Barbershop barrister quartet

Ben thanks his mother for encouraging him to study at the Open University. He calls in a

Barrister barbershop quartet

to do the honours.

Ben, like most other Open University students, had someone to support him through his studies. His tutors, fellow students and family all encouraged him along his learning journey.
But instead of simply saying ‘thank you’ to Jennifer, his mum, for inspiring and motivating him to study, we helped him to do something a million times better.
“I used to be a removal man. My mother sat me down and told me I was so much better than that and I should use my clever brain. I am now working for an ‘in-house’ legal team whilst on my fourth year of a law degree. Thank you.”

Internationally acclaimed barrister Amal Alamuddin marries an actor

Internationally acclaimed barrister Amal Alamuddin marries an actor

Amal is an educated and successful career woman we’ve long admired. The high-flying barrister has notched up many career highs, including representing the controversial WikiLeaks whistleblower Julian Assange, and also has multilingual fluency in English, French and Arabic.

Amal attended St. Hugh’s College, Oxford University, earning her BA/LLB and receiving the Exhibitioner, Shrigley Award. She also attended New York University School of Law earning her LLM and receiving the Jack J. Katz Memorial Award.

We think this George Clooney fellow has scored big time.

He’s been quoted as saying he was ‘marrying up’… we agree.

Profile at Doughty Street Chambers.

Amal Alamuddin is a barrister specialising in international law, human rights, extradition and criminal law. She has represented clients in cases before the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, as well as in domestic courts in the UK and US.

Amal also provides advice to governments and individuals on international law, and has been appointed to a number of UN commissions including as adviser to Special Envoy Kofi Annan on Syria, and as Counsel to the Inquiry launched by UN human rights rapporteur Ben Emmerson QC into the use of drones in counter-terrorism operations.

Amal is fluent in French and Arabic and has particular expertise in international criminal law and the Middle East region.


Ten objects that made modern Germany (my version)

In The Guardian: Ten objects that made modern Germany.

This is gearing up to the British Museum exhibition and BBC radio series. They offer:
wetsuit used for attempting to escape GDR via Baltic; Tischbein’s portrait of Goethe; Würstchen; Dürer; Meissen (I feel that Dürer’s porcelain rhinoceros is misphrased); Volkswagen; Kollwitz; Buchenwald; Trümmerfrauen; and Barlach’s Angel.

I would like to offer an alternative set. The term ‘objects’ is used loosely so I have a wide field:
Dr. Oetker’s blancmange powder

Das Dampfen der aufkochenden Milch, das Rascheln der kleinen Tüte, das Schlagen des Schneebesens, der Duft von Vanille. Und dann – endlich! – der erste Löffel, so warm, so süß, so lecker. Genießen auch Sie Pudding von Dr. Oetker!

The dirndl
The autobahn
Denke an die Kinder! (when crossing against the light)
Dogs wearing scarves
Draußen nur Kännchen

Additions welcome. There will be more in the British Museum exhibition, of course.

Rip Van Winkle

I feel (and am) rather aged coming back to London after more than thirty years.

I didn’t know how difficult it is to get called Ms – just by spelling it out you draw to yourself the attention you didn’t want.

I thought it was only in the USA that things like ‘Howdy, MMarks’ (the way WordPress greets me backstage) were encountered, or Moo cards originated (posted in a box marked ‘Yay!’, and apparently can’t be received in a plain envelope).

But today at Sainsbury’s, joining the queue for personal service and buying a ‘southern fried chicken wrap’, I am met with ‘Babes, why don’t you get a Meal Deal?’

Someone trying to sell solar panels greets me at the door with ‘Hello darling, how are you today?’ In fact the words ‘How are you today?’ signal a cold phone call.

A mailing-list colleague says how much he dislikes Virgin Mobile addressing him as ‘Peeps’!

To quote another poster:

Office 2013 has bits of that. When one finishes a spell-check, a pop-up box announces:
“Spelling and grammar check complete. You’re good to go!”
After doing something else, it answers: “We did that for you.” Who’s “we”?
Somewhere else it replies, “Nope.”

I suppose I am becoming the old person I was destined to be.

Anyone else having difficulties with the modern world?

Tanja Wissik: Terminologische Variation in der Rechts- und Verwaltungssprache

I don’t know this book, but it may be useful. It is based on a doctoral thesis so relatively heavy going, and the legal and administrative language it describes relates to universities (Hochschulwesen).

Tanja Wissik: Terminologische Variation in der Rechts- und Verwaltungssprache

Here’s a PDF with some of the contents.

I do love the terms Teutonismen, Helvetismen and Austriazismen.

In the past, I have occasionally found the Variantenwörterbuch helpful. But actually not that often. It appears it is being revised, which is interesting. But it may be that for the few terms that cause problems when one is translating a Swiss text, for instance, the internet will provide a solution.

Thanks to Urs.

German customs attempts English

Volker Weber proves that online machine translation is at least no worse than what the Cologne Customs Office can do.

Antrag auf Befreiung vom Zollflugplatzzwang
Application for liberation of the inch airfield compulsion

PDF of the original.

A web search reveals that this version is used at least in Erfurt too.

Some years ago some German courts provided forms containing German and a Denglish translation, into which the translator who was commissioned had to type the not-yet-translated bits. A colleague used to come into college and use the secretary’s typewriter to do this. I suppose they may still do it with PDFs. It was always an eye-opener to see that the courts were incapable of ordering a comprehensible translation, and it wasn’t much of an incentive to do better.

Quark as a superfood/Völliger Quark

I’m glad we can call Quark quark now, which does away with the problem of ‘translating’ it as curd cheese or cottage-cheese-without-the-lumps (Hüttenkäse!), almost as dreadful as the problems of translating Zwetschgen.

The Daily Mail is today touting it as a superfood:

Rise of the soft cheese that can help you lose weight: Sales of ‘superfood’ quark rocket 40% in a year

It’s every dieter’s dream: the cheese that could actually help you shave off those extra pounds.
Sales of quark – a soft cheese that’s virtually fat free – have rocketed by 37.9 per cent in the last year.
Health-conscious Britons forked out a staggering £8.5million for the ingredient, a jump of £2.3million from the previous year.

I am mystified by the term ‘virtually fat free’. That sounds like low-fat quark to me, the stuff I refuse to eat but have accepted, if reluctantly, as a poultice (Quarkwickel sounds like a sort of samosa but isn’t).

But it looks as if Lake District Quark don’t do anything but low-fat quark. They call it ‘naturally fat-free’. They must have got hold of some fat-free cows. And Jennifer Lopez and Carole Middleton are apparently fans.

What makes Lake District Dairy Co. Quark, different from other Quarks?

If consumers are familiar with European Quark, they will notice a distinct difference with our British Lake District Dairy Co. Quark as it is noticeably smoother in texture and more spoonable making it more versatile and perfect for cooking, baking and mixing.

As the Germans would say, that’s a load of Quark (das ist doch völliger Quark!).

Südmilch, for instace, sell it in qualities from low-fat to 40° Fett in der Trockenmasse (fat in dry matter).

Es gibt ihn in verschiedenen Fettstufen von mager bis hin zu 40% Fett i.Tr. Egal ob pur oder mit Joghurt zu frischem Obst, für Desserts oder mit frischen Kräutern zu Kartoffeln: Der Südmilch Speisequark ist immer ein Genuss.

I think quark desserts may be a good way of getting some people to eat more protein. We can get French soft cheese desserts now, but they seem only to be produced in child-size containers.

If you’re keen to get quark in the UK other than low-fat quark, it looks difficult. German Deli has a certain amount, but not only is it Milram Frühlingsquark, which means it’s mixed with herbs and stuff, but it’s described as containing ‘skimmed quark’, and Aldi also apparently has a fat-free version.