court is not willing to fashion a rule that would require the Attorney General to engage in useless nominalization’.

Advocates of same-sex marriage were pleased with the decision.

I suppose one should keep an eye open for future transitive verbs, and make sure that there is no further nominalization.

(via Roger Shuy at Language Log)