This is not a review, and I think dictionary reviews are difficult anyway. But I’d like to say that I’ve had a look at the second edition of Karin Linhart’s law dictionary (DE>EN, EN>DE, 2017) and it really does look greatly changed and improved from the first edition (2010).
I wrote about the first edition here.
Karin Linhart is German, which I hadn’t realized. She has a page in the German Wikipedia, Karin Linhart, with links to other sources and a list of publications. Meet Karin Linhart: A Law Library of Congress Patron has a photo of her with three Library of Congress librarians.
Here are the publisher’s details for the new edition.
One feature of this dictionary remains that its strongest point is the EN>DE part, with a preference (I still feel) for AmE. There are boxouts (those little additional glossary boxes), which Beck Verlag seems to love – I’m not sure who reads them – mainly in that section, but in the DE>EN section too. Their number has decreased. There are definitely English as well as US terms.
The foreword states that the dictionary has been newly designed, expanded and updated, and it is oriented mainly towards foreign students at German, Austrian and Swiss universities, but it is also for German students studying abroad, for lawyers, judges, and although it is written more from a lawyer’s point of view than a translator’s (what on earth does this mean?) it may be of use for translators and interpreters too.
A lot of the end materials have gone. including the amusing advice for German lawyers speaking English abroad and the US and South African constitutions. There is now only a specimen letter of application and CV for Germans applying in the USA.
The new edition is said to have Austrian and Swiss terms in it. So I checked the term Herabsetzungsklage – Herabsetzungsurteil came up as a query on a mailing list this week. And it is in there:
Herabsetzungsklage (CH) ErbR
“(in Fällen, in denen die Anordnungen in der letztwilligen Verfügung den Wert übersteigen, über den nach Berücksichtigung der Pflichtteile noch verfügt werden kann) action in abatement – Art. 475 chZGB.”
This is excellent. The term is also in Tom West’s Trilingual Swiss Dictionary, of course, there citing Art. 522, which is equally appropriate, but without the definition.
One thing that strikes me on my cursory review is that there is an emphasis on terminology, especially nouns, from statutes, rather than, for example, conjunctions and turns of phrase – this is not surprising in a small dictionary, and it is what I would go to Romain for. But my Romain is falling apart and there is no help on the horizon – this might be what is meant by saying it is a dictionary conceived for lawyers rather than translators.
There are a large number of cross-references, necessary to save space in a small dictionary.
Noted in flicking through:
lucidum intervallum is translated as clear moment, rather than the usual lucid interval.
Lockvogel Strafr. agent provocateur (stool pigeon? decoy? not a very common word)
Arglistige Täuschung is followed by = List (A), that is, the Austrian equivalent is introduced after the German term – very useful. Other examples are Sorgerecht, (A) Obsorge
The English claimant for Kläger is there, but other new terms like statement of case are not.
mens rea is cross-referenced to criminal state of mind, which is the main headword and a very oddly phrased one, but I suppose it is hard to give a brief definition.
Anyway, this is just a brief reference. I will probably come back to the dictionary. I wish I had made a list of words to check all legal dictionaries for.