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German news in English/Deutsche Nachrichten auf Englisch


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1. Volcano

Apparently the Daily Mail has been stirring up fears that a volcano in Germany is about to erupt and cover Europe in ash.

Tabloid Watch: Mail removes scaremongering article about volcano

Englische Zeitung weckt weltweit Angst vor Laacher-See-Vulkan

Auch andere ausländische Medien sind auf den britischen Zug aufgesprungen. Zeitungen und Internetportale in Rumänien, Italien, Frankreich, Griechenland, der Schweiz, Norwegen und sogar in den Arabischen Emiraten berichten über den gefährlichen deutschen „Super-Vulkan“ unter dem Laacher See.

Mind you, something very similar appeared in Der Spiegel five years ago.

2. German-Iranian friction boosts Bratwurst prices, The Local

In shock news for Germans everywhere, the sausage industry is feeling the rising cost of importing sheep intestines from Iran, leading Nürnberger Bratwurst producer Claus Steiner told The Local on Friday.

Sheep intestinal lining – a key ingredient in making the sausage – is largely imported from Iran, which has a 500-year history of trading animal by-products. But this may change, as the price of sheep gut has almost tripled in the past 18 months.

A year and a half ago 90 metres of intestinal lining, enough to encase about 1,000 delicious bratwursts, cost just €6.30. But now the same length costs a whopping €17.20 – an alarming price hike that sausage-loving Germans may feel come barbecue season.

And you thought it was all about nuclear weapons. I’m not sure that boosts is the right word in the headline.


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Impressions of Munich/Bilder aus München


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Seller of Munich street newspaper (Obdachlosenzeitung) BISS.

It’s just as well I went to Munich last Friday – I had neglected to get a ticket to hear Herr Gauck giving his last reading before becoming Bundespräsident, at the Berolzheimerianum in Fürth (aka Die Comödie). I also missed out on the last performances of Biermosl Blosn.

Viktualienmarkt

Small car.


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Fürth harbour/Hafen Fürth


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Yesterday. The temperature is now around zero and feels mild. Canal still thawing. Last week I saw a boat coming through breaking the ice in the middle.

View along Main-Danube Canal towards harbour (right) and Solarberg (can be seen in the distance).

We don’t talk about the turquoise building.


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Zhou Enlai forgotten in Nuremberg/Sonntagsblitz verkennt Mao


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The local free Sunday paper, an offshoot of Nürnberger Nachrichten, presents a photo of Nixon and Mao that apparently went round the world. Strangely, it shows Zhou Enlai instead of Mao. Sad times. Or did they photoshop Mao out?

Here’s a link, but I suppose the article may change (the article does mention Zhou, but the caption to the picture doesn’t). Here a screenshot:

LATER NOTE: it has been corrected (Monday). I added a comment ‘Ich vermisse Mao auf dem Bild’, which now appears (sensibly) as ‘M.M. schrieb am 20.02.2012:
Im ersten Foto sitzt Nixon aber nicht neben Mao Tse Tung, sondern neben Zhou Enlai (1898-1976). Sie haben recht, wir haben das Bild entfernt. Die Redaktion’


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Deutschlandfunk Presseschau


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Deutschlandfunk Presseschau Deutschland und international, Samstag, 18. Februar 2012 12:50 Uhr

About twice a week, when I’m driving to appointments, I hear the Deutschlandfunk station reporting on the press. I’m going to quote it below, but today’s text won’t be there forever, although there is an archive online for the week.

You can find the latest summary of what the newspapers say on Deutschlandradio at www.dradio.de/presseschau.

What fascinates me is the way they vary the reporting verbs. It’s good that they name the newspaper both before and after the quote, but I find myself listening to the verbs they use almost more than to the opinions. I’ve bolded what I mean below. They must have a collection of verbs at hand.

(The omissions below were not made with any political intent – I just didn’t want to quote the whole thing, for copyright reasons).

Auch international beschäftigt der Rücktritt von Bundespräsident Wulff die Kommentatoren. Die dänische Zeitung BERLINGSKE TIDENDE schreibt dazu:

“Der deutsche Bundespräsident soll sauberer als alle anderen sein – so sieht es die Tradition vor. …Der Rücktritt ist daher richtig”,

findet BERLINGSKE TIDENDE aus Kopenhagen.

Die ungarische Zeitung NEPSZABADSAG sieht es ähnlich:

“Wulff betont zwar beständig seine Unschuld….”,

argumentiert NEPSZABADSAG aus Budapest.

Die polnische Zeitung RZECZPOSPOLITA vergleicht die Situation mit anderen Ländern:

“Wenn die Staatsoberhäupter anderer Staaten unseres Kontinents ein ähnlich empfindliches Gefühl dafür hätten, …An einige polnische Politiker darf man da schon gar nicht erst denken”,

unterstreicht die RZECZPOSPOLITA aus Warschau.

Die italienische Zeitung LA STAMPA beleuchtet die Auswirkungen des Rücktritts auf Europa:

“Während die Spekulationen über den Nachfolger von Wulff voll entbrannt sind, stellt sich auch die Frage, welche Auswirkungen der Fall auf die Probleme in Europa und die Euro-Krise hat. …”

So weit LA STAMPA aus Turin.

Der österreichische STANDARD blickt auf die Rolle von Bundeskanzlerin Merkel:

“Bei allem Mitgefühl für die schwierige Situation des jüngsten und am kürzesten amtierenden Staatsoberhauptes Deutschlands -man hatte bei seinem Rücktritt nicht den Eindruck, dass er das Problem verstanden hat. … Wer nicht spurt, wird entsorgt, so funktioniert das im System Merkel”,

glaubt DER STANDARD aus Wien.

“Angela Merkel und ihre Koalition aus Christdemokraten und Liberalen haben die Funktion des Präsidenten für Machtspiele missbraucht”,

kritisiert die tschechische Zeitung DNES und fügt hinzu:

“Nun zeigt sich, …Sie muss auch im Interesse der Sache eine Persönlichkeit finden, zu der die Deutschen aufsehen können”,

urteilt DNES aus Prag.

Für die serbische Zeitung POLITIKA steht Kanzlerin Merkel nun politisch unter Druck:

“Kein Wunder, …Die Bundeskanzlerin kann es sich nicht leisten, dass ein dritter Rücktrittskandidat als Nachfolger erkoren wird”,

notiert POLITIKA aus Belgrad.

Die bulgarische Zeitung SEGA kommentiert das Angebot von Kanzlerin Merkel, zusammen mit der Opposition nach einem gemeinsamen Kandidaten zu suchen:

“Mit diesem ungewöhnlichen Schritt …”,

vermutet SNEG aus Sofia.

Die niederländische Zeitung NRC HANDELSBLAD führt aus:

“Kanzlerin Merkel will mit SPD und Grünen einen gemeinsamen Kandidaten finden. Hoffentlich hält sie Wort, a…”,

betont NRC HANDELSBLAD aus Amsterdam.

Die russische Zeitung KOMMERSANT geht auf die Rolle der Medien ein:

“Kanzlerin Angela Merkel dankte Christian Wulff für die geleistete Arbeit und fügte hinzu, dass sie den Rücktritt sehr bedauere….”,

ist im KOMMERSANT aus Moskau zu lesen.

Die NEUE ZÜRCHER ZEITUNG übt sich in Medienschelte:

“Hinter dem fast täglichen Theater um neue Enthüllungen, … Eigenartig, wie viele Augen da plötzlich blind sind”,

urteilt die NZZ aus der Schweiz.

Die türkische Zeitung SABAH meint:

“Wulffs Botschaft auf die Mailbox von ‘Bild’-Chef Kai Diekmann war der Beginn seines Sturzes. …dadurch wird die Demokratie noch stärker”,

ist SABAH aus Istanbul überzeugt, mit der die internationale Presseschau endet.

Since writing the above, I’ve found an article on this very subject – Verba dicendi, apparently, headed “…moniert die Neue Presse”. Verben und Wendungen der Zitateinbettung in Presseschauen, by Hartmut E. H. Lenk. See in particular the classification of the type of verb used, on p. 104 (p. 12 of the file).


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Klinikum Fürth


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The Fürth hospital was built in 1931. You can see the original design – there is a huge new section attached on the back. It was originally a shallow building with big windows allowing light in from both front and back of each ward. The white sections at the ends are new too. Not sure what they charge for the rooms with a large corner balcony.

Note also a possible reason for any lack of doctors as there is a well-worn path across the helicopter landing pad.

Here’s something on the history (in German).

The original director of the hospital was Dr. Jakob Frank, who was driven out of his job in 1933 by the National Socialists, then worked at the Jewish hospital in Fürth and eventually emigrated to the USA via Sweden in 1939 (FürthWiki, German).


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Book on German criminal procedure/Der Strafprozess – BDÜ Fachverlag


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The BDÜ publishes a series of books of varying quality. This looks useful – but I haven’t seen it yet: a summary of German criminal procedure written by a public prosecutor, intended for translators and interpreters.

“Der Strafprozess – Eine Einführung für Gerichtsdolmetscher und -übersetzer”

Verfasst von Staatsanwalt Rainer Kock gibt dieser Band Dolmetschern und Übersetzern, die für die Staatsanwaltschaften und Gerichte tätig sind oder werden möchten, einen zusammenfassenden Überblick über den Gang eines Ermittlungs- und Strafverfahrens sowie über die strafprozessualen Rechtsbehelfe und Rechtsmittel.

Der Autor stellt die wichtigsten juristischen Begriffe und auch schwierigen Probleme in Kombination mit praktischen Beispielsfällen so dar, dass Dolmetscher und Übersetzer sie mühelos verstehen und in ihrer Tätigkeit den Verfahrensbeteiligten in ihrer Muttersprache vermitteln können.

Bestellen Sie (102 Seiten) für 14,00 Euro
zzgl. Porto- und Verpackungskosten online:

Hier klicken und bestellen.

Eine Leseprobe steht Ihnen hier zur Verfügung.

Don’t overlook the PDF or html sample they offer. You’ll also find a link to a volume on civil procedure, which I recommend.

The rest of the publications linked (click on Publikationen) may also be interesting. Corinna Schlüter-Ellner’s Juristendeutsch and Treffende Verben in der deutschen Rechtssprache is first-rate. For translators out of German, the Juristendeutsch gives synonyms for weird legalese. These used to be hard to get hold of.


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class="post-3816 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-17-internet category-10-translation">

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Not awfully good online translation/”Übersetzung” online


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1. This is really about legal translation – on fucked translation, kalebeul has done the work on describing the Spanish Facebook translation of civil union (civil partnership) as a homosexual union, thus excluding the heterosexual variant. Here’s the original Lexicool post. (Germany has a Lebenspartnerschaftsgesetz, and the parties are known as Lebenspartner).

2. This is interesting: machine translation, such as Google Translate, can be helpful in giving the gist of a web page. But what do people think when they read such gibberish without explanation? Here is an IKEA Hack in gibberish: Portable drawer … a box of second growth … This seems to have caused no unrest – of course, the photos help. The list of products is almost correct. Second growth seems to mean resurrection. This sounds a bit disgusting, though:

I just painted, I set the rear side, standing in the rolled up in my wrapping paper.

This is puzzling too – the original (Hungarian) must have meant something:

Here it is important enough for accurate measurement….(this is unfortunately the experience of my sentence:))


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class="post-3815 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-7-furth category-4-photos tag-7-furth tag-4-photos">

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Ice skating allowed at own risk/Eislaufen gestattet auf eigenes Risiko


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The metal plate has been released to say ‘auf eigenes Risiko gestattet’ – it usually says just ‘verboten’, I think. But at -15°C, too cold – only two skaters at 13.00.

Meanwhile, here is a warmer headcovering (my upper cheeks have been getting very cold):

And here possibly a Scot:

or two


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Corpora for (legal) translators/Textkörper für (juristische) Übersetzer


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I did some months ago intend to write something about my experience of using corpora for translation purposes, especially legal translation. (See earlier entry and footnotes by John Kuti there)

At that time, it appeared the free programs I might have recommended had lost their value for me because they had access to fewer corpora.

Then again, one could get fairly similar results with a Google CSE (custom search engine).

I followed a webinar on the topic last year, and it ended with a contribution by Juliette Scott, who is a legal translator who is doing a Ph.D. on the subject. She now has a weblog, called Translation & the Law: from words to deeds, which is certainly a good place to find out more.

There was also a blog post by Kevin Lossner in Translation Tribulations, entitled A NIFTY method for legal terminology (I thought NIFTY was a play on NIMBY, but I found out it is the name Juliette Scott gives her method) – Here you will find the links to use if you want to help in Juliette’s research/find out more.

From a real-life seminar in London a couple of years ago I also have a most wonderful and useful book on the subject of corpora; Working with Specialized Language: A practical guide to using corpora” by Lynne Bowker and Jennifer Pearson (dated 2002 but still useful in 2012: you can look inside at amazon)

The basic approach to making a corpus of legal texts is to collect them on the internet or from other sources and convert them all into a format readable by the corpus program. This takes a bit of time. It also raises copyright problems unless you just use it for your own purposes. This was the problem with the free software BootCat, which had lost the right to use certain sources from the Web. The free software AntConc is for a later stage of the process.

Here’s an article by Michael Wilkinson: Compiling Corpora for Use as Translation Resources

I did have some rapid success in one field of legal English late last year. I sometimes translate lawyers’ websites and also extracts from directories in which law firms are described in glowing terms. Here’s an example from a firm I have nothing to do with:

CMS Hasche Sigle
Aufbruch in eine neue Zeit – und zwar mit Schwung. Unter dieses Motto könnte man das vergangene Jahr bei CMS stellen. Schon lange gehört die Kanzlei in Hamburg zu den führenden Adressen, jedoch monierten Wettbewerber, CMS sei zu breit aufgestellt, um im Markt wirklich hervorzustechen.
Diese Zeiten gehen zu Ende: V.a. die M&A-Praxis hat zuletzt einen deutlichen Schub erhalten und sorgte für Schlagzeilen, als ein Hamburger Team zusammen mit dem internationalen CMS-Verbund Takeda bei dem €10 Mrd schweren Erwerb von Nycomed beriet. Dies spiegelte sich auch im Markt wider, die Gruppe erntete in diesem Jahr spürbar mehr Lob. Gemeinsam mit Dr. Marc Riede betreute er zudem die HSH bei der Restrukturierung von Hapag-Lloyd.

It’s quite easy to collect this kind of thing in English from UK, USA and other sites and to search it for useful expressions. I might find more ideas for words like betreuen.

But I still have the feeling that a corpus would not help me with most legal translations, because I am not trying to create a text that looks like it was written in English about English law, but one that is clearly about a foreign legal system. If I created a collection of contracts, for example, every potential match of phrase would need to be checked legally to see if it meant the same thing. I have the feeling that I’d love to computerize my vocabulary work, but it would then bypass my own brain and experience.


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Posted in language, translation
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