Seagulls at Folkestone

I can’t remember if I’ve posted these before. They were taken with a small camera in the Eurotunnel terminus at Folkestone in July 2013. Standing in the queue for coffee I looked up and saw them standing on the canvas roof. Unfortunately maybe the roof has changed, but at all events there is now, or was last time I was there, a fake hawk flying above to frighten the seagulls off.



LATER NOTE: Here is a photo sent to me by Victor Dewsbery – it seemed difficult to add it in a comment. – I meant to mention his useful post on terminology in the construction industry recently but somehow never got round to it

Travelling in Germany in earlier years

I eventually got round to reading Vanity Fair when I had watched the excellent TV adaptation last year – I did not realize the book was over 900 pages long. Previous attempts had failed after about 4 pages because I thought there were no interesting characters, so I missed its light treatment of society and politics and Waterloo.

There are some parts where the characters travel to the German principalities in the summer, as was apparently common. They went by boat from near the Tower. Here from Project Gutenberg

Am Rhein

The above everyday events had occurred, and a few weeks had passed, when on one fine morning, Parliament being over, the summer advanced, and all the good company in London about to quit that city for their annual tour in search of pleasure or health, the Batavier steamboat left the Tower-stairs laden with a goodly company of English fugitives. The quarter-deck awnings were up, and the benches and gangways crowded with scores of rosy children, bustling nursemaids; ladies in the prettiest pink bonnets and summer dresses; gentlemen in travelling caps and linen-jackets, whose mustachios had just begun to sprout for the ensuing tour; and stout trim old veterans with starched neckcloths and neat-brushed hats, such as have invaded Europe any time since the conclusion of the war, and carry the national Goddem into every city of the Continent. The congregation of hat-boxes, and Bramah desks, and dressing-cases was prodigious. There were jaunty young Cambridge-men travelling with their tutor, and going for a reading excursion to Nonnenwerth or Konigswinter; there were Irish gentlemen, with the most dashing whiskers and jewellery, talking about horses incessantly, and prodigiously polite to the young ladies on board, whom, on the contrary, the Cambridge lads and their pale-faced tutor avoided with maiden coyness; there were old Pall Mall loungers bound for Ems and Wiesbaden and a course of waters to clear off the dinners of the season, and a little roulette and trente-et-quarante to keep the excitement going; there was old Methuselah, who had married his young wife, with Captain Papillon of the Guards holding her parasol and guide-books; there was young May who was carrying off his bride on a pleasure tour (Mrs. Winter that was, and who had been at school with May’s grandmother); there was Sir John and my Lady with a dozen children, and corresponding nursemaids; and the great grandee Bareacres family that sat by themselves near the wheel, stared at everybody, and spoke to no one. Their carriages, emblazoned with coronets and heaped with shining imperials, were on the foredeck, locked in with a dozen more such vehicles: it was difficult to pass in and out amongst them; and the poor inmates of the fore-cabin had scarcely any space for locomotion. These consisted of a few magnificently attired gentlemen from Houndsditch, who brought their own provisions, and could have bought half the gay people in the grand saloon; a few honest fellows with mustachios and portfolios, who set to sketching before they had been half an hour on board; one or two French femmes de chambre who began to be dreadfully ill by the time the boat had passed Greenwich; a groom or two who lounged in the neighbourhood of the horse-boxes under their charge, or leaned over the side by the paddle-wheels, and talked about who was good for the Leger, and what they stood to win or lose for the Goodwood cup.


There is more.

I’ve also look ed at Travellers in the Third Reich. The rise of fascism through the eyes of everyday people, by Julia Boyd. This collects reports by British and American visitors to the new Germany in the 1930s. There is a wide variety of anecdotes (the US athletes from poor backgrounds who went to the Berlin Olympics were amazed by the amount of food they could eat on the boa – one marathon runner had to give up the race after one mile because he had put on so much weight during the voyage).

From the introduction:

Students form a particularly interesting group. It seems that even in the context of such an unpleasant regime, a dose of German culture was still considered an essential part of growing up. But it is hard to find an explanation for why so many British and American teenagers were sent off to Nazi Germany right up until the outbreak of war. Parents who despised the Nazis and derided their gross ‘culture’ showed no compunction in parcelling off their children to the Reich for a lengthy stay. For the young people in question, it was to prove an extraordinary experience, if not exactly the one originally proposed. Students certainly numbered among those who, on returning from Germany, tried to alert their families and friends to the lurking danger. But public indifference or sympathy with Nazi ‘achievements’, cheerful memories of beer gardens and dirndls, and, above all, the deep-seated fear of another war, meant that too often such warnings fell on deaf ears.

Austrian Civil Code explained

As mentioned by my commenter AMM under the last entry (thanks, Adrian), a team at Graz University are working on putting the ABGB into language which is easier to understand.

The Austrian Civil Code dates from 1811, and parts of it have not been changed since then, while other parts have been updated in rather formal language.

The ABGB (Allgemeines bürgerliches Gesetzbuch für die gesammten deutschen Erbländer der Oesterreichischen Monarchie) can be found here.The Graz project is online.

And here is an example showing a useful discussion of the language aspects of the existing text in sections 285 et seq.



Definitionen/Einteilungen von Sachen:





−  zT etwas willkürlich (Bedeutung hier oft noch nicht zu erkennen)
−  später Wichtiges fehlt, so zB die vertretbare Sache, die in § 983 (Darlehen) vorkommt, oder die verkehrsfähige Sache; eine Ergänzung von § 291 wäre insofern wohl wünschenswert
−  etwas genauere Regelung der unbeweglichen Sachen fehlt, nicht einmal die Grundstücke werden in § 293 genannt

Österreichisches Rechtswörterbuch

The small German-language dictionary of Austrian Law, Österreichisches Rechtswörterbuch by Heinz G. Russwurm and Alexander P. Schoeller, published by Juridica Verlag (2nd ed. 1997, ISBN 3-85131-067-5)

has been updated as Österreichisches Rechtswörterbuch, by Ute Svinger and Katharina Winkler, published by Manz Verlag (2014, ISBN 978-3-214-17586-3)

I completely missed this in 2014!

The new edition still has “1600 Rechtsbegriffe”. One difference is that the relevant statute reference is placed in brackets after each term it applies too.

I have done PDF scans of one double page of each and I am trying to add them – I absolutely hate this new WordPress version – can I go back to the old one? how do I add media? and what good does the change do? OK, you will have to download these PDFs if you are interested. I may replace them with an iphone shot when the light is better.

Russwurm:

Svinger:

Anyway, it won’t break the bank, and the formatting is nice – cross-referenced words appear in italics in the text.

Dictionary of differences Austrian and German law

Wörterbuch rechtsterminologischer Unterschiede Österreich–Deutschland (Österreichisches Deutsch – Sprache der Gegenwart, Band 16) von Rudolf Muhr (Autor), Marlene Peinhopf (Autor)

This book contains 2000 Austrian legal terms with their German equivalents and much more. There are English and French translations too. You can look inside the book at amazon. 

The German-law equivalent is given if there is one. 43 Austrian terms and 492 German terms have no equivalent in the other legal system. 

For example: for Abfertigung we find it is a statutory term – the German equivalent is Abfindung, the English severance pay and the French indemnité(s) de licenciement. There are definitions for both the Austrian and German terms. Where a term doesn’t exactly exist in German law, there  is still a note explaining the situation in more detail. 

I’ve only skimmed the book so far. the use of English translations is of great interest. My eye fell on Landesgericht – circuit court (UK) / regional court, and Landbutter: country butter – I’m not too sure about those, but most of the English looks good.

There are other books in the series, in particular Heidemarie Markhardt’s Wörterbuch der österreichischen Rechts-, Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungsterminologie – see earlier post.

MORE DETAILS ADDED THE NEXT DAY

I have now had a closer first look at the dictionary. It arises from work on Austrian German and ‘Bundesdeutsch’ in the EU after Markhardt, whose work on Austrian German for the EU was up to 2007. It is also to be seen as an attempt to show how terminology work can be constructed in pluricentral languages such as German, where two legal systems are based on the same language, within the EU. That is the case also for English, French, Greek, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish and Spanish. The first version of the dictionary was produced between 2007 and 2010, with the support of the Austrian government. About 1000 of the terms later entered IATE. The project was fully revised between 2014 and 2015. 

The emphasis of the dictionary is Austrian law, and therefore the German legal terms which have no equivalent in Austrian law have not been treated in detail. 

The English is described as based on English and Commonwealth law and was reviewed by Carmen Prodinger (Canberrra/Klagenfurt), hence I think the ‘circuit court’. 

The dictionary contains full details of the terminological entries, which contain definitions, sources, equivalents and in fact much more information than we usually get in a legal dictionary. At the back there is an alphabetical list in table form of German legal concepts with their Austrian counterparts, followed by a list of all the Austrian terms which lack a German equivalent. 

I think the dictionary will be extremely useful. It does contain some food vocabulary, not a big percentage though. 

Rechtsverordnung – translating into English

How should one translate the German term Rechtsverordnung, which is often abridged as Verordnung, especially in titles, into English?

In this blog, I have discussed it in the context of Geoffrey Perrin’s 1988 article in Lebende Sprachen, ‘Rechtsverordnung’ and the Terminology of Legal Translation, which Geoffrey has allowed me to post on this site as a PDF. In the right-hand column of this site you can find the link under ‘Articles’.

It’s a complex issue with a lot of disclaimers, but I will start off by saying what usage I prefer in British English, and put any other thoughts later.

The question arises in connection with the German Institutsvergütungsverordnung (long form: Verordnung über die aufsichtsrechtlichen Anforderungen an Vergütungssysteme von Instituten), which has been translated as Remuneration Ordinance for Institutions  and more recently as Remuneration Regulation for Institutions.

Here goes:

Gesetze und (Rechts)verordnungen refers to primary and subordinate legislation. Verordnungen in the plural is best translated by subordinate legislation or delegated legislation. The problem arises when you need a countable singular term, especially part of a title.

The superordinate singular term is statutory instrument. But in the actual titles of statutory instruments in the UK, the term is usually order or regulations (note the plural). Here is a list of UK statutory instruments.

This is why I write order in a title if it is my choice what to write.

A term very widely used, especially by Germans, is ordinance. Perrin discusses that for England and Wales – it is a very archaic-sounding and obscure category. And in the USA it is usually a city ordinance, a form of local legislation (British by(e)-law). I don’t like the word ordinance, but I have seen it used so often that I do understand what it is supposed to mean: a form of delegated legislation.

I don’t like regulation (singular) either. It makes me think of the EU Verordnung – Regulation – a form of primary EU legislation, rather than a form of German subordinate legislation. But as I say, if the translator cites the German title or in some way makes clear that something different from the EU term is meant, I can’t see any harm being done.

I just set this out to explain my thinking.

Disclaimer 1: It may be that regulation works best in US English and (statutory) order doesn’t work at all. Geoffrey Perrin touches on that in his sixth footnote.

2. As long as the original German title is mentioned together with the translator’s English version, there should be no confusion.

3. If a published version exists entitled either Regulation or Ordinance, it may be advisable to stick to that, especially if the end user of the translation is likely to consult it.

4. As Perrin writes in  his article, the expectations of the reader of a translation are important. Hence legal translators always have to consider: is the translation primarily for the UK, the USA, Europe, or all those together. Legal translation for me is rarely about translating between two legal systems – there are always more involved.

Neue Altstadt Frankfurt am Main

Some impressions of the new Altstadt in Frankfurt am Main following a guided tour on October 22.

Frankfurt’s original old town was the biggest in Germany and consisted of about 1250 medieval and Renaissance timber-framed buildings over an area of 7000 square metres. It was destroyed in air raids in WWII and largely replaced by a 1970s brutalist Technisches Rathaus, administrative buildings, which must have robbed the area of its life. The buildings were eventually bought back by the city and the whole area was ‘rebuilt’ from 2012-2018. The small buildings, alleyways and squares have returned: 15 buildings following the old plans (though no longer 12 families sharing one lavatory) and many others designed in a variety of similar styles. There are shops and restaurants in the lower floors. The area was opened in September 2018 and at the moment is full of groups of tourists like me being led around it.

Here’s a picture of the Technisches Rathaus taken in July 2008 by L. Willms:

Some impressions of the new buildings:

Four buildings in the street called Markt or Krönungsweg

On the left is part of no. 32, Goldene Schachtel, a new building. Then the dark red Altes Kaufhaus, also new. The following two buildings are both reconstructions: the pale blue Würzgarten and the pharmacy Schlegel, which forms the end of the Hühnermarkt.

This is just to show the combination of reconstructed and new buildings. There are better pictures online, For instance, here is the Goldene Schachtel from Matthias Alexander (Hg.): Die Neue Altstadt Frankfurt am Main, Societäts Verlag – playing with the use of overhanging storeys.

Rebuilding Frankfurt’s Old Centre

Here is a map of the district on which you can see which building are reconstructions and which are new.

Detail of the Goldene Waage, the most elaborately restored building, to be a café.

Hühnermarkt with fountain to Friedrich Stoltze, a dialect poet whose museum has not yet opened.

A mysterious text on the house Zur Flechte:

Slate – section of the jeweller’s shop Neues Paradies – slate in Old German style.

Soapstone columns behind Goldenes Lämmchen building

And here is a current screenshot of Google Maps showing building still going on. This has been completed now (although shopkeepers are still doing the final work inside) – Google Maps is obviously a bit out of date, so look forward to the next version.

GDPR: must I remove names from the doorbell?


 It has been a while since I posted a  doorbell photo, but this is a topical subject. There‘s a rumour in Germany that the GDPR (German DSGVO) prohibits revealing people‘s names on their doorbells.


In fact there has been a case in Vienna  where a property management company has been advised by a city data privacy agency and intends to replace the names by numbers on 220,000 apartments.